the grandson of Vincent "Jimmy" DeMarinis, the son of
Josephine DeMarinis and nephew of Rosemary DeMarinis ó the original
cooks at Mama DeMarinis ó Vincent DeMarinis grew up around great
Italian food. His family lived upstairs from the legendary Bay View
pizzaria, and at 12 years old he started in the family business
So when his
sister Veronica Cieslak, her husband, Joey, and their business partner
Kurt Klitzke decided to reinvent the family business as Little
DeMarinis (the original DeMarinis closed in 2012), DeMarinis was more
than ready to be the head chef. The new restaurant opened in the
George Washington Bay View Post 180 on the corner of Kinnickinnic
Avenue and Fulton Street in February, and has been serving up
DeMarinis signature Italian to loads of grateful patrons.
Tell me about
some of your favorite culinary memories.
would call me into his room to watch the Packers game or the Brewers
game, and Iíd go for a few minutes, but then Iíd go back to the
living room where my grandma and mom were watching Julia Child. Iíd
tell him, ĎNo, Iím way more interested in what Juliaís doing. Iíve
got to see what sheís doing to this bird.í I also remember being 5
or 6 years old, going downstairs when my grandfather was making the
dough. I was thinking that I was helping him, but really I was getting
in his way. I also watched my grandmother, my mom and my aunt cooking,
and I would get in their way in the kitchen all the time. Iíve
always loved cooking."
What did they
one to me ó and Iíve always found it funny ó is to never write
down recipes. They were always closely guarded family secrets. The
other is to love what youíre doing. If you donít love what youíre
doing, youíre not going to do it well. Iíve done many things, but
Iíve always come back to the restaurant business."
like to work at Little DeMarinis?
thing I can really say is itís amazing. I get to perpetuate my
grandfatherís legacy. Itís been crazy busy. We are only now
starting to ease into a normal business (pattern). I have friends who
still havenít come in yet because theyíre waiting for everything
to settle down. Pizza is our No. 1 seller, but we also do a lot of
chicken parmigiana, and we do a pretty good fish fry business on
Fridays. Itís nice to see the old faces (of customers). When we were
down for that year and a half, I really missed our customers."
What do you
like to cook, and what do you like to cook at home?
some of our pasta dishes. In our fettuccini alfredo, our alfredo sauce
is made to order. In fact, everything is made in-house, except for our
burger patties and our bread we get from Canfora Bakery. At home, itís
kind of crazy when I cook because one of my children decided to be a
vegetarian when she was 5, and now sheís 13 years old, so I have to
make two meals. If I make chili, I have to separate out part of it
before I add the meat, and if I make breaded pork chops, Iíll get a
portabello mushroom and throw one of those in with the pork chops. I
just like to cook. Thereís nothing I donít enjoy making."
favorite tool in the kitchen?
A couple of
years back my wife got me the first edition of Julia Childís
"Mastering the Art of French Cooking," volumes 1 and 2. Theyíre
my favorite things I have culinary."
2860 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.