This Famous New Restaurant in New York City Hired Only the Best Cooks: Church Women!

In the bustling heart of New York City’s Gramercy neighborhood, a new restaurant has become the talk of the town, not just for its delectable offerings, but for its unique approach to hiring. Stratis Morfogen, a seasoned restaurateur, took an unconventional route when assembling the culinary team for his latest venture, Diner 24. Instead of seeking out the hottest young chefs fresh out of culinary school, Morfogen tapped into a more experienced and traditionally skilled group: the church ladies from his local Greek Orthodox community.

Inspired by his mother, who spent her summers making pastries for Greek festivals, Morfogen reached out to the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St. Paul in West Hempstead, Long Island. He was searching for older women who had honed their baking skills over decades, mastering the art of traditional Greek pastries. “I said, ‘Let’s find those ladies – we call them the church ladies,'” Morfogen told The Post. “They know how to do the old Greek pastries.”

The response was heartwarming and immediate. The interviews conducted were filled with laughter and stories, as Morfogen met with several enthusiastic candidates. “The youngest one was 79 – I said, ‘That’s what we want!'” he recalled. Among the first to be hired was Dinah, a 79-year-old grandmother from Queens. With six grandchildren and a wealth of culinary experience from decades spent working in Greek restaurants around the city, Dinah was a perfect fit. She now works up to four days a week at Diner 24, using her treasured family recipes.

NYC New Restaurant Rises with Church Ladies’ Cooking Skills

Dinah, who declined to give her last name for privacy reasons, expressed her excitement about returning to the workforce. “I love to cook and help others,” she said, as she sprinkled cinnamon across a tray of freshly baked baklava, the layered dessert made with filo pastry, chopped nuts, and honey. “I didn’t expect to go back to work after retiring, but I love the passion of what Diner 24 is about – so I said, ‘okay.'”

Dinah is not alone in her enthusiasm. Anna, an 86-year-old woman from Queens, was also brought on board. She, too, declined to give her last name but shared her delight at being part of the team. “Having this opportunity to continue to do what I love at my age is very special,” Anna said.

Diner 24, which took over the beloved Lyric Diner space on Third Avenue and East 22nd Street, offers a menu that pays homage to classic Greek desserts. Beyond the iconic baklava, the menu features galaktoboureko croquettes – crispy filo dough filled with honey, milk cream, and syrup – and diples, thin sheets of dough that are fried and drizzled with honey, cinnamon, and ground walnuts. The restaurant has quickly become a neighborhood favorite, with locals like 68-year-old retired web developer Ronnie Schultz singing its praises. “I love the baklava and galaktoboureko — five stars. So delicious,” he told The Post.

Stratis Morfogen is no stranger to the restaurant business. A native New Yorker and author, he grew up working in diners like Gotham City Diner and Hilltop Diner, which were owned by his father. His other venture, Brooklyn Chophouse, is also well-regarded. With Diner 24, Morfogen is reviving a beloved New York City institution: the 24-hour diner, a concept that saw many closures during the COVID-19 pandemic. “After so many 24-hour diners closed during COVID, we are bringing back a New York City institution,” he proudly stated.

Read More: TV Weather Reporter Criticizes Florida’s New Law on Live Broadcast!

Gas Prices Drop, Target Lowers Prices Before Busy Holiday Travel Weekend!

Tragic Manhattan Stabbing Claims Life of Woman: Police Investigation Underway!

But for Morfogen, the most rewarding part of Diner 24 is the sense of community and the opportunity to support seniors. “We’re giving them a paid job and they feel great going into work,” he said. By recruiting these talented church ladies, Diner 24 not only serves up delicious, authentic Greek pastries but also provides meaningful employment and a renewed sense of purpose for its oldest chefs.

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours