Yelp’s Culinary Connection is a month-long event series featuring businesses who have made an impact on Rochester’s evolving food scene. These exclusive and intimate events are a platform for local chefs and restaurant owners to share their story — how they got their start, what inspires their menu, and why they do what they do for our community, along with curated tastings.
At our final event of Yelp’s Culinary Connection, the Yelp Rochester community settled in at Avvino for eats and engaging conversation. We heard from head chef Tim Caschette and owner Janine Wasley as they shared their travels and how that impacts Tim’s dish creation, Janine’s path from bartender to Sommelier then restaurant owner, and the sentimentality behind recreating a dish to honor your greatest food memories.
Q: What ingredient do you enjoy cooking with most?
A: “I work with what I get from our farmers. I don’t really have an ingredient I love working with the most. The people who live in Italy, when they go to the market — they deserve the best of what the market has to offer that day. When they see something that is seasonal and at its height, that’s when they use it… I have that same sensibility when I create our menu.” – Tim Caschette
Q: How does your semi-suburban location effect what you do?
A: “We can’t always go as weird and creative as we would like to. There’s this idea that three out of four diners will eat whatever — completely willing to get creative and take risks. But the fourth diner needs to have something they recognize on the menu. We still have to cater to that. This means we have to have a burger. We have to do some kind of filet. But we get creative with it. When people ask us what we ‘are,’ we tell them: we’re an American restaurant, which means our dishes are inspired by the many cultures in our community.” – Janine Wasley