Small Business Saturday

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Business Name: Nonna Knows Catering
Specialty: Personal Chef and Owner
Location: Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
Website: Nonna Knows Catering
Instagram: Chef_Mo
Email: NonnaKnowsCatering@gmail.com

nonna-carte-2They say that you shouldn’t ever trust a “skinny” Chef but here at The Coffee Chic, we are putting that theory to rest.  Meet Maurizia better known as Chef Mo aka my sister, and the Owner and Chef of Nonna Knows Catering based in Dallas, TX. I know that your first thought is that I must automatically have a biased opinion on this hardworking, creative businesswoman, but her résumé and accomplishments speak for themselves. A few of her favorite and most proud accomplishments include getting chosen to cook alongside Celebrity Chefs, Chef Roble and Chef Adam C. Banks and “Top Chef” Chef Tre Wilcox at an event, as well as her company getting selected with top industry chefs to serve a five course Sardinian Meal and Demonstration for the American Liver Foundation, and assisting Michelin Star Chefs from Dijon France in preparation for their Must’Art Event in Dallas.

This Boss Chic is classically trained in French Cuisine from Le Cordon Bleu. As a student at Le Cordon Bleu she found herself getting accepted as an Intern at Samar by Stephen Pyle’s (one of Stephen Pyle’s former restaurants in Downtown Dallas), and eventually getting hired on as a short order cook in an open kitchen as her first job. Chef Mo feels as if she was surrounded by incredibly talented individuals while at Samar’s, and learned a great deal while she was there.

One of the many questions people love to ask Chef Mo is what her “specialty” is, and with a few months of traveling, personal cultural inspiration, and a love for Italian food, Chef Mo’s cuisine is primarily Italian with other European and Mediterranean influences included.  When she isn’t in the kitchen choppin’ it up for her clients she enjoys painting, going antiquing and binge watching Netflix with her husband.

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Spicy Duck Confit Spaghetti with Fresh Italian Parsley

img_9559Meet Chef Mo

What inspired you to become a Chef?
“My inspiration starts with my mom and grandmother, and growing up in a multicultural home with parents who are from opposite ends of the world. With a Sardinian mother and Black American dad, food was always a staple at family gatherings, holidays, birthdays, you name it. It was rare that we ever ate out, and almost guaranteed that my mom would have a fresh made meal ready for us as a family. One of my favorite memories is going to Europe to visit my grandparents, and rolling up my sleeves to help my Nonna make pasta from scratch.”

How did you come up with the name Nonna Knows Catering?
“The name “Nonna Knows Catering” is inspired by my Sardinian Nonna. Nonna in Italian means Grandma. Every dish that I make has a little touch of my Nonna in it, even if it isn’t an Italian dish. My logo is inspired from a photo of my Nonna in her 20’s that I designed, but I added a pair of cute sun glasses just for style purposes :).”

Are there any Celebrity or well-known chefs that you look up to?
“I have several such as French Chef Eric Ripert, Chef Roble, Chef Tre Wilcox, and Chef Adam Banks, as well as Chef Chuck Hughes. I was lucky enough to meet Chef Chuck Hughes while in Montreal, Canada and even took shots with him, haha! He was a cool guy. Obviously.”

What other jobs have you done that you enjoy?
“I have also been a personal chef for several. One of my clients included someone who had eight food allergies. Being a personal chef and/or caterer requires a great deal of creativity, attention to detail, and tailoring dishes to people’s pallets and to their wants/needs.”

Do you have any favorite culinary quotes?
“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.”-Julia Child

“Another I love but I’m not sure who wrote it is, “I’m a chef I’m here to feed your ass not kiss it.” Haha, promise I’m nice though!”

If you could give any bit of cooking advice to a regular person like myself, what would it be?
“Cook from you heart and don’t over think it, and use a recipe as a guide but add a little twist to your recipe to make it your very own.”  

Alright, I’m your sister so I know all your dirt. Are you going to let the readers know what your favorite fast food meal was in high school?
“Fine. I had a weird obsession for McDonalds’ Big Macs. My justification was that I was running cross country at the time, so a Big Mac, or two, wasn’t the end of the world. One was NEVER enough!”

For more information on Chef Mo and Nonna Knows Catering, visit her website Nonna Knows Catering and follow her on Instagram @chef_mo.

