Inspiring food stories: A closer look at three award-winning SI Food Crafters

Inspiring food stories: A closer look at three award-winning SI Food Crafters

STATEN ISLAND, NY – For those interested in starting a small business, there are some stories that can inspire. At the 13th Annual Uncorked Festival in Historic Richmond Town, three entrepreneurs did just that, all inspired by their particular passion in food.

Skilled business owners – native to Staten Island – include Lorraine and Michael Delizia for “Butter Me Up”, “Cucina Teresa” aka Teresa Pignato-Rosenthal and “Glam Gardner NYC” aka Ellie Stauffo Huh. So far their place in the food world has been carved out by participating in various festivals with sampling and cooking demos. Here are their stories.

Michael and Lorraine sell Delizia Butter Me Up’s flavored butters. Views of “Tastemakers” at the Staten Island Museum, Saturday, December 2, at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, Livingston (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri) (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Sia)

Butter Me UP – Winner of the 2022 Founders Award

Lorraine and her husband Michael Delizia elaborate on their journey so far in the world of food manufacturing.

Lorraine explained, “It all started in September 2016 when we tried to buy a subscription flavored butter of the month for my nephew, Joy Patches. After research, we found that didn’t exist. We made our own butters.” It was fun starting the Off the Month Club and by November 2016 we decided to give it a try and start buttering everyone up!

They started that year with four flavors. Now, they churn out over 30 with 15 in vegetarian styles and scones to go with it.

Delizia’s working festivals and county fairs. His debut was in the Advance Cookbook Contest on Staten Island and at Uncorked.

Lorraine said, “Our first event was on Staten Island in March 2017 where we were very well received and we have been growing ever since. We ran out of the kitchen as we grew up with a friend. Were sharing and moved into our 1500 square foot facility about a year ago where we spend a lot of time making buttercream and baking scones.

The increasing volume needed to sell at farmers markets, serve wholesale customers, and prepare wedding gifts prompted the couple to invest in a van.

“These days you will see us walking around in our “butter mobile” so stop us while we are passing by! We are so grateful for all the support we have received from our customers, family and friends,” said Lorraine.

great food guys

Teresa Pignato-Rosenthal of Cucina Teresa Gourmet Salad Dressing in the after-ride activities at the Marine Corps League 246th Detachment in Sunnyside from Rolling Thunder Chapter 2 New York—Frankie “Toker” Eyepiece Memorial 3 Borough Run. July 30, 2017. (Staten Island Advance/Derek Alves). staff-shot(Staten Island Advance/Pamela Sia)

Cucina Teresa aka Teresa Pignato-Rosenthal – Winner of The Founders Legacy Award and a Presenter at Uncorked for 13 Years

Even before the COVID quarantine days, Teresa Pignato-Rosenthal prepared the delicacy for display on Instagram and Facebook. She eventually brought along a cook, her dog named Oliver.

Pignato-Rosenthal said, “My passion for cooking came from my grandmother Teresa, watching her make the most incredible Italian food. So at the age of 40 I went to the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) – culinary arts school in Manhattan.”

Mother of three (now maternal grandfather) she graduated in 2005 and worked in the restaurant business for 11 years. She now gives private cooking lessons, cooks and works as a private chef. Yet in the rich life of a cook with varied talents, one thing she was known for was a signature set of salad dressings – creamy balsamic vinaigrettes. Pignato-Rosenthal now manufactures them and sells them at festivals and markets. A loyal member of Verrazano Kiwanis, she regularly volunteers for not-for-profits. And in her spare time, she works for her husband’s plumbing company, Response Service Group, Inc. Works as Office Manager.

“I love what I do,” she confessed.

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Ellie Stouffo is the glam gardener giving a presentation at Uncorked with tea and oils made from wild herbs and plants. pamela silvestri(Staten Island Advance/Pamela Sia)

Glam Gardner aka Ellie Stouffo – Winner of The Palm Silvestri Award in Historic Richmond Town for Best Use of Local Ingredients

Dressed in a floral frock, a handsome Elle Stouffo can work the crowd into a frenzy – all sampling teas and sipping oils made from locally harvested and/or organic herbs and produce.

Stofo is a forest dweller, environmental educator and artist based in Staten Island. A Travis resident, she is the owner of Glam Gardner NYC, a mission-oriented business dedicated to serving wild-harvested and organic herbal products, eco-based education, and sustainable arts.

He graduated from Arizona State University in 2019 with a master’s degree in Sustainable Solutions, where he taught at the university and studied solutions within the food system. Soon after, she moved to Staten Island to begin work with a green energy consulting company in Manhattan.

But the pandemic had other plans for her, and on Monday, March 16, she, like many others in New York City, found herself without employment and no idea what the future would bring.

During this tumultuous time in world history, she returned to the source that inspired her to study sustainability from the get-go – that peaceful feeling that comes with being immersed in nature. “It was during this time that I finally connected the dots between sustainability education, community, the arts, and advocacy,” she says.

It eventually planted the seeds, so to speak, for Glam Gardener NYC. Today she serves as a nature, outdoors and foraging advocate in the Tristate area, personally hosting community events. Topics for conversation include education on local food, feed, gardening and environmental advocacy. In April 2021, it organized a 500-man march to protect the Graniteville Wetlands.

What exactly is “forging”?

According to Stauffo, it would be “the act of harvesting wild plants for food and medicinal treatment”. She emphasizes in her work the use of invasive plant cuttings – blooms and greens that are not native to our environment that outcompete native plants. They believe that harvesting wild-growing invasive plants can serve as a sensible solution to both the problems of food insecurity and our personal health, as many of them have medicinal properties.

When she remembers why she’s inspired to do the things she does, Stauffo says, “Staten Island’s biggest resource is our green space. We should treat these places as gold as they are. Learning from them, reciprocating with them, giving back to them and immersing ourselves within them as the madness of the concrete jungle approaches us. There is beauty in living a life that is so deeply connected to nature and I hope to show others that we can connect with nature no matter how urban our environment is. ,

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