Art and food: The story behind Cocozza American Italian's new Memphis-made artwork

Mar 10, 2023 169

BY: Jennifer Chandler

Cocozza American Italian marked its “official” opening Wednesday with the unveiling of artwork by two Memphis artists — Stacy Kiehl and Emily LaForce. Deni Reilly, who owns Cocozza with her husband, Patrick, said the commissioned art features “bold colors, inspiration from a ‘found’ recipe book, and an imagining of ‘the dinner we wish happened.’”

While Cocozza had a soft opening Dec. 8, the restaurant held back its official debut due to delays in fixture and finishing installations. Now complete, the Reillys wanted to celebrate their red sauce joint’s launch as a true neighborhood restaurant by showcasing two talented Memphis women artists, both of whom have ties to the city's culinary scene.

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