Italian American Digest JT DIGEST Summer 2018 June First (1) - Page 18

PAGE 18 ITALIAN AMERICAN DIGEST SUMMER 2018

From exploring the Mississippi in the 18th century to sitting behind the mayor ’ s desk three centuries later , Italians have always been part of the fabric of the Crescent City . As we look to the future of New Orleans , we see Italians leading the way in business , medicine , law , culinary arts , public service , and philanthropy . The future is Italian !

Michael Gulotta
Chef Partner , MOPHO and Maypop Restaurants
Born and raised in New Orleans , Michael Gulotta , 37 , began cooking in local restaurants at a young age . After graduating from the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute , he joined the newly opened Restaurant August . Gulotta then took leave to train

The Future Is Italian !

Young Italian Americans Making Their Mark in NOLA

Michael Gulotta
in the Italian Riviera and Germany ’ s Black Forest .
When Hurricane Katrina hit , Michael returned home to help rebuild and assist with August ’ s re-opening . He was named Chef de Cuisine in 2007 and led the award-winning kitchen for six years , while establishing relationships with local farmers and purveyors .
Michael opened his first restaurant , MOPHO , in 2014 with his brother Jeffrey Gulotta and high school friend Jeffrey Bybee . Located in New Orleans ’ Mid City , MOPHO strives to be a true neighborhood restaurant and a destination for Southeast Asian-inspired cuisine utilizing the Louisiana pantry . In its first year MOPHO was nominated for America ’ s Best New Restaurant by Bon Appétit magazine and named Restaurant of the Year by New Orleans magazine . In 2016 , Michael was named one of Top 30 Chefs to Watch in the nation by Plate magazine , a New Orleans Rising Star by Starchefs , and a Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine .
His team recently opened its second full-service restaurant , Maypop , in the Central Business District . Maypop has been named a Top 5
Best New Restaurant by the Times Picayune and a Best New Restaurant by New Orleans magazine .
What ’ s your favorite Italian food ?
Brucciloni with capelli di angelo pasta or n ’ casciata with anise sausage or zuppa inglese gelato . Biscotti Regina aren ’ t bad either . ( I hate picking favorites .)
What ’ s your favorite place in New Orleans ? That ’ s a hard one , but my mom always brought me to Liuzza ’ s on Bienville when I was a kid , so I gotta go with that one . Fried eggplant poboy with red gravy , fried pickles , and onion rings , Barq ’ s root beer .
Have you been to Italy ?
Are we talking Italy or Sicily because the Italians and the Sicilians don ’ t always speak kindly of each other . In fact , when I lived in Italy , all of my co-workers were kind enough to point out that I was not an Italian-American but a Sicilian- America , very different things in their minds . I lived on the coast of Liguria working in a small restaurant on the beach but also traveled all throughout , and down through Sicily . There are so many wonderful memories . Most of them center around dining . Dining on risotto nero on the coast overlooking the Mediterranean , or enjoying veal agnolotti and ripe figs with prosecco in the hills of Piemonte looking out on the vineyards . In Sicily it was thick-crust pizza with sunny side up eggs baked into the top while lounging in the Piazza IV Aprile in Toarmina .
What are your hopes for the city ’ s future ?
Hmm .. Another tough question . New Orleans is such a great city because it keeps the best parts of every culture that lands at its port . I hope we continue to be the welcoming and ever-evolving melting pot we ’ ve always been . I hope we honor our history and culture while continuing to let it grow and change . I hope our city hall gets its act together , and our streets and pumps get fixed . I hope we invest more money in our city ’ s future , in its infrastructure , and in its ability to keep bringing wonderful , colorful , bright people to its fold . But I want it to stay a little grimy and funky too .
Marie Guevara
Chef / Owner , Aglio Neighborhood Deli & Bar
Chef Marie , 31 , is a proud granddaughter of both Latin and Italian families with strong food cultures . She grew up cooking and baking alongside both of her grandmothers and learned so many valuable lessons from them about work ethic ,
Marie Guevara cooking from scratch , and most importantly , hospitality . After graduating from the University of New Orleans with a bachelor ’ s in Hospitality Business Administration , Marie had the opportunity to attend Le Cordon Bleu in Paris , where she completed a Grande Diplome in both pastry and savory cuisines .
Upon returning to New Orleans , Marie became the pastry sous chef at Stella ! and after its unfortunate closure was welcomed as the pastry chef at Bayona . After her time there , she returned to ROOT , the restaurant that had trained her before she attended culinary school . There she was acting pastry chef but also got an education in butchery and curing meats . When the company expanded to open Part & Parcel in the newly constructed South Market District , Marie signed on as the sous chef of the downtown deli . After a year of running the restaurant with then chef de cuisine Michael Mericle , the two were given the opportunity to purchase the business . They changed the name to Aglio ( which means garlic in Italian ) to reflect their shared Italian heritage and celebrate the deli menu they create from scratch daily .
What ’ s your favorite Italian food ? My favorite Italian food is cuccidati , which is an Italian fig cookie that I used to make with my Sicilian grandma twice a year for St . Joseph ’ s Day and Christmas . They ’ re beautiful to look at with their rainbow sprinkles coating the tops of irregularly shaped stuffed cookies glazed in dripping royal icing . The filling is a mixture of dried fruits , figs , brandied cherries , and toasted nuts , and they remind me of family with every bite . At Aglio , we serve cuccidati year-round so that no one has to wait for Christmastime or a St . Joseph ’ s Day altar to enjoy them !
What ’ s your favorite place in New Orleans ?
My favorite place in New Orleans is the garden inside the walls of the old Ursuline Convent in the French Quarter . When I was cooking at Stella ! we were fortunate enough to be given access to use of the garden for all of our daily preparations . The garden is varied and beautiful , and the Archdiocese of New Orleans still maintains it to this day to be an historic reminder of the nuns who created it .
