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On a catering crusade with a vengeance

(Sarah Nader –
Nick Iodice, co-owner of VINDICE Recipes, works with a mobile wood burning oven in Lake in the Hills.
(Sarah Nader –
VINDICE Recipes co-owners Nick Iodice (left) and Tim Vinci walk through their commercial kitchen in Lake in the Hills.

LAKE IN THE HILLS – Tim Vinci and Nick Iodice are on a mission of vengeance with their new catering and lunch-order business.

As the partners of VINDICE Recipes put it, they are out to "avenge the palates of the world that have been wronged by tasteless, commercialized foods that promise flavor, but fail to deliver."

From their homemade Italian sausage to a mobile wood-burning oven and grill, the friends hope to deliver. The name "vindice," the Italian verb for "avenge," also happens to be a combination of Vinci's and Iodice's last names.

The duo says their plan – to make exciting, flavorful food that pleases a lot of people rather than bland food that pleases everyone – will be a success.

"We both got fed up and let down by what was out there," Vinci said.

Vinci and Iodice on Monday morning walked through the industrial unit they moved into in June. They were preparing for a Tuesday kickoff of taking lunch orders, choosing two menu items each day for customers to choose from. Among their building clientele is the other occupants of the industrial park, which is not near many eateries.

They describe their food as "traditional fare" from wood-oven pizza and stromboli to broasted chicken and other menu items, not all of it Italian.

"Pulled pork, I'll go toe-to-toe with anybody," Iodice said.

And, of course, there's the homemade Italian sausage that started their venture.

Iodice, of McHenry, and Vinci, of Algonquin, met at a competitive shooting match. They soon found out that they shared another common interest in cooking and barbecue.

When they came up with an all-natural Italian sausage, they started cooking it up for their friends to rave reviews. But because friends and family will always give you rave reviews, they had friends bring friends, and invited new neighbors to come over and eat.

Iodice and Vinci figured that they would have a culinary business model if at least 40 percent of the people who tried their food loved it. They found that they underestimated themselves.

"We were way up in the 80 percent range, with people blown away by the food and coming back for more and more," Iodice said.

Vinci calls their business venture a yin-and-yang partnership. Iodice is the "creative genius in the kitchen" while Vinci runs the business side of things and acts as Iodice's culinary sounding board on new ideas – or as he likes to call the position, the "palate board."

"We like to experiment. A lot of people won't experiment because they say, 'Oh my God, what if it doesn't work? If it doesn't work, you throw it away and try it again. But what if it does work?" Vinci said.

VINDICE Recipes:

What: Traditional catering with fired-up flavor

Where: 1510 Industrial Drive, Unit D, Lake in the Hills

Information: Call 224-241-2144, or visit

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