VW Cuisines & Concepts Pvt. Ltd. (Fio Restaurants)
It’s the colossal knowledge of food and a crisp understanding of business along with an innate sense of aesthetics that give birth to a successful restaurateur creating ripples in the food industry. These very elements pacified over 3 decades of experience have established Vineet Wadhwa as a leading name in the city’s buzzing restaurant scene with his two properties, Fio Country Kitchen and Fio Cookhouse.
Realising early on his life that his interest lay in an extrovert business that would allow him to indulge in inter personal qualities, Mr. Wadhwa dropped out of medical college to pursue a course in hotel management in Delhi. Enthusiastic and determined, he moved to Bombay in 1983, after finishing his course, in his search for a city which was more advanced and hospitality business. There he joined Taj Bombay and diligently trained in a variety of departments like F&B, sales & marketing and interiors, to attain a holistic understanding of the trade. It is also during this stint in the initial years of his career, that Mr. Wadhwa had the opportunity of crossing paths with the legendary Camellia Punjabi who has been highly credited for introducing regional Indian cooking to the UK. Punjabi with her meticulous approach to work and her constant aspirations of thinking out of the box for herself, her restaurants, her chefs left a strong influence on Mr. Wadhwa, one which he agrees to pay heed to till date.
The next few years saw Mr. Wadhwa find his balance in learning the ropes of the industry as well as creating his own identity. One such move was bringing the popular fast food brand Wimpy’s to India and laying the foundation for the brand over the next few years. He then worked as a consultant under Ajit Haksar, a name to reckon with in the Indian restaurant scenario and the man behind iconic restaurants like Bukhara and Dum Pukht. Haksar, at that point, was breaking away from his relations with ITC to focus on the conceptualizing, marketing and operating of small to medium sized hospitality ventures. Mr. Wadhwa points out that it was during this phase that he understood how introducing interesting concepts can turn around the fate of hotels and F&B businesses.
Inspired yet cautious and careful, in 1989,Mr. Wadhwa armed with a small budget, started his own catering company which he felt was a more viable and stable venture to begin his journey with. With Cuisine & Concepts he not only brought together delectable spreads of foods, but also introduced the city to the art of attractive plating, and elegant style as well as décor. Choosing to work with different verticals of catering like these allowed him to experiment, learn, grow and be recognized as a trendsetter who was constantly focusing on introducing new elements as opposed to just being satisfied by what everyone else in the business was doing.
With the success of Cuisines & Concepts, Mr. Wadhwa began his search for his next adventure. He wanted to focus on more than just food; he wanted to create an experience, a brand. Choosing the finest of modern Italian and contemporary Indian cuisines and the aesthetic understanding of highlighting the al fresco feel in a restaurant’s ambiance to seamlessly intertwine outdoor and indoor spaces gave birth to his first restaurant, Fio Country Kitchen & Bar, Garden of Five Senses in 2009 which continues to be one of the most sought after stand-alone properties in the city. An urban version of the similar concept recently led to the inception of his second venture with Fio Cookhouse in the buzzing district of Nehru Place in 2013. Gourmands and patrons are quick to recognize the distinctive attributes which run through both the FIOs; development of which have been a conscious effort on Mr. Wadhwa’s part in creating the ‘FIO experience.
A visionary in many ways, Mr. Wadhwa understands that this is only the beginning. In the next couple of years, he plans to expand the FIO brand and experience not only within NCR but across India