Great design comes in many forms – from furniture to fonts. Michael Marino, a furniture designer, brought his partner, Jorge Moret, home to Staten Island one Sunday for a typical family feast. Jorge, an advertising art director, fell in love with the cooking of course, and now the two are busy designing in a whole new format for the ultimate Creative Director – mom.
Mom is Nonna Carolina. Nonna (which means ‘grandma’ in Italian) credits her training from her own Nonna Fuda back in Calabria, the southernmost region of the Italian boot. Michael and Jorge have put nonna to work in the kitchen, where she supervises every step of the process.
The creative team starts with a simple concept: take delicious, vine-ripened New Jersey tomatoes and other locally-grown herbs and combine with curated, imported ingredients such as olives, capers and extra virgin olive oil. Texture and color and flavor are carefully layered in the pot and then jarred by hand one small batch at a time – and, as Michael says, “with Nonna you better keep up!”
Michael and Jorge are passionate about this new project and are also the brains behind the brand’s packaging, photography and social media. Mostly, the pair is loving the wonderful feedback they’re getting from the ultimate focus group – friends, family, and fellow foodie fans.
Featured Recipe: Chop-Chop Ratatouille