Have you been to Italy ?
I ’ ve been lucky enough to have been to several places in Italy , and each one was magical . It ’ s hard to pick a favorite , but one of my most treasured memories was when I traveled to Verona ( the same one from Romeo and Juliet ), and we went to an opera in a 1st century old amphitheater in the piazza . It was extremely uncomfortable because it was all old stones and we had to buy cushions to sit on ! It was so cool , though , because you could pack a picnic of wine , cheese , bread , etc . Everything about it was absolutely beautiful and almost surreal . The show was breathtaking , and we felt like we were part of history .
What are your hopes for the city ’ s future ?
My hopes for the future of New Orleans are numbered . I love our city so much and we have all come a long way collectively , but there is still much work to be done . I feel like my biggest hope would be to continue on the path of locally grown and sourced food so that it becomes much more accessible and affordable for everyone . I ’ d like for any family in any neighborhood to have access to fresh produce and locally raised livestock rather than it being an expensive or luxury market . I feel like if we can all learn to grown more of our own herbs and vegetables , and share them with neighbors , the city would be a healthier and happier place for everyone .
I TALIAN A MERICAN D IGEST PAGE 18 SUMMER 2018 T h e F u t u r e I s I ta l i a n ! Young Italian Americans Making Their Mark in NOLA F rom exploring the Mississippi in the 18th century to sitting behind the mayor’s desk three centuries later, Italians have always been part of the fabric of the Crescent City. As we look to the future of New Or- leans, we see Italians leading the way in business, medicine, law, culinary arts, public service, and philanthropy. The future is Italian! Michael Gulotta Chef Partner, MOPHO and Maypop Restaurants Born and raised in New Orleans, Michael Gulotta, 37, began cooking in local restaurants at a young age. After graduat- ing from the Chef John Folse Culi- nary Institute, he joined the newly opened Restaurant August. Gu- lotta then took Michael Gulotta leave to train in the Italian Riviera and Germany’s Black Forest. When Hurricane Katrina hit, Mi- chael returned home to help rebuild and assist with August’s re-opening. He was named Chef de Cuisine in 2007 and led the award-winning kitchen for six years, while establish- ing relationships with local farmers and purveyors. Michael opened his first restau- rant, MOPHO, in 2014 with his brother Jeffrey Gulotta and high school friend Jeffrey Bybee. Located in New Orleans’ Mid City, MOPHO strives to be a true neighborhood restaurant and a destination for Southeast Asian-inspired cuisine utilizing the Louisiana pantry. In its first year MOPHO was nominated for America’s Best New Restaurant by Bon Appétit magazine and named Restaurant of the Year by New Or- leans magazine. In 2016, Michael was named one of Top 30 Chefs to Watch in the nation by Plate maga- zine, a New Orleans Rising Star by Starchefs, and a Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine. His team recently opened its sec- ond full-service restaurant, Maypop, in the Central Business District. Maypop has been named a Top 5 Best New Restaurant by the Times Picayune and a Best New Restaurant by New Orleans magazine. What’s your favorite Italian food? Brucciloni with capelli di angelo pasta or n’casciata with anise sau- sage or zuppa inglese gelato. Biscotti Regina aren’t bad either. (I hate pick- ing favorites.) What’s your favorite place in New Orleans? That’s a hard one, but my mom always brought me to Liuzza’s on Bienville when I was a kid, so I gotta go with that one. Fried eggplant po- boy with red gravy, fried pickles, and onion rings, Barq’s root beer. Have you been to Italy? Are we talking Italy or Sicily because the Italians and the Sicil- ians don’t always speak kindly of each other. In fact, when I lived in Italy, all of my co-workers were kind enough to point out that I was not an Italian-American but a Sicilian- America, very different things in their minds. I lived on the coast of Liguria working in a small restaurant on the beach but also traveled all throughout, and down through Sicily. There are so many wonderful memo- ries. Most of them center around dining. Dining on risotto nero on the coast overlooking the Mediterranean, or enjoying veal agnolotti and ripe figs with prosecco in the hills of Pi- emonte looking out on the vineyards. In Sicily it was thick-crust pizza with sunny side up eggs baked into the top while lounging in the Piazza IV Aprile in Toarmina. What are your hopes for the city’s future? Hmm.. Another tough question. New Orleans is such a great city be- cause it keeps the best parts of every culture that lands at its port. I hope we continue to be the welcoming and ever-evolving melting pot we’ve always been. I hope we honor our history and culture while continuing to let it grow and change. I hope our city hall gets its act together, and our streets and pumps get fixed. I hope we invest more money in our city’s future, in its infrastructure, and in its ability to keep bringing wonderful, colorful, bright people to its fold. But I want it to stay a little grimy and funky too. Marie Guevara Chef / Owner, Aglio Neighborhood Deli & Bar Chef Marie, 31, is a proud grand- daughter of both Latin and Italian families with strong food cultures. She grew up cooking and baking alongside both of her grandmothers and learned so many valuable lessons from them about work ethic, cooking from Marie Guevara scratch, and most impor- tantly, hospitality. After graduating from the University of New Orleans with a bachelor’s in Hospitality Business Administration, Marie had the opportunity to attend Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, where she completed a Grande Diplome in both pastry and savory cuisines. Upon returning to New Orleans, Marie became the pastry sous chef at Stella! and after its unfortunate closure was welcomed as the pastry chef at Bayona. After her time there, she returned to ROOT, the restau- rant that had trained her before she attended culinary school. There she was acting pastry chef but also got an education in butchery and curing meats. When the company expanded to open Part & Parcel in the newly constructed South Market District, Marie signed on as the sous chef of the downtown deli. 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