2017-11-08 / Features

Local-Express

Vincenzo Vaccaro

Vincenzo Vaccaro owns Vaccaro’s Bakery (28-05 Steinway Street, Astoria), which has been open for 37 years. Vincenzo took the bakery over for his father, Francesco. Vincenzo is vying, along with other contestants, to become the host of Food Network’s brand-new culinary-travel show, on “Guy’s Big Project,” hosted by Guy Fieri.

QG: How did you get started in cooking?

VV: It all started with my dad, when he began baking bread at 6 years old. He passed that skill to me when I was around 8 years old. We owned a bakery since I was born, and I basically lived in it. There I learned about all types of baking.

QG: What is your favorite type of cuisine to make, and why?

VV: I’m an Italian American, so that cuisine is my favorite. I grew up in a very traditional Sicilian family, where we had Sunday dinners at Nona’s (grandma in Italian). We made wine, tomato sauce, and cannolis from scratch. I learned so much from growing up that way. Now, I use all these traditional recipes and give them a modern twist. Just try my infamous “Donnoli” (doughnut and cannoli in one)!

QG: Without giving too much away, can you tell us a little bit about your idea for Food Network’s next big food road show?

VV: My concept is to travel cross-country hitting up all the bakeries, from mom and pop stores to huge factories, like Oreo. I want to show people how bakeries are in your life one way or another. It’s not just cakes and cupcakes that come from a bakery. There is so much more!

QG: What lessons has working with Guy Fieri and the Food Network taught you?

VV: I’ve learned that you always have to be true to who you are, and never change for anyone. Everyone has a shine. I’ve also learned that hard work and dedication to what you love really pays off.

QG: What are some of your favorite things to do in Queens?

VV: Queens is my home. It’s the borough of diversity. There are so many things to do. Ironically, I love going around food tasting, and watching new businesses open. There are so many multicultural eateries to choose from. I also enjoy fishing at the marinas with my wife and kids.

This column was originated in July, 2013 by Nicollette Barsamian.

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