Chef Vinny Lauria takes his social and culinary responsibilities seriously. Spearheading the nose-to-tail dining movement in Hong Kong and promoting local produce, he is bringing positive change to the local dining scene. Discover more about his interests behind the scenes at Linguini Fini’s new location on Elgin Street.
Text by Mandy Li, photos by Samantha Sin
“Restaurants produce a lot of waste and we want to minimise and take charge of it, so we have a composting machine. Staff separate food waste from other waste and the usable stuff goes to the machine to be processed and churned out as fertiliser that we use in our garden to grow plants that we put on the dining tables. Some staff also take the nutritious soil to grow plants at home. A machine like this takes space, resources and energy, but it’s worth it.”
“Every chef has a tool that is sacred to them but might seem everyday to others – mine is a mandolin. I learned to use it very young. I use it to julienne and I am addicted to its precision and the consistency with which it cuts and slices. During my first week in Hong Kong, I used it to prepare a special dinner for some VIPs and I sliced the top of my finger off – my finger tip is still flat now.”
“I used an ordinary box grinder until I was introduced to the microplane grinder working at Babbo in New York. I was enchanted and have stuck to this grinder since then. It’s expensive but it’s so sharp that it grinds cheese like snow – I call it powdery cheese. I use it to grind cookies, frozen foie gras, bacon, anything your imagination leads you to.”
“When I had my first head chef’s job, I tried to smoke things with two hotel pans: I put wood chips in the bottom, lit a fire and got an intense amount of smoke. It smoked the whole kitchen out. Now I have this smoker, which allows me to smoke food more frequently and teach a broader audience. I have used it in cooking demos and on TV shows and find people are surprised by how simple the process is. I use it for our homemade bacon and pancetta at Linguini Fini and Stone Nullah. Everyone loves our bacon.”