By Megan Puente
Photographs by ChiChi Ubiña
Zana Lukaj and Abby Porzio have turned their passion for food into the ultimate quarantine activity! The two young women started Zana’s Kitchen and Catering as a passion project, and a way to explore their love of food. Their goal was to help people find comfort during these times, whether that be through a meal they provide for one family, or a small intimate party. “We feel that food is a universal language,” says Abby, and that sentiment is carried throughout their entire menu. Zana was raised in Greenwich, graduated from Greenwich High School and attends Pace University. Abby has lived in Fairfield County for her entire life and graduated from Salve Regina University. Their moms were college roommates, and they grew up together in the kitchen.Most of their dishes are Mediterranean inspired, with a focus on pasta dishes. They handmake their own pastas. Zana pointed out that they keep their menu diverse and they like trying new things. They work closely with their clients to find out what type of food they enjoy and then add their own “spice to it” as Zana said.
Zana and Abby’s love for food and the warm feelings that come with preparing a great meal is the driving force behind what they do. They have worked on projects that include hors d’oeuvres at real estate open houses to making prepared meals for families. When asked if there was an event that stuck out as being particularly monumental, both were very clear that they couldn’t pick only one. “It’s not one event. What makes what we do so special is, we’re there for whatever you want … that’s why we did this, because it’s fun for us and all our events are monumental,” Zana stated.
For Zana and Abby, it’s more than just making quality food, as Zana said, “it’s about a love for food and a love for the environment, it’s a way to bring people together.” This sentiment comes through in all of their recipes. Both women struggled to think of a favorite recipe, because they each had so many. However, they agreed that their recipe for Labane, a Middle Eastern yogurt dip is a standout. Zana grew up with this as a staple from her mother’s kitchen.
– 24 oz plain whole milk yogurt
– Tsp salt
– Zaatar seasoning to taste
– Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Place the yogurt in a cheese cloth and allow it to strain and ferment for 24 hours. Then add extra virgin olive oil and Zaatar seasoning. Add salt to taste and serve with toasted pita bread or zucchini fritters.
Zucchini Fritters (To Accompany the Labane Dip)
– Slice zucchini
– Dip in egg
– Lay out on cookie sheet
– Bake at 375 on convection until golden brown
Zana and Abby have not only made the most of their time in the quarantine, but they have found a way to bring joy to others through food. Of course they love to cook, but more than that they have found a way bring that love to families and events all over Greenwich.