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.