In the fall of 1952, Fernanda Gosetti moved to Milan with her sisters, Anna and Gugielmina. The three women were devotees of the illustrious cooking magazine "La Cucina Italiana," founded in 1929. Sadly, the world-famous magazine had stopped publishing during WWII. Still, Fernanda and her sisters, in all their youthful enthusiasm, decided to restart "La Cucina Italiana" in the ruins of the post- war economy. To create a magazine that would spread the joys of Italian cooking around the world.
In a matter of years, Fernanda and her sisters had not only revived "La Cucina Italiana," they had established it as the culture-shaping publication that it is today. Fernanda Gosetti. the Julia Child of Northern Italy. went on to become one of the century's most important gastronomic innovators and ambassadors of Italian cooking (Seriously, Google her. She was a legend). Fernanda's cookbooks have been translated into multiple languages and remain in print today. To say Fernanda Gosetti set the table for how we think about and enjoy Italian cuisine would be an understatement. Her recipes and techniques continue to inspire chefs and thrill diners all over the world. In fact, MoMo Italian Kitchen in Lake Highlands was founded with Fernanda Gosetti's personal cookbook. Yep, the one she kept her best secrets in. We still have it, and we keep it under lock and key in our kitchen. So how did the personal cookbook of Italy’s Julia Childs end up in Dallas? Well, Fernanda was not only one of the world's first celebrity chefs; she was also a Mama. And one of Mama's favorite sons (they were all her favorite by the way).
Antonio Gattini, moved to Dallas in 1985. Antonio was determined to bring the food and the traditions that he had been raised with to Texas. In fact, Fernanda gifted Antonio with her personal cookbook so her recipes and her love would never be far from her boy or his family and friends in Texas. (Ah, the love of an Italian mother.) To the world, she was known as Fernanda Gosetti. To us and everyone at MoMo Italian Kitchen, she was Mama, and Mama's cookbook is one of the purest expressions of love and Italian food you will ever enjoy.
A Dallas Culinary Tradition
Continues with Wende & Aaron
Meet Wende Stevenson and Aaron Goss, restaurant veterans who have served and managed some of the best restaurants in Dallas including The Green Room, Lola The Restaurant, Ziziki’s, Shinsei and Mot Hai Ba.
In fact, Wende got her start in the restaurant industry working for Antonio Gattini at MoMo Italian Specialities in the 1980’s, Little did she know, 30 years later, she’d become an owner, alongside her husband, Aaron Gross. Antonio Gattini was, Wende says, “the most fascinating man I’d ever met.” Fresh from Italy, he presented traditional dining in courses—primi and secondi—and was not interested in making concessions. Pasta sent out with the main course? Never! “I apologize, I’m Italian,” Gattini said in a disclaimer on the menu. Dallas had to be taught. When Gross and Stevenson bought MoMo Italian Kitchen in 2017 from Gattini’s son Carlo—who had gone on to the gelato business with Botolino Gelato Artigianale—they kept Ferannda Gossetti’s recipes intact. Because MoMo had always been their favorite restaurant and date-night spot. And now, they hope to continue this grand Italian tradition set forth by Fernanda, Antonio and Carlo.
“We were looking to open a neighborhood bistro, and that’s very much what we got,” Aaron Goss says. “It is very much a Lake Highlands institution and a gem in the tradition of authentic Italian Cuisine.”
In The Press
A History of Italian Dining In Dallas
19 Essential DFW Italian Restaurants
Meet the New Owners of MoMo’s Italian Kitchen
Budget Bites: Apertivi Hour at MoMo Italian Kitchen Has Us Eager for 5 p.m.
Dallas’ Momo Italian Kitchen is in knots over dodgy name confusion
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