Interview with Chef and Top Chef Cheftestant Fabio Viviani - Part II

We're continuing our interview with Top Chef contestant and chef, Fabio Viviani. Part one of the interview can be seen here.

Clean Plate Charlie: How did you become a chef?

Fabio Viviani: I started working when I was almost 12. I was working from midnight til 7am, then I went to school. I was working at a pastry shop 37 miles away. My grandpa was the man. He gave me an illegal Vespa. Cooking was the only thing I knew how to do. When I was 18, I managed my first restaurant. By the age of 27 before I moved to the US, I owned 6 restaurants, 2 dance clubs and a farm house bed and breakfast.

What made you move to the states?

I was bored out of my butt. I wasn't cooking anymore. I was managing people. It's hard to run a restaurant in Italy. I went straight to California because one of my business partners was already managing a restaurant in Ventura. I went from owning 6 restaurants to working at the sandwich station. In less than a year we opened our own restaurant.

What's on your plate, Fabio?

Fresh pasta. I do try to eat wiser and eat smarter. I try to eat vegetables, but after eating them I'm bored out of my ass, so I eat fresh pasta. Carrots are acceptable as food only if you live in hutches and you wait for Easter. I also don't like shellfish. I like my food dead. Not wounded, not sick, I want my food dead.

You were William Shatner's Chef for a while. What's he like?

He's always busy. He's the most interesting man on the planet. I grew up watching Star Trek, dubbed in Italian, so I thought he spoke Italian. When I told him that he almost choked. I still believe he speaks Italian, but he's testing my English. He's always traveling so I don't cook for him anymore, but we ride horses together.

What are you up to now?

Since I'm the man, I just wrote an ebook, "Did I really make breakfast?" It's the title of the book if you go on Amazon.com. I don't eat breakfast, but I would cook breakfast for you. Pancake is a little too girly for me. I like a breakfast with chorizo and eggs.   

One more thing - do you win Top Chef?

I can't tell you. You have to watch. The winner is like a Christmas present. Do you want to know what's inside your Christmas present?

Follow Clean Plate Charlie Facebook on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB.
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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times, covering the restaurant and bar scene in South Florida. She has been featured on Cooking Channel’s Eat Street and Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race. Doss won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature on what it’s like to wait tables. In a previous life, she appeared off-Broadway and shook many a cocktail as a bartender at venues in South Florida and New York City. When she’s not writing, you can find Doss running some marathon then celebrating at the nearest watering hole.
Contact: Laine Doss