It was 1981 in NYC. Once a week I held cooking classes at my good friend Chris’ apartment for Chris and 3 of her friends who wanted to learn to cook some dishes. The class paid for the food and the wine. I had nothing to lose. I would plan the meal, shop for the ingredients, wrote down the recipes for each of the students and sipped on wine while I instructed the group. One night, one of the girls mentioned that her “mama” never taught her to cook like this. Chris reacted to the comment by pointing at me and jokingly called me “mama”. With that, my students nicknamed me “Mama Tommy”.
Chris and I shook hands and became partners. She said let’s call it Mama Tommy’s. I said okay. Shortly after, I took a leave of absence from my job so I could put my energy into this full time.
I went to work on perfecting large batches of 10 lbs and 20 lbs of butter. Wow, that’s a lot of garlic to peel! My brother, Michael, designed the logo and label. I used a 4 oz. clear plastic container to package the product in. I hand-cut labels and glued the tri-fold label to the lid. It included 3 recipes and some other ideas for the use. It is not just for garlic bread.