ABOUT OUR FAMILY
by your hostess, Andrea (1968 - 2016)
Tutto Famiglia... Everything Family. Our story begins many years ago when my father came over from Sicily. My father, Roberto, came to America in 1940 at the age of two. His passion for cooking came to life in the quaint kitchen of my grandmother, Lula. Roberto watched as Nona Lula made canolli and homemade noodles. When Roberto was very young he began working in restaurants. He trained alongside many great chefs. In
1968 he became Chef of Villa Nova Restaurant in Newport Beach. Roberto achieved his dream when he became Chef at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas where he cooked for many famous celebrities such as Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr. It was during this time that he met my mother, Mene. Mene was born into the Hajdicostands Family, a family of Greek immigrants that made their way from Athens to Ellis Island in the 1900's. My grandfather was a chef in Greece and came to America with a dream of becoming a successful restauranteur. Mene grew up in the kitchen of my grandfather's restaurant in. San Pedro, and she went on to open her own award winning Greek restaurant, Mene's Terrace, in Lake Forest in the 1980's. And it was there that I met my husband, Noel. Noel came to this country at the age of 14. He also has a passion for cooking and a love for the business. Noel trained under the watchful eye of Maria Cangelosi and has spent the last 18 years perfecting his extraordinary talent in Italian culinary arts working for places such as Il Fornaio, Ti Amo and Mama Gina's. He has prepared meals for Julio Iglesias, Sugar Ray Leonard and "Freddy Krueger" just to name a few. This family has worked hard, helped each other, and made each other's dreams become a reality. Each generation has taken on greater responsibility. We have learned a great deal from these humble, hard-working individuals. We owe them for their courage, strength, and their commitment to fulfilling the American Dream, not just for themselves, but for each generation that follows. For this we thank them, and we dedicate this venture to them. That was them, this is us, and we are TUTTO FAMIGLIA.
A good friend once told me "Every dollar you spend you can make again, every moment you waste you will never see again. Live life and enjoy!" This is our philosophy.