Essential Cooking: How These Popular Detroit Restaurants Got Their Names

In Episode 8 of Essential Cooking, Shewolf’s Chef Anthony Lombardo and Grey Ghost’s Chef John Virmiglio join Ann Delisi and Mabel Gray’s Chef James Rigato to share hilarious stories from their culinary careers.

Climbing the culinary ranks requires hard work and persistence, but it’s also full of laughs and surprises.

Renowned Detroit-area chefs Anthony Lombardo (SheWolf) and John Virmiglio (Grey Ghost) join Ann Delisi and Chef James Rigato (Mabel Gray) to share hilarious stories from their culinary careers.

The chefs compare cooking school experiences, discuss the difference between cooking in Italy and the United States, reminisce on their time as contestants on cooking shows and share how they named their restaurants.

“You don’t mess with Italian food. I learned that really fast.” – Chef John Vermiglio

Subscribe where ever you listen to podcasts:

Apple Podcast — Spotify — Google Play — Stitcher — TuneIn — NPR

In this episode

  • Going through culinary school and embarking on a career in the kitchen
  • The surprising difference between food and dining in Italy and the United States
  • What happened when Chef Virmiglio spilled a 40-gallon pot of Ribollita while a contestant on Around the World in 80 Plates.
  • The story of how Detroit restaurants SheWolf, Grey Ghost, and Mable Gray got their names.

Trusted, accurate, up-to-date

WDET is here to keep you informed on essential information, news and resources related to COVID-19.

This is a stressful, insecure time for many. So it’s more important than ever for you, our listeners and readers, who are able to donate to keep supporting WDET’s mission. Please make a gift today.

Donate today »


  • Ann Delisi
    Ann Delisi hosts Essential Music, the Essential Conversations podcast series and the Essential Cooking broadcast and podcast. Born and raised in the Motor City, Ann is a broadcaster, interviewer, producer, music host, storyteller and proud Detroiter.