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

Gunman who fired shots at the Ravenswood Houses in Long Island City remains at large: NYPD

Police from the 114th Precinct in Astoria and PSA 9 are continuing their search for a gunman who allegedly opened fire at the Ravenswood Houses in Long Island City last month.

The incident occurred during the early morning hours of Wednesday, Jan. 18, when officers responded to a 911 call and a ShotSpotter activation for multiple shots fired at 21-25 35 Ave. at the Ravenswood Houses NYCHA complex just after 2 a.m., according to authorities.

Popular places where you can watch the Super Bowl in Queens

Feb. 2, 2023 By Tammy Scileppi

Hey, football fans! Game time is fast approaching, and across the city and here in Queens, you can feel the excitement brewing as the two teams prepare to take the field on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 12. So, kick back and watch the big game, and don’t miss Rihanna’s exciting performance during halftime. 

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Long Island City teen sentenced in fatal shooting of ‘beloved’ school teacher at Queensbridge Houses in 2020: DA

A Long Island City man on Friday, Jan. 28, was sentenced to 19 years in prison for the 2020 fatal shooting of a public school social studies teacher who was out walking his dog when he was caught in the crossfire during a confrontation between gang rivals in broad daylight, just blocks from his home, according to Queens District Attorney’s office.

Ike Ford, 19, of 12th Street, in Long Island City, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder. The teacher, George Rosa, 53, was shot in his abdomen by a stray bullet fired by Ford, who was just 17 years old at the time of the shooting but was sentenced as an adult given the severity of the crime, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.