Russo’s Restaurants, which includes Russo’s New York Pizzeria as well as Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen , recently appointed award-winning Vincenzo “Enzo” Lavecchia as corporate chef, where he will lead menu expansion, staff development and more.
The new corporate chef will spend time at every Russo’s Restaurants location training managers on proper food preparation and culinary techniques. A native of Italy, Lavecchia will ensure each Italian-inspired dish is as authentic as possible by passing his skills and knowledge on to each location’s kitchen team.
“When I was growing up, the most popular room in the house was the kitchen,” said Lavecchia. “I feel very lucky to be making a living doing something I love. Being able to share my experiences and skills with other talented chefs has always been a dream of mine, so I can’t wait to bring my experiences and authentic Italian cooking to Texas and beyond.”
A two-time world champion pizza maker and a three-time United Arab Emirates pizza champion, Lavecchia is no stranger to the kitchen. His strong background in the culinary industry includes more than six years experience working as a head chef at Eataly and Ronda Locatelli in Dubai.
Lavecchia piqued his culinary interest at a young age at home in Italy, where he grew up learning how to create a wide variety of Italian dishes. While attending Armando Perotti catering school, he learned the importance of adding a signature twist to dishes without compromising authenticity.
“This was an incredibly important decision and we couldn’t have made a more solid choice for the role of corporate chef,” said Chef Anthony Russo, owner and CEO of Russo’s Restaurants. “We wanted someone with both a strong culinary background and a lifelong passion for cooking – Enzo gives us that and more.”
Russo’s Restaurants is a 47-location national and international franchisor of the fast casual and casual dining brands Russo’s New York Pizzeria and Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen. Based in Houston, Russo’s Restaurants is composed of a mix of corporate and franchised locations across Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Florida and Hawaii. Russo’s has entered international markets as well, with locations in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, in the United Arab Emirates. There are an additional 30-plus units in development both in the United States and internationally. Chef Anthony Russo has created his concepts from years of applying his unique, family recipes featuring New York-style pizza, along with a broad variety of handcrafted pasta creations, calzones, salads, sandwiches, soups and desserts, reflecting his commitment to his New York roots where food and family come first.