Xo,
Jo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bachelor Season 21: Premier Recap

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Image Source: ABC The Bachelor

Fourth time is a charm! Or is that supposed to be the third time? Either way that is completely irrelevant when we are talking about Nick Viall and his quest for love on this season of “The Bachelor”.  Now I must admit Nick wasn’t my favorite guy in the world during Andi’s season when he chose to air their personal romantic laundry on “The Final Rose”. He certainly didn’t win America’s heart over when he rolled into Kaitlyn’s season late while those testosterone induced creatures were all competing for her love.  However, like most, we started to see a more authentic and genuine side of Nick during this last season of “Bachelor in Paradise”. I mean if you threw me on a show to compete for one guy in a house full of competitive and emotional women, there’s a chance that I would not be America’s finest either. My nerves would get the best of me and I would manage to drop every F bomb and terrible joke in the book of things “not to say on national television”. So, I am all for an opportunity for a person to redeem themselves. After three seasons of getting kicked to the curb, it is completely fair to say that our very boyishly handsome Nick Viall finally has a good idea of what it feels like to have cameras in his face, and that fantasy suite-ing and telling should be a big no-no in the televised dating world. I believe it’s fair to say that the guy is ready to find someone to be his person.

CORRINE, RAVEN, SARAH, LAUREN, LACEY, SUSANNAH, ANGELA, DOMINIQUE, ALEXIS, ELIZABETH W., KRISTINA, OLIVIA, BRIANA, NICK VIALL, DANIELLE M., WHITNEY, JASMINE, JAIMI, IDA MARIE, VANESSA, TAYLOR, HAILEY, RACHEL, BRITTANY, ASTRID, CHRISTEN, JOSEPHINE, ELIZABETH "LIZ", MICHELLE, DANIELLE L., JASMINE G.

Image Source: ABC The Bachelor

I should’ve probably prefaced this by saying I will not be girl bashing every Tuesday. Because, well, here at The Coffee Chic, we prefer to empower one another and spread love, girl power, and coffee beans. Instead, I will do my best to just focus on who I (personally) think should be the woman he falls in love with and HOPEFULLY falls in love with him in return. Before stepping into who my top three faves from episode one are, I’d love to give some woman to woman advice to the ladies. Please take them with a grain of salt because I’m single so clearly I have no clue what I am talking about.

  1. Take Patti Stanger’s advice and keep the boozin’ to a two-drink max. Two drinks are just enough to take the edge off, but not enough to make you slur your words or ball your eyes out when he dumps you on night one. Lawd knows I’m far more witty with a glass of wine or two, but keep it classy.
  2. Don’t wear red. Because roses. Because love. Because everyone else had that same clever thought process. ALTHOUGH, they all looked fab in their red gowns.
  3. Emerald green is always a pretty option.
  4. Be kind. There’s nothing attractive about being a mean girl of any sort.
  5. Just be yourself, and if that means you’re dropping a lot of F bombs and awful jokes then America will likely dig you for that. Not saying the guy will, but you can’t win them all.
  6. If you roll in with a shark suit but think you’re a dolphin, I have nothing but mad respect for you. Kudos to a girl with a sense of humor.

SIDE NOTE: Is anyone else digging the fact that there’s more diversity on this season than we’ve seen in prior seasons? 

Top Favorite Chic(k)s: But not any order…

  1. Rachel Lindsay: Well for starters, the girl is from Dallas, TX so she gets mad props for reppin’. Aside from being cute, she’s an attorney, a family girl, and seemingly a well-rounded woman. I also can always appreciate someone who has a realistic approach on love and life, and I knew I liked her when she said she doesn’t believe in love at first sight but believes that you can connect with someone at first sight. Oh, and the KICKER (pun intended) was that girlfriend referenced fantasy football. Shout out to any fellow chic who loves her some football. You deserved that first impression rose!
  2. Vanessa Grimaldi: Let’s just cut to the chase, there was an obvious attraction there on both ends. When she stepped out of the limo and spoke French to him, he instantly decided she would be one of his final four girls. Not to mention the fact that she’s not just a pretty face but seems to carry herself well, speaks three languages, and is a Special Needs Teacher. Which ultimately tells me that not only is she a smart woman but that she’s likely compassionate and patient, as well.
  3. Danielle M.: The cute nurse with the homemade maple syrup. While not much time was spent on her, I like that she appears to be passionate about her career and has a little bit of an edge to her.

Here’s what we know for sure, Nick likes his women with confidence. If nothing else, I hope each week that all the girls stay confident and true to themselves in this sea of women.

Xo,
Jo

A Very DFW Christmas

img_9016There’s something about Christmas lights, holiday music, and cute kids freaking out when they’re forced into taking pics with Santa that brings out the joy in people around this time of year. With only days left until Christmas I can’t possibly be the only one who panics at the idea of not doing all thing Christmas-y before we are forced into New Year’s Resolutions. We can all be honest with ourselves and admit that skating around the Galleria Christmas tree is far more appealing than running on a treadmill just to shed off those holiday pounds. Not sure how to spend the next week and a half doing all things jolly? Check out a few of Dallas/Fort Worth’s holiday traditions.

The 12 Days of Christmas at Night at the Dallas Arboretum is an outdoor exhibit that features one of our favorite childhood carols “The Twelve Days of Christmas” right before our eyes. No need to stop by Starbucks on the way because you can buy anything from (alcohol free) cider, to mulled wine for the lushes who prefer to stay nice and toasty in more ways than one.

