RC: When did you interest in cooking begin?
Vinnie: I started cooking ever bit of 15 years ago. My first job was at a pizzeria. From college, I went on to work at many 4 star locations.
RC: How did you land a role on Hell's Kitchen?
Vinnie: I stumbled into it. Two women came up to me at a nightclub I worked in. I was the executive chef. They cast people for shows and saw me working on the dining room floor. They liked me and wanted me to try out.
RC: How did you remain calm when Chef Ramsay slammed food into your chest?
Vinnie: If you read my lips, you can see I wasn’t cool. I actually dropped the F bomb. I knew it was coming since I saw him hit Aaron with something. If you wanted to win, you just had to take it. Josh also took a hit as well off that same plate but it didn’t make the show.
RC: Was it hard to focus when Chef Ramsay was hand feeding you food for the taste challenge?
Vinnie: At 5am in the morning, it was a tough challenge. You don’t see me get the first 2 right. You only see me with the tuna. I had two other tastes prior, one was basil and I knew right away.
RC: Who was the biggest distraction on the blue team?
Vinnie: Um, I don’t know. We had one. I mean, Aaron was to other people. I didn’t find anyone on the team a distraction. I knew what I need to do and get done.
RC: Why is it so hard for the chefs to get the customers served in Hell’s Kitchen?
Vinnie: Its an edit thing. I told Ramsay one day, “You sabotaged service for me”. It was up to him to send things out and at times, he wanted to get under your skin.
RC: Why did Rock originally nominate Josh last night?
Vinnie: I don’t know, Josh doesn’t ever make it through service. Josh has all the know-how but when it comes down to the service end, he cannot handle the plating. He overcooked it all, could not get it out on time. Since Josh could not get appetizers out, it affected my Wellingtons. He can prep anything but when it came down to service it was too much for him to handle.
RC: What was your first though when Chef Ramsay decided to overrule the nominations?
Vinnie: I think he knew that I was borderline ready to attack him and he pushed me far enough to a possible throw down.
RC: Where can we find you cooking now?
Vinnie: You can check out my website & you can place catering orders online.
An all-new episode of Hell's Kitchen airs Monday at 9pm EST
* Contributing writer: Mark Yawitz