When a seasoned chef honors me with the title of chef, my heart still skips a beat. You see, I’ve had no formal training, haven’t worked in
many restaurants or have put my blood sweat and tears for many years into this profession. The closest I’ve come to is working with a few
Reality TV Celebrity chefs at functions, working in a couple of restaurants here and there, cooking for my parish priests on the weekends and
buying a t-shirt from The Culinary Institute of America which I wear with pride. What I do have that many chefs tell me is Passion! I love to
create a plate and see someone enjoy themselves with the food I have prepared for them.
I love having the ability to take a particular dish and add my own spin to it. I work with a lot of old style dishes and old world (Italy and
Portugal to be exact) plates and add just a little something to bring it more to the present. A chef at one time honored me by telling me what
my style was. I didn’t even know I had a style! He said the way I cooked and plated reminded him of a rustic style…. Well it took. I also
wanted to distinguish myself from my fellow chefs and the men and women I looked up to so rather than calling myself chef, I chose Family
Chef Vince because I love cooking for my family and friends and I honor those who have welcomed me into their midst. In the last 5 years I
have made friendships and have learned so much from these culinary gods of the kitchen that I will be forever grateful. There are so
many of you to name that the list will go on and on and on.
Two particular chefs I do have to mention by name are one of my mentors Chef Barret Beyer who took a chance on an unknown guy to help
him prep for a major event and I even got the opportunity to work alongside other Hell’s Kitchen alumni. And to my dear friend and other mentor
Chef Michael Langdon… a man who I look up to for inspiration and knowledge daily. To each and every other one of you I offer my respect,
friendship, loyalty and let it be known that I would be honored to stand alongside of you on any kitchen brigade. You have taken a person
with a love and passion to cook and probably unbeknown to you have molded him into the Family Chef you see before you today. And now,
to be honored and a part of the Culination Magazine family is truly awesome!!
Take a bow chefs and cheffettes, for as we say in my neighborhood in Da Bronx, “Ya done good!”