A Cup of Chai With – Vince Pizzinga from Mark & Vinnys

Mark and Vinny's Prana Chai

We had a cup of chai with Vince, he is a composer and the vinny half of Mark & Vinny's, a new hot place for bright-coloured pastas, vegan eggs and charcoal-black cocktails and located in Surrey Hills NSW. We interviewed him in this edition:

A short sentence to describe your career history:

I graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering then gave that up to pursue a career as a composer which I’ve practiced for 20 years. Now I have a restaurant.

Where does the idea for Mark & Vinny come from initially?

I started an Instagram account purely for fun called The Spaghetti Collective featuring pasta dishes from some of my favorite restaurants around the world. After only a few months it had attracted nearly five thousand followers and was getting over a thousand likes per post so it dawned on me that people must really like spaghetti! That inspired me to try and transform it into a concept for an actual restaurant and my business partner  Mark Filippelli  came up with the idea of combining spaghetti with spritz. We then saw this as an opportunity to conceptualise a menu that would be true to both our traditional Italian roots as well as our creative innovation. For Mark & I, our single greatest inspiration is to be creative andMark And Vinny’sbecame a canvas for exactly that.

What makes you excited the most at the moment?

Seeing people come to M+V. Sometimes I look around the restaurant watching people eating our food and enjoying the experience and I’m so humbled and incredulous knowing that something that only a little while ago was just an idea in our heads has become a reality.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Art. The opportunity to be creative is the single most inspiring thing that drives me every day.

If you could travel any cities in the world tomorrow, where would that be and why?

New York is my favourite city in the world, I find the energy there infectious. I love the culture of the people, the buildings and all its history, there is a romance about it that I’ve never experienced anywhere else.

I also adore Florence because it is such a beautiful, creative place. The collective energy of the people combined with the gravity of its history I find truly inspiring.

The strangest thing about you?

Apart from my toe-thumb? I can eat my own body weight in one “bowl” of popcorn.

What does art & creativity mean to you?

Art to me is a profoundly powerful phenomenon. Whether it’s through music, words, film, painting or even food, the expression of ideas through whatever medium is one of the most joyous experiences of being alive. I find something inherently beautiful in both the creation of art and the experience of observing it.