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Exploring Life & Business with Joanne Mosconi Piano of The Chef’s Daughter

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joanne Mosconi Piano.

Hi Joanne, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I started my company: The Chef’s Daughter when I began writing my cookbook called: “The Chef of Greenwich Village”. Before I began the writing process, I was a playwright and a director in Los Angeles, California. However, life threw a curveball at me when my father, legendary chef, Pietro Mosconi experienced a life-threatening heart attack that brought me back to NYC praying for his survival. When I was beside my father’s hospital bed, I made a promise to God. I told God that if my father survived his heart attack, I would relocate to NYC and follow him around his NYC Italian restaurants: Villa Mosconi and Monte’s Trattoria so that I could learn all his secrets and write his cookbook. Fortunately, my father survived, and I was not going to break my promise. With the help of my husband, I became bi-coastal and my culinary journey began. I showed up at our restaurant every day to write my dad’s recipes. However, this was no easy task, as my father runs two of NYC’s busiest restaurants, and he said if I wanted to write his recipes, well then I better be able to keep up with him in the kitchen. As soon as I realized this was going to be impossible, I enrolled in a Professional Culinary program at the prestigious INTERNATIONAL CULINARY CENTER where I received a degree in The Culinary Arts. I was now prepared and skilled to follow my legendary father, and four years later my book was born! I have shared my journey on my Instagram Page: @thechefsdaughternyc – I now teach cooking classes online and I am in the middle of writing my next book.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Ha! Smooth! Nothing in life worth doing is ever smooth. NO. It was bumpy the whole time, but that’s what made it fun! The first obstacle I had to overcome was finishing culinary school. I was in over my head, as I was not prepared for how hard and intense culinary school was. I pictured it being like the movie: Julie & Julia which depicts the life of chef Julia Child in the early years of her culinary career, and Julie, the life of a young New Yorker who is cooking her way through Julia Child’s cookbook and all 524 of her recipes. Culinary school was not as glamorous as the film and what I had expected, and I even went to the hospital once for a very bad burn. In my last month of culinary school, I had pneumonia and my instructors recommended I take a leave of absence and then repeat the courses. There was no way I was going to do that, and I actually took my final test while battling pneumonia. I do not recommend this by the way, but that is how driven I was.

I was also writing my father’s cookbook simultaneously and helping him to recover from his heart attack by insisting he maintained a healthy lifestyle. This is very difficult for Italians because we love pasta, prosciutto, cheese and wine, but necessary to do post heart attack, The stress of it all got to me, and my father did not take his health as seriously as I did. Four years after his heart attack, we find ourselves back in the hospital with my Dad, and this time we had to get him through open heart surgery.

In order to write this book, I always had to have my eye on the goal because there were so many obstacles that came in my way and made me want to quit. My dad’s health, the crazy, chaotic environment of our NYC restaurants, putting my theater career on hold, getting through culinary school, getting married… trust me, I almost threw in the towel a hundred times. But my desire to preserve my father’s spirit, hard work and recipes was so much stronger than any bump that I had to get over.

My advice to you is if you ever want to accomplish a goal- write down the WHY – hang it up so you can be reminded every day why you must keep going!

As you know, we’re big fans of The Chef’s Daughter. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
I have established a unique BRAND called THE CHEF’S DAUGHTER. I am an author and chef who focuses on recipes and tips for a Malibu Italian lifestyle. Since I grew up in the restaurant business and later on went to culinary school, food is my life! I incorporated my theater/storytelling background and created a brand that is entertaining and informative.

I am known for sharing my secrets to making homemade pasta, eating it and wearing a size 0. I do not subscribe to diets and fasting, but instead- I focus on a healthy Mediterranean style that radiates passion and pleasure. People come to my page for fitness and lifestyle inspiration.

What sets me apart from others is that I promote a life that blends the best of ITALY and MALIBU. I share with people how to incorporate the LA DOLCE VITA lifestyle in a healthy and mindful way. I do tell people that you can still eat CARBS and have ABS! Trust me- it is possible!

I am very proud of the following and community I built – 14.8 K since starting my journey. I have sold so many cookbooks from Instagram alone. I cannot wait to keep on building.

Who else deserves credit in your story?
My husband, John Piano deserves a lot of credit. If it was not for him, I would have never written this book and created my brand. As soon as I shared with him my idea, he pushed me to go out and make it happen. He also edited my book and designed the cover. Also, our dear friend Peter Godwin helped us revise our book and was a big part of our editing process. My family also deserves credit for the support they gave me, especially my mother: Joan Mosconi who is my biggest cheerleader. My instructors at The International Culinary Center deserve a lot of credit for putting up with me as a student, especially: Chef Herve Malivert who recipe tested some of my recipes. The customers who made our restaurants the success they continue to be also deserve credit because without them, none of this would be possible. And of course, my father – award-winning NYC chef- Pietro Mosconi. His immigration story from ITALY and his success in New York has made me one proud Chef’s Daughter, and without him, well, there would have been no book to write.


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Eugene Brady Kristen Brady

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