Fabio Viviani, is the owner of Café Firenze in Moorpark, California and Firenze Osteria in Toluca Lake, California. He also was Top Chef Season 5 Fan Favorite, was the stand-out chef on Top Chef, Season 5, and now is heading toward the finals in Top Chef All-Stars.
Fabio’s first cookbook, Café Firenze Cookbook, Mangia e Bevi, penned with business partner and best pal since the age of 12, Jacopo Falleni has been a huge hit with rave reviews.
Italian chef Fabio Viviani was born on October 10, 1978 in Florence. After the need to help out the family and get a job presented itself at the young age of 12, Fabio applied to work in a bakery where first he was told he was too young and then later invited to work nights so that no one would know.
In 1992 at age 14 Fabio began working at the very busy Il Pallaio, a casual Trattoria in Firenze, Italy with stellar, Italian comfort food and a 120 seat cover. An average night in the restaurant proved to be total mayhem as 700 to 800 guests came through each night. Fabio thrived in this high pressure environment and managed to become sous chef by age 16.
Between training in Italian and Mediterranean cuisine at IPSSAR Saffi, working with culinary luminaries such as Simone Mugnaini, Alessandro Panzani and Saverio Carmagini, and managing and/or owning serveral restaurants and nightclubs in Italy Fabio found himself a young, well-respected business man in Italy but he was ready for a change.
Fabio moved to Ventura County, California at the age of 27 and now works as the owner and executive chef of Cafe Firenze, a renowned Italian restaurant in Ventura Country and Osteria Firenze, a popular Los Angeles Italian eatery. Aside from working in his restaurants Fabio has many projects that he is passionate about– when he’s not busy promoting healthy eating for children, he is also an endorser of Italian mineral water producer San Pellegrino, Bialetti Cookwear, Bertolli Olive Oil, and Santa Margarita Winery. Fabio Viviani has published two successful cookbooks including the Cafe Firenze Cookbook and an e-book Did I Really Make Breakfast which made it onto multiple Amazon bestseller lists within weeks of release.
Fabio is perhaps best known in America for appearing on season 5 of Bravo’s reality series Top Chef and earning a place among the final four contestants. Before he was eliminated from the competition, he was named Fan Favorite. Fabio returned to Bravo in 2010 to compete in their Top Chef All Stars edition.
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Top 10 Fun Facts About Fabio Viviani
1. Fabio lives outside of Los Angeles with his dog Maximus and his turtle, who doesn’t have a name because he’s never had to call her.
2. Despite historical data, Fabio questions whether there has ever really been a man on the moon.
3. Fabio’s mom still resides in Italy, and when her neighbors told her Fabio could be found on Google, she assumed it was the name of an American television show.
4. Fabio’s first book “Café Firenze Cookbook” was published after an entire year of “editing” due largely in part to his poorly written English — he attempted to write the book on his own refusing the help of a Ghost-writer.
5. Fabio is already working on his second book, a collaboration with his mother, tentatively titled, “My Son is on Google: Recipes and Memories from an Italian Mom”.
6. Fabio accidentally set his grandmother on fire when he was 5 by foolishly playing with rubbing alcohol and fireworks — a bad combination.
7. In 2005 while living in Italy, Fabio owned and/or managed 6 restaurants, 3 dance clubs, a bed-and-breakfast and a farmhouse.
8. While Fabio lived in Italy, he never missed watching a single game of his soccer team, Fiorentina, play at the stadium in Florence, Italy.
9. Fabio likes to keep active and plays several sports, including: volleyball, karate, boxing, mixed martial arts, tennis and swimming.
10. Fabio loves almost all food, but really hates two things: cilantro and peanut butter.
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