“If your dog were a chef, what would her signature dish be?” Waggleview with Donna Curran, co-owner of ZINC Restaurant New Haven, CT

Please read the Waggleview below to find out about this remarkable woman leader and her dog.

Woof on!

The Dog Owner: Donna Curran, restaurateur of ZINC Restaurant and Kitchen ZINC in New Haven, CT. Donna opened ZINC with her business partner and chef, Denise Appel in 1999. They opened kitchen ZINC in 2008.

For the last 15 years, ZINC Restaurant has taken the Farm-To-Table approach in serving food to their guests. It has earned the Edible Nutmeg’s 2008 Local Hero Award for Chef/Restaurant. As well as, the Best American Restaurant overall for CT and New Haven County in Connecticut Magazine, while winning Runner-Up statewide and Best for New Haven County in Connecticut Magazine. The restaurant’s Chef, Appel, has been nominated for Best Chefs America. Recently, ZINC Restaurant was a finalist in the Nature Conservancy’s 2013 Nature’s Plate People’s Choices Award.

Kitchen ZINC is an artisan pizza restaurant and bar that also prides itself on local, sustainable, and always fresh ingredients.

Donna lives in the Dragons Reach section of New Haven with writer and art critic Patrick McCaughey. You can currently find Donna renovating her 1840’s home, at ZINC restaurant, or at dog training classes with Polly, her dog.


Dog type and Name: Parsons Russell Terrier named Polly.

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Q: Why did you choose this dog?

D: Polly chose us. I was visiting my sister in Naples Florida when I first met Polly. My sister fosters dogs from the Collier County kill shelter and had taken in Polly. Poor Polly was in need of surgery to repair a badly set hip and she needed to be medically fostered, and taught to walk again. This would be a big commitment to a new owner, so my sister decided to take her for the night to judge her temperament and come to a decision. For me, it was love at first sight. However, Patrick was in Australia and I needed him to agree on her too. Thank goodness for Skype-he took one look at her and agreed. We would help pay for Polly’s surgery, my sister would medically foster her and we would bring her to Connecticut when she healed. We can’t imagine life without her now.

Q: Do you talk to your dog? If so, what do you talk about?

D: We sing a lot of songs.

Q: If she could talk to you, what would she say?

D: “When are you letting me off this leash, so I can run in the dog park soon?”

Q: If your dog had a job or career, what would she be doing?

D: She would be a nurse. 

Q: What lesson in life has your dog taught you?

D: She helps us to keep every day annoyances and frustrations in perspective. There is nothing that a brisk walk, a good meal and lots of love cannot cure!

Q: If your dog were a chef, what would her signature dish be?

D: Since Polly is a hunting breed; her signature dish would be a rabbit or squirrel stew with lots of carrots!

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Q: How does your dog inspire you?

D: She is very cheerful. 

Q: Where is your dog’s favorite place to go with you?

D: The wine shop-great cookies!

Q: Who or what does your dog find the most interesting?

D: She loves old friends.

Q: What is the most annoying thing other dog owners do?

D: Let their dogs off leash in a public park.

Q: What does being a responsible dog owner mean to you?

D: Securing a happy routine of exercise, food, and love.

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Q: Do you ever dress up your dog? If so, as what?

D: She wears coats for warmth. 

Q: How has your dog changed your life?

D: In everyway!

Q: If your dog owned a restaurant, why type of restaurant would it be?

D: Polly would own a restaurant much like ZINC and Kitchen ZINC-fresh and innovative with an outdoor patio for guests of all types-furry and four footed especially!

Q: Does your dog have a philosophy of life?

D: Live in the moment, trust your owners, and I am family.

Q: I love my dog because she is so cheerful and agreeable.


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WAGGLEVIEWS: These interviews are focused on woman leaders in business, the community, or at home. My hope in doing this is to present remarkable and respected women in their community with their beloved pets. Who can resist reading about dogs and what these women do? This is a platform for women to display their talents; their own business, a new book, a deeply loved passion for a charity or their own job. It also shows their love for their dog!

Thank you Donna for taking the time to participate in the Waggleview.

Please comment below.

 If your dog were a chef, what would its signature dish be?                                       

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  • barbara

    Polly is so lucky to have Donna in her life. What a wonderful home she must live in now, full of love and security. She’s adorable.

    January 15, 2015 at 10:07 am
  • brigid McCaughey

    Polly is as pretty as. Good paddock she finally landed in.

    January 15, 2015 at 5:20 pm

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