Vic Rallo — Eats Drinks Italy His Way
Cooking isn’t merely about the food for Vic Rallo, restaurateur, wine critic, and host of the show, Eat!Drink!Italy! with Vic Rallo which airs on public television and also on CreateTV (a digital television public television network)—it’s a way of life.
A New Jersey native, Vic fell in love with the restaurant business at age 4 when he made his first homemade pizza in his father's pizzeria in Newark. Years later, after graduating from college and law school, Vic opened his first restaurant, Basil T’s Brewery and Italian Grill in Red Bank, NJ, followed by his second establishment, Undici Taverna Rustica in Rumson, NJ—both of which have received the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence multiple times and Undici boasts the largest all-Italian wine selection in the state of New Jersey.
Also known for his expertise in Italian wine, Vic launched Rallo Wines (http://www.rallowines.com/) , an all-Italian, online wine retail site with a heavy emphasis on consumer education, in 2007. He has also penned two books, Napoleon Wasn't Exiled, and 21 Wines.
And in July, Vic hit the airwaves with his first TV show, Eat! Drink! Italy!—taking the coveted time slot held for many years by Lidia Bastianich. Season one took viewers on a cultural journey across the country, from the Alps to the southern shores of Sicily.
The show, which has already been picked up for a second season, is being produced by legendary TV producer Mark Ganguzza, who has worked on numerous Emmy award winning productions and won a DuPont-Columbia award (broadcast journalism's equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize) during his 35+ years in the industry.
“Italy courses through my veins,” he says. “I want people to experience the magic of a country I have fallen in love with over and over again.”
Even though Vic is extra busy these days traveling back and forth to Italy and making appearances on talk shows, like The Rachael Ray Show, Better TV, FOX News, and CBS’ The Couch, Vic’s heart is with his restaurants. ““If you own a restaurant, people want to know you care. And the only way to ensure that is by showing up,” he told the New York Times in June. “I’m directly involved in implementing new dishes with the chefs, with purchasing all the wine and the food. You have to be really hands-on.”
Sounds like those pizza lessons have come in handy.