Community Development through Trade
The term “Gypsy” immediately catches attention while simultaneously stirring imaginations... It’s a term connected to a nomadic people as well as an unconventional lifestyle, freedom, flamboyancy, music, sex-appeal and mysticism. It is the origins of Bohemianism and today’s Boho fashion – and which are all aspects of the ethnic people and our restaurant
All this notoriety the "Gypsies" - from classic literature to Hollywood to the music industry, across borders to the adjective meaning of the word appearing on tattoos and storefronts across the nation and yet still there doesn’t exist a Gypsy restaurant. New York – capital of the world – offers ethnic dining experiences out of every corner of the globe yet not a single Gypsy/Roma restaurant. It’s not only New York, the entire world is lacking this exotic culinary feature.
New York - Romania
Phone: New York: (914) 725-3686
Phone: Romania: (40) 758 55 66 70
WHO ARE THE GYPSY PEOPLE
The Roma people are Europe’s largest minority estimated between ten and twelve million with approximately two million in North and South America. Their journey out of India began 1000 years ago across the volatile Middle East into Greek-speaking Byzantium (12th c.) – over the Bosporus onto the Balkan Peninsula (14th c.) and finally Western Europe (15th c.). They arrived in the Americas in the 17th c. as part of the slave community
They are commonly associated with the Jewish people as one of the world’s most persecuted races. Their continuous journey has been in search of sustenance, occupation, escaping wars and other hardships, pogroms and numerous genocides that have followed them across the globe
WHAT IS GYPSY CUISINE
Ask a Gypsy what is Roma cuisine and the common reply, following a thoughtful pause, “mas” – which means meat in the Gypsy-tongue.
Meat is the Gypsy staple like pasta is to Italians and rice is to Asians. Some go as far as saying, “meat is the Gypsy vegetable,” and which rings of other nomadic groups like the proud Tatar who similarly claim, “the right of the Tatar is meat and rakia”. There are theories that Roma spread towards Europe aligned to the Tatars military units and which perhaps molded their compulsion for red meat because it certainly didn’t come from their Hindu Indian origins where the cuisine leans towards vegetarianism. Yet that is what Roma culture and its cuisine is all about. The gypsy-way is an amalgamation of numerous cultures acquired over 4000 miles and 1000 years of movement.
Romani cooking, like the music, differs from place to place. Roma cuisine depends upon local ingredients, tastes and social circumstances. It follows local diets yet made with its own distinctly unique Romani flavor. Romani cooking is an amalgamation of the different style, flavors, tastes and ingredients of the various regions spreading India to Western Europe. Gypsy food is Balkan, Spanish, France, Italian, Middle Eastern dishes prepared in a unique Romani style and flavor.
Nomadism, Poverty and Scavenging – are three Romani characteristics that helped forge their cuisine
Their landless status resulted in a hunter - gatherer lifestyle. While Europeans cultivated the valleys – the Gypsies foraged the hills, forests and riverbanks in search of their daily bread. The Roma meal is sometimes categorized as “peasant food”. Many of their traditional dishes are simply re-inventions of popular peasant dishes that have since gone out of style amongst the majority while remaining a staple in the religiously traditional Gypsy community.
The Gypsy – African American cultural association continues in the cuisine. African-American “soul food” is similar in many ways to Gypsy food in that it “feed the spirit as well as the body”; its “comfort food” and that means it focuses on taste.
|What is the Gypsy Restaurant|
Romani Mexeli Restaurant is a combination of ethnic dishes from Gypsy cultures across the Globe: India – Middle-East – Eastern, Western and Mediterranean Europe. Yet this unique setting is more than simply exotic food, as well as a combination of a flamboyant atmosphere – Gypsy style – and entertainment.
“Romani Mexeli, Little Tzigania” is fully authentic Romani cuisine and atmosphere. Cross over our threshold and you enter another world full-of-life, color and style
This restaurant doesn’t need to be a large and expansive location. Quite the contrary, a successful Romani Mexeli Restaurant can be a small, cozy location with an unobtrusive, humble exterior that inside transforms into a living, breathing Matisse: full of movement, sound and color.
The various styles of Gypsy music fill the room. Gypsy music is European “soul music” and has heavily influenced European musical styles just as Africa-American music influenced the popular American music scene.
Atmosphere is an explosive array of Gypsy colors (bright blue and green, yellow, orange, pink and red). Flowery Gypsy materials drapes windows and doorways. A display of tall and colorful artificial flowers stand alongside traditional Gypsy arts and crafts: baskets, metal work of various forms, wood carvings, etc… Wall art includes old and new photographs, paintings and framed posters depicting various historical Gypsy scenes.
Staff UniformRestaurant staff dress in worker-friendly traditional Roma clothing that is comfortably loose and heavily pocketed.
AN EASY START-UP
Any existing restaurant location can be easily turned over into the “Romani Mexeli, Little Tzigania” and without a large investment. Investment is minimal. All décor has been obtained or easily obtainable.
Romani Mexeli, Little Tzigania Restaurant succeeds because of its exclusivity combined with name recognition that brings a steady flow of curious clients including that everyday client “wanting to try something different”. It also attracts the media and food critics bringing immediate publicity. The foundation is solid. Success excels so long as good management is in place and therefore food and services meets the public’s expectations.
RROMANI MEXELI ATMOSPHERE
Color psychology has been proven to impact people’s moods. Warm colors: red, orange and blue raise people’s hopes, good cheer and subsequent appetites. People may come into Rromani Mexeli feeling tired after a hard day’s work, down on life and feeling a bit blue - yet once inside one can’t escape the immediate blast of good atmospheric cheer
Rromani Mexeli, the authentic Gypsy Restaurant "bringing out the Gypsy in You" will catch the media’s attention with just its name and originality. It’s up to management to ensure a satisfactory dining experience to keep the momentum rolling and clients coming back for more.
In addition: Tzigania Learning Center Program is currently accumulating a vast collection of Roma dishes and their recipes for our Roma/Gypsy cookbook: Rromani Mexeli (The Gypsy Table). Our goals are self-publishing for visitors to our tourism program - however this exclusive subject may lead us to expand our horizons to a publishing house publication. Any form of publication will lead to greater publicity for our restaurant
Todaro is an entrepreneurial, writer, journalist, founder and president of the The Tzigania
Project Tzigania Project, founded by Chuck Todaro in 2011, is a community development program offering
tourism programs inside the “forbidden” Gypsy communities of Romania. Its
success has led to numerous business ventures including a hostel program, pop-up
restaurant, successful retail and on-line store selling Gypsy apparel, booking
agency representing local Gypsy musicians and dancers, workshop programs and micro
businesses being implemented in Roma communities selling handmade baskets,
metalwork and collected forest mushrooms. Rromani Mexeli, Roma Restaurant in Romania Five
communities… Period: June 15 – Nov. 1 (140 days) Investment
About Chuck Todaro
Chuck Todaro has been living with the Gypsies and studying their culture for the past sixteen years. He has published numerous articles on the Gypsy history, culture and current affairs including a soon published book about his experiences uncovering the Roma caste system.
Publication of his Don’t Ask Me of Living or Dying - It’s Better to Sing will greatly enhance the notoriety and publicity of the restaurant for years. The manuscript is being represented by Doug Grad Literary Agency and presently under reviewed by some major publishing houses
The Tzigania project (Tourism program) began in 2011 with an organized music, dance and meal event for sixty visiting Americans. The program has since mushroomed into its present state offering numerous tourism programs including hostels inside eight Roma communities. These programs are positively affecting hundreds of families.
Tzigania Project 2016 Year in Review
Hostel Programs offered a total 205 beds
Restaurant program served 172 meals
Workshop programs (new feature) handled 36 participants
Day Visit program of small (1) to large groups (32 persons) welcomed and entertained total of 279
Rromani Mexeli Restaurant offers the chance to be a part of an unparalleled original idea at the cost of a generic restaurant. This plan also offers great potential for future expansion.
Additional Revenues connected to Restaurant
Tzigania Exclusive Booklets
Chuck Todaro is an entrepreneurial, writer, journalist, founder and president of the The Tzigania Project
Tzigania Project, founded by Chuck Todaro in 2011, is a community development program offering tourism programs inside the “forbidden” Gypsy communities of Romania. Its success has led to numerous business ventures including a hostel program, pop-up restaurant, successful retail and on-line store selling Gypsy apparel, booking agency representing local Gypsy musicians and dancers, workshop programs and micro businesses being implemented in Roma communities selling handmade baskets, metalwork and collected forest mushrooms.
Rromani Mexeli, Roma Restaurant in Romania
communities… Period: June 15 – Nov. 1 (140 days)
NUTS and BOLTS / THE INVESTMENT
Location is unimportant because Gypsy is internationally famous theme. This theme and exclusivity will attract clientele from any location
Size isn’t important. This venture can successfully be conducted in any size type location. A small, lower investment location may be a better start to kick-off the collaboration. Inevitable success can lead to expansion.
Exterior: Unobtrusive. A bland exterior adds to the interior glow. That's the Gypsy way. Outside is typically poor and humble (except in the case of Gypsy palaces: image right). The “outside” of the Romani Mexeli Restaurant is not “tzigania” yet rather the “non-Gypsy part of town” while inside is the Gypsy domain where everything shines and glows
Brightly colored walls set the tone. Ornamentation includes an agglomeration of hanging painting, new and old photographs and wall posters depicting Gypsy themes along with exotic tapestries. Along shelf space and ledges scatter displays of Gypsy artifacts, and crafts such as weaved baskets, wood carvings, metal works of different forms including hanging filigree ornamentation made by Roma jewelry makers. Large colorful artificial flowers (popular in the Gypsy home) fill corners and other space adding a spectacular blossom of color. Windows and doorways, including bathrooms, are ornamented with drapery of Roma/Gypsy flowery material. Exotic beaded curtains shield passage into areas such as kitchen or bathroom hallway and or entrance into dining area.
Colorfully encased pillows line the booths (if booth or couch seating is part of the layout). Pillows are an integral part of the Gypsy home much like the like the Tatar people. This custom transcends to the nomadic era
Fire is an essential element of Gypsy life. It centers the Gypsy camp (shatra) and home life. It plays a central role in all social events. We propose a fire centering the dining area. This can be safely and economically established in many forms.
Electric candlelight wall and ceiling fixture offers an old-fashioned Gypsy ambience
and chairs style: rustic.
The Restaurant dinnerware (spoons, plates, bowls and cups) are wooden and to be supplied by "Lingurari" tribe (spoon carvers). These items can be fully stocked at minimal cost. Our metalworkers can supply Romani Mexeli with full assortment of various trays, bowls, plates, etc, also at minimal cost… Therefore a diner's Gypsy experience will be “at hand”. They will physically be part of the experience.
The Gypsy way is discarding food scraps on the floor. This is later swept out the door for the dogs to grapple over. Romani Mexeli Restaurant can put this tradition into action by inviting guest to discard items on the floor (like the peanut shells spreading the floor of the Ground Round Restaurant). This feature adds to the exclusivity, experience and notoriety just as 30 years later people still remember the Ground Round
Romani Mexeli, Little Tzigania
"bringing out the Gypsy in you"