A Top Chef Christmas

Fabio Viviani has cooked his heart out on Bravo’s Top Chef: All Stars, so for the holidays, the fast talking toque is going to give him- self a break. The sometime-hotheaded, heavily accented Florentian, 32, is also busy being a celubuchef, res- taurateur (he owns California’s Cafe Firenze) and spokesman for Santa Margherita wines. Not a bad — hiccup — gig.

We chatted with the Top Chef: New York season 5 fan favorite:

How are you spending the holidays?

Alone home resting and at the restaurant working, with a few friends and some good food and wine. Plus I’ll watch my business manager’s black lab because he’s leaving for Chicago to spend the holidays with his family. I love that dog, and I already bought him a huge bag of treats.

So no trip to Italy soon?

No, but I hope to soon; my mom is still complaining about it!

Do you normally cook on Christmas?

No, I order In-N-Out Burger.

Can you tell us about your favorite holiday meal? My mom used to do a gigantic pot roast, and I’d get slapped in the face during the day because I kept going to the oven and snapping pieces out as it was cooking. She would have to distract me by having me do fresh pasta.

Any holiday cooking disasters?

Yes, I dropped a seven foot tall wedding cake for a couple getting married on Christmas Day in 1997.

Any New Year’s cocktail suggestions? I have a bubbly favorite.

I work with Santa Margherita, and they make a prosecco that’s perfect. If you’re having people over, you can try my Blackberry Bacio (Blackberry Kiss) with some whole blackberries and mint, a splash of elderflower liqueur and a little lime juice. Top all of these off with prosecco.

What is your New Year’s resolution?

No retreat, no surrender, never settle for anything less of what I can be.


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