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Grapevine, Texas better known as the “Christmas Capital of Texas” is just what you’d expect. With a small-town feel, but with big city (Christmas) lights to turn any Bah Humbug like character into a jolly ol’ spirit themselves.unadjustednonraw_thumb_367

  1. ICE at The Gaylord Texan will display “Santa Clause is Comin’ To Town” thru January 1st. With beautifully designed larger than life ice sculptures and a story theme to keep any child engaged and adults feeling like a kid again, it’s a guaranteed good time. Plus, they give you these extra-large fashion forward coats to keep it interesting.
  2. Make your way down Main Street to Dr. Sue’s Chocolate for a sober twist on your typical wine infused Happy Hours, and have some hot cocoa between 3-6 pm from now until 12/23.

Galleria Dallas will never get old during this time of year. Even if the heavy shopping crowds send you into a tailspin of crazy, there’s no denying that the holiday magic is in the air when you see the grandeur Christmas tree with bundled up ice skaters gliding around it. The answer is no you do not have to be a pro, but yes, expect a four-year old doing a triple axel to remind you that you are in fact thirty, and there’s no need for competition. Broken bones before Christmas aren’t a good look.

For a very Texas holiday then head on down to Fort Worth and enjoy the very classic Nutcracker Ballet at Bass Hall. Then walk on over to see the lit tree that sits right in the heart of Sundance Square.

Happy Holla Days!

xo,
Jo

Small Business Saturday

img_8932-1Business Name: Wrapping by Olivia
Specialty: Gift Wrapping Service
Location: Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
Instagram: @wrappingbyolivia
Facebook: Wrapping by Olivia
Email: wrappingbyolivia@gmail.com

This local chic based out of Dallas has officially been in business since 2015, but with years of gift wrapping for her loved ones, Olivia has turned what was once a hobby into a modern-day luxury service. The days of the stressed out boyfriend wondering how on earth he’s going to wrap a gift for his girlfriend are long gone. What about the working mom who’s pressed for time on getting her little bambinos gifts perfectly wrapped? Let’s be honest, Santa Claus and his crew are busy at this time of year and need a helping hand from time to time. Better yet, while some of us may have a green thumb or the ability to whip up a great meal, we may very well panic at the thought of perfecting a bow or the idea of coordinating it with the cutest wrapping paper. Don’t worry though, it doesn’t have to stop after the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Wrapping by Olivia is a year-round business that can tend to you during any special occasion; rather it be a birthday, retirement party, baby shower, or your best friend’s wedding then this chic has you covered!

Meet Olivia in all of her glory…
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As to be expected pricing varies, but she’s easily accessible by email or social media.

Want to know more about this gift wrapping lady?

What inspired you to start Wrapping by Olivia?
“Ever since I can remember, I have loved to wrap gifts. I have vivid memories of wrapping Christmas gifts with my mom and I always took pride in being her little helper. Further, one of my favorite quotes comes from my favorite childhood Christmas Book, Auntie Claus by Elise Primavera- “It is far better to give than it is to receive, my dear!”- I feel like I am giving happiness and maybe even a sigh of relief to my customers when I see how happy they are with the finished product, and they get to turn around and gift that finished product to someone else. It just feels really good!”

Anything interesting or special that you would like to share with The Coffee Chic readers?
“I owe my appreciation for wrapping paper to my Grandfather, “Boompa”. Every Christmas, he would open his gifts so painfully slow, ensuring that he didn’t tear the paper (we took turns opening gifts so you can imagine how tormenting waiting my turn was as a little girl). After he opened his gift he would fold the tape over the edges and then fold the paper so it could be reused. He wouldn’t even use scissors to cut the ribbon! Since I’ve started Wrapping by Olivia, I totally get it now because not only can wrapping paper get expensive, but there is something really special about not wanting to mess up a gift that’s wrapped perfectly!” 

What is your favorite thing to wrap for your customers?      
“My favorite gifts to wrap are ones where there’s a smaller gift packaged inside of a much bigger box. In the past, I’ve wrapped jewelry or gift cards and then put them inside of a large box for a different random item. It’s always funny to see the relief on someone’s face when they find out they’re not actually getting a dog kennel or a mini fridge.”  

Alright dads, busy bees, and closet bad gift wrappers you can officially take a deep breath!

xo,
Jo

 

 

 

Village Baking Co. Boulangerie

If you love carbs, pastries, and the idea of stepping into a tiny piece of France then here’s where you can find a true Boulangerie on Greenville Avenue in Dallas, TX. The sandwiches absolutely do not disappoint, and the cute Parisian presentation sure doesn’t hurt.  I’m also a huge sucker for their almond croissants and chocolate croissants. The almond croissants and cappuccinos are a good enough reason to get just about anyone out of bed on an early Saturday morning.

Village Baking Co.
1921 Greenville Ave. Dallas, TX 75206