Local foodie using new found fame to help restaurants during COVID

There's no denying people in our area enjoy food. And if there's one person that knows that better than anyone else, its Bill Vinci. He's a Rome native that took his love for local food to new heights.

Posted: Jan 17, 2021 6:30 PM
Updated: Jan 18, 2021 10:55 AM

UTICA, N.Y.--- There's no denying people in our area enjoy food. And if there's one person that knows that better than anyone else, its Bill Vinci. He's a Rome native that took his love for local food to new heights. 

"I grew up in a family-owned Italian business in Rome. We had a restaurant called Vinci's that my grandparents opened up. It was open for over 60 years. So being in the restaurant business was already in my blood," said Vinci. 

While attending college at MVCC, Vinci came up with the idea to create a TV show that features local restaurants and their food. It started as a Youtube channel created by him and his son, and it blossomed into the show that it is today. Now featuring restaurants and other businesses across New York State.

The Empire Plate is approaching its 400th episode, Vinci said a majority of the show has been filmed in the Mohawk Valley.

"This area is big for us.  We have probably done most shows in the Utica-Rome, and New Hartford area. We've done a bunch of coffee shops over the years. Coffee shops, bagel shops, donut shops, they're fun because it's something different. We've done wineries we've done breweries we've done distilleries. Anything food or beverage related that's in New York State, we will showcase," said Vinci.

Vinci now wants to take his newfound fame and use it to help local restaurants during COVID. He said the show created a dining card that offers discounts at over 100 different locally owned businesses.


"Right now, restaurants kind of need us more than ever. It's just a tough time. So we've started an Empire Plate Dining card. It's $25 and you can go to over 100 different restaurants in the area and get discounts on food or specials and things. So it's a way to keep people coming into the family-owned places and spend money," said Vinci.

The show airs on Facebook only. Vinci said they have even gotten the attention of some of the large television networks. Vinci said his production team had an interview with the Food Network. 

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2398152

Reported Deaths: 55107
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings31959210747
Queens30648510159
Suffolk2287193523
Nassau2074633257
Bronx2024086699
New York1622504608
Westchester1410912328
Erie996521884
Richmond859791908
Monroe785161157
Orange54729887
Rockland50996769
Onondaga46325719
Dutchess33903487
Albany28637369
Oneida26048552
Niagara22271383
Broome21988385
Saratoga18553191
Ulster16409271
Schenectady15387217
Rensselaer13442155
Putnam1190196
Chautauqua11111157
Oswego9789101
Chemung9184146
St. Lawrence9031118
Ontario860498
Steuben8553160
Cayuga7981101
Sullivan785282
Jefferson756071
Wayne704378
Cattaraugus680598
Genesee6147131
Herkimer6059117
Tompkins600159
Clinton577434
Madison545498
Fulton538597
Livingston523167
Montgomery5149133
Cortland486271
Warren475276
Columbia4699108
Tioga446467
Chenango423386
Otsego419551
Allegany406193
Greene399883
Washington399865
Wyoming393954
Orleans371284
Franklin359916
Lewis324336
Delaware312341
Seneca249659
Schoharie209220
Essex197029
Yates141226
Schuyler130116
Hamilton4083
Unassigned13835
Out of NY0291
Utica
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 61°
Oneonta
Partly Cloudy
59° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 59°
Herkimer
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 61°
Old Forge
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 61°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
NEW Game Day Deals each week
Follow the 2021 Go the Distance Team - sponsored by Gilroy Kernan & Gilroy
Chapter Photofacial Therapy Giveaway
Looking for work or looking to hire? Check out the WKTV Job Fair!
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve