SILVESTRI: Vincenzo

Died 26 April 2016, aged 68: Vincenzo ('Enzo') Silvestri, founder of Rinaldi's restaurant which he named after his mother, died at his Rothwell home after a three-year battle with a rare lung condition. His funeral at Rothwell was followed by a gathering of family and friends at Sandal Rugby Club. He was a member of Wakefield Rotary Club and this obituary is taken from their monthly newsletter:

Vincenzo was born in Verbicaro, Calabria, Italy, on 29 March 1948. His parents were Guissepina Rinaldi and Rosario Salvatore Silvestri. His twin brother was Pasqualae (Lino) with Francesco (Franco) and Salvatore. The twins were born at Easter when their mother was 21 It caused quite a stir in the town as she had no idea she was carrying twins. Enzo was always the most gregarious and mischievous of the twins but being identical they were good at blaming each other over misdeeds.Vincenzo attended the state school in Verbicaro, but then moved to Northern Italy when his family went to find work. After school he started his first catering job, working in his uncle’s bar at 14, getting up at 4.30 to make sure all the farmers had a coffee before they went to work. At 16 he began catering college in Saboudia in the north leaving after two years with a diploma with distinction. In 1967 he moved to Jersey as a commis chef for his first year at the Grand Hotel. He rose to be the chef de rang for his second season.

It was in Jersey that he met and fell in love with Joan and they were engaged on 7 September 1968 and married on 6 September 1969 in Lofthouse Parish church. His management jobs were at the Swallow Hotel here in Wakefield, the Kontiki Club, Skanda grill in Leeds (best job he ever had) and Ladbrokes at the Dragonara Hotel where he managed the Casino. From there he was promoted to the Midland Hotel in Manchester, then to the Midway Hotel in Castleton, Rochdale, which he turned around to a thriving business. Sadly it had to close six years later and he and Joan came back to live in Rothwell to be near Joan’s family and friends. They moved into Lay Garth in 1986 and from there he managed the Flying Pizza in Street lane, Leeds, before he opened his own first restaurant, Silvestri’s in Ossett, with his brothers Salvatore and Line. This was a huge success and he then went on to open Rinaldi’s at Sandal named after his mother. Vincenzo joined this Rotary club in 1994 and one of his favourite jobs was being on security duty at Wakefield Hospice. He was also involved with the “Gateway run” which was a private taxi service run by Rotarians for transporting children with learning difficulties to the Gateway Club.

Vincenzo leaves behind Joan his wife of 47 years, a son Robert married to Debra, a daughter Rachel married to Paul and four grandchildren

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