You are reading

Does Sunnyside Have a World Famous Chef? If so, Vote Here

Vincenzo Garofalo of Senso Unico (Photo: Favorite Chef)

March 1, 2021 By Christina Santucci

A Sunnyside restaurant owner is hoping to get enough online votes to become the world’s Favorite Chef.

Vincenzo Garofalo from Senso Unico was ranked third as of Sunday in his group in the virtual competition, with the current round scheduled to end Thursday evening.

Each week, the number of contestants remaining is narrowed down to those who have received the most votes — until the $50,000 grand prize winner is announced on April 8.

The competition began Feb. 16 with more than 25,000 chefs.

“I like to do these kinds of things. Hopefully I can go as far as I can,” Garofalo told the Queens Post.

Garofalo opened Senso Unico, at 43-04 47th Avenue, with his wife Laura in 2017, but his passion for food began many years ago. He grew up above his grandfather’s bakery in Avellino, Italy and as a child, watched his family make homemade pasta, fresh jams, extra virgin olive oil and wine.

His restaurant specializes in Italian favorites like fresh pasta and seafood, and Garofalo described his signature dish as spaghetti with homemade preserved lemon sauce, red shrimp, licorice and mint on the Favorite Chef contest site.

“Mostly, we focus on real Italian food,” he said.

If he wins the competition, the money would be used to help alleviate the restaurant’s financial strain from the past year.

Vincenzo and Laura Garofalo shortly after opening in 2017 (Photo: QueensPost)

The pandemic hit Senso Unico hard. Garofalo estimated that business was down 70 percent in the first months that eateries were closed for in-person dining, but the worst time was in December, which is normally very busy.

“It was tough money wise,” he said. “The good thing is that the community responded.”

He has sought to keep his employees on the payroll — even if it meant they worked less days. “Our team is like family. That’s why we try our best,” he said.

Garofalo noted that Sunnyside neighborhood groups have also promoted his participation in the content on social media. “Everyone was excited to help me,” he said.

Garofalo said he had been drawn to the Favorite Chef competition because a portion of proceeds will go to Feeding America, a hunger-relief organization that works with more than 200 food banks across the country.

The public can vote once daily for free, while logged onto Facebook, or pay a minimum of $10 to make a “Hero Vote” — $1 is equal to one vote. According to the contest rules page, 25 percent of the proceeds will go to Feeding America.

To vote for Garofalo, please click here

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

Raga sworn in as first-ever Filipino American elected to the state Legislature

More than 300 community members attended the historic inauguration of Assemblyman Steven Raga as the first Filipino American elected to office in New York state.

Many who attended the swearing-in event at the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park wore traditional and cultural attire to the event at the building that once housed the General Assembly of the newly formed United Nations from 1946-50 until its current home in Manhattan became available for the world body.

These Queens eateries are participating in the upcoming NYC Restaurant Week

NYC Restaurant Week is underway, so nix that skillet and bring family and friends to your favorite neighborhood spot, or get inspired and break bread somewhere new and different. During this special citywide culinary event, food-lovers will enjoy curated menus and prix-fixe prices that are easy on the wallet.

Bookings began on Jan. 17 and are available until Feb. 12, and you can reserve a table at 30 participating Queens restaurants, along with hundreds more across the five boroughs.

Man dies in East Elmhurst house fire that left 10 others injured: FDNY

A man was killed in a fire that broke out inside an East Elmhurst home that also left 10 others injured late Friday night, according to the FDNY.

The FDNY received a call regarding the two-alarm fire that broke out just after 11 p.m. in a three-story residential home at 24-37 89th St. on Friday, Jan. 20. FDNY sent 25 units consisting of 106 firefighters and EMS workers to the scene. Additionally, officers from the 115th Precinct responded to the scene.