The chef and owner of one Glendale restaurant will be appearing in the season premiere of “Restaurant Startup,” which will air on CNBC next month.
Vinny Accardi of Room 55 Restaurant will be featured in the “Shark Tank”-style reality show where celebrity restaurateurs Joe Bastianich and Tim Love choose between two potential startup eateries. The show then gives the chosen restaurant team 36 hours and $7,500 to refine their restaurant idea, including logo design, decor and a new menu. The team then re-pitches their idea and Bastianich and Love decide if they will invest their own money into the company.
“It was great; I loved it,” Accardi said of being on the show. “I enjoyed the whole process. I went out there with a halfway decent game plan. For the most part we did what we had to do and I got what needed to be done.”
The Maspeth born and raised chef is no stranger to the small screen. Accardi was a contestant on the eighth season of Gordon Ramsey’s “Hell’s Kitchen.” He went quite far in the competition and was even voted that season’s “fan favorite.”
Accardi’s culinary career began after he graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in upstate New York in 2000. He then spent time traveling across Europe, cooking, tasting and soaking in the diversity of the cuisines and cultures.
“That was a great influence,” Accardi said. “When I graduated from cooking school in 2000 there was a World’s Fair in Germany. I applied to work at the World’s Fair and worked at the World’s Fair for six months. It was a good opportunity to go. When the six months was up, I backpacked across western Europe. It was a real eye-opening experience. I was so lucky to have the opportunity to go.”
Upon returning to the U.S., Accardi began working in some of the finest restaurants across the country, including nationally acclaimed Oceana in Manhattan, Rouge Restaurant in Forest Hills, Off the Strip in South Vegas and Vertuccio’s in Williamsburg.
Accardi realized his dream in April 2014 when he opened Room 55 at 75-01 88th St.
“I always knew that when the time came to open my own restaurant I wanted it to be in my backyard,” Accardi said. “If I was going to dedicate my life to something I wanted it to be around people I know.”
Fans can watch Accardi on “Restaurant Startup” at 10 p.m. on Jan. 6, 2016. For more information on Room 55 restaurant, visit their website at www.room55ny.com.