Meet Nonna Giuseppa Cocchiola
About Nonna Giuseppa
My name is Giuseppa Valenti Cocchiola. I was born in San Paolo, Solarino, Sicily. I was the only daughter in the family, so from a young age I was taught about the importance of cooking, sewing, and raising a family. But I really found my passion for cooking from my Zia Antonia who told me “When you cook, cook from your heart and with love and the food will always taste delicious.”
I moved to Waterbury, CT on May 15, 1958 to join my father, my zia, and cousins who were already in the states. A few months later I met my husband, Rocco as he was friends with my father. We married in November 1962 and a few years later I gave birth to my first child, Carmen. When Carmen was young, I couldn’t get him to eat so I made up a dish called Chicken alla King – it was chicken and mashed potatoes fit for the little king he was. In December 1970, I was blessed with a daughter of my own, Roseann. While she was a picky eater, she adored pastina con latte, the Italian classic for children. Between two kids, my own draperies business, and a hard working husband I enjoyed my time in the kitchen creating one of a kind dishes with Italian influences.
My love for cooking and adoration for family values lives on in my four grandkids. While they live in different places across the country, I can always count on them to stay in touch not just to express our love, but also to exchange different recipes! While the distance is bittersweet, it’s the cooking that keeps us connected. No matter what we end our phone calls with “Ti amo, Nonna” and I will always answer with “Dio ti Benedice.” I look forward to cooking with them when they are all home soon!