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Archive for the 'Fabio Viviani' Category

Breaking: Bourdain like’s Fabio’s cheesecake!

Posted by Niko on January 19th, 2011

Fabio making his "excellent" Cheese Cake

Last night on Top Chef Anthony Bourdain finally loved something Fabio made and said so on the show.  And fabio doesn’t even really like making desserts.    He didn’t win, but he came close.

See Part I here: Fabio discusses Top Chef: All Stars  and a life-threatening pie craving!- coming soon!  Read Part II  here.

Follow Fabio on Twitter http://twitter.com/fabioviviani

Follow DessertBuzz on Twitter: http://twitter.com/dessertbuzz

If people like you, your food tastes better.

Fabio’s interview from three weeks ago was such a success that we just had to go back for more.  Is he really tight with William Shatner?  Does he put Nutella on sugar cereal?  Find out below.  Part II is here.

DessertBuzz: Chef, we covered the crying last week but what do you think of the Seth Caro leaving the show–

Fabio Viviani: The last episode the guy (Seth) got kicked out -well he didn’t get kicked out, he quit from emotional distress like from an anxiety attack.  But it doesn’t even exist an “Anxiety attack”.  I  never heard of an anxiety attack in Italy.  I’m not crazy, I know someone can get an anxiety attack but–

DB I think–

FV: This is something the United States has!

DB: I think they were trying to find something to get him off the show, he was so disruptive–

FV: Come on man!  You want to come up with something to leave the show because you can’t take it!  Run into a wall and crash your head open.  If you’re a chef take it like a chef!

DB: Chef, that seems kind of extreme.

(more…)

Nothing sexier than a pig says Fabio

Part I

Fabio’s interview from two weeks ago was such a success that we just had to go back for more.  Is he really tight with William Shatner?  Does he put Nutella on sugar cereal?  Find out below.  Of course, before the second interview could start Fabio had some ground rules…

DessertBuzz: Chef it’s DessertBuzz–

Fabio Viviani: Wait, first I’m going to tell you that you can put in writing anything you want but if for some reason, it happens, between me and you, that I let a word go, like a cursing for some reason–please do not put that word in! If you put one of those words down I ‘m going to get a call from my publicist and you gonna get one too.  Then the interview gonna be locked down CIA-style! These interviews are fun and easy but let’s keep it clean–

DB: Ok agreed, clean family fun–

FV: Done, great.

DB: Speaking of clean family fun, in episode 4 the Chefs had to create desserts and a showpiece inspired by Lucent Dossier. The group had performers eating fire and sword swallowing along with a women dressed like a stripper who twirled in the air.  What desserts would you have come up with after seeing that?

FV: I associate a sexy act like that with a pig–

DB: A pig?

FV: Yes, for me that whole act was a very sexy – when I see a semi-naked women running around fire that is a very sexy show.  So to me, something sexy remind me of a pig, not neccessarily a dessert.  So I would have done a whole roasted pig on a spit – gutted and filled with corn bread, gravy and herbs.  This might not have made the judges happy–

DB: No.

FV: Gail probably would have wondered if I was on drugs or something.

DB: Not just Gail.

FV: But Gail is the only one that I really care about.

DB: Right.

FV: I always really like to impress Gail so I would say something like “I understand it is not a dessert but the beauty and sexiness of the women and the fire makes me think about pig!  But I am a chef so my barometer  of what’s sexy or not is different from every other human being…”   As I was saying all this I would probably be packing my knives!

DB: No way to make the stuffed pig sweet?

FV: Pig and sweet stuff?  No.  Come on man!  Not unless you talking about maybe a pork belly– no that’s stretching it man.

DB: Ok, what about the quick fire challenge where the Chef’s had to create an over-the-top sundae?

FV: A funny story. My business partner and I went to Malibu to this famous sundae shoppe and I order the sundae they suggest as the best one and I get it and I ask my business partner why they put all this stuff: cookies, sprinkles, jelly beans, candy bars, and other crap on this great gelato?  He says because it’s ice cream not gelato!  So that was the first and last time I have a sundae.  I stick with Gelato- I cannot cheat on my tradition.

DB: So what sundae would you have served the judges?

FV: I would have just scooped some gelato and put it on a plate and serve it like that.

DB: Nothing on it?

FV: No!  And when they say you understand that this is not a sundae and I am going to say I understand, but you don’t mess up a good gelato!

DB: You’re dodging the dessert challenge questions.

FV: You gotta understand I am not a pastry chef.   I am a horrible baker and it’s a shame since I am doing this interview with DessertBuzz!  I can do some mean desserts.   But man I have no patience!  Baking is a science.  I am not a scientist -I am a freakin artist!  I can’t follow a recipe.  I can’t even do a pound cake.  What I can do are family desserts that require no recipes.

DB: There has been a lot of crying on Top Chef: Just desserts this season – every one of the first 6 episodes so far.  Why all the crying?  Does your pastry chef cry every day?

FV: No she doesn’t cry.  She is a very strong little Asian woman.  She has balls, big like bowling balls, balls–

DB: Wait, can I say that ” Balls”?

FV: Yes, why not?  It just means she has big balls.   I have seen her make a lot of men cry.

DB: Has she ever made you cry?

FV: She has never made me cry – well actually, if I am about to cry in front of her I walk away.

DB: What’s her name?

FV: Bambi.  Just Bambi – it’s the only way she want to be called.  She’s really good.

DB: But back to the crying–

FV: I don’t know what’s up with all the crying.  Even in my season everybody was crying!  Guys come on!  Doing desserts is what you do for a living!  You are on Top Chef: Just Desserts!  Worst comes to worst they are going to ask you to make a freaking dessert and it’s what you do for a living so what the hell are you crying for?  Guys, let’s man-up a little bit.

DB: So you were on season 5 and now you’re going to be on Top Chef: All Stars.  Did you do any special training to get ready?

FV: I have been learning to strain broth in a blanket, I tried to make soup in a bathtub and mixed 300 gallons of whipped cream with my bare hands–dude!  No, what I am trying to say is that you can’t prepare for the unknown and that’s what’s going on on Top Chef.  You never know what they are going to throw at you.  I trained for a bunch of crap on season 5 and I didn’t use single thing!

DB: You should write a cookbook/training manual for preparing for Top Chef.

FV: Well I’m working on a cookbook right now that actually has a lot of dessert recipes in it.   But one day I’ll send you the 100 fun [and true] facts that my mother wrote down about me – that’s going to be the book!  True story.

DB: You keep some late hours, what’s your ideal midnight sweet snack?

FV: A nice sized bowl of iced cold milk then fill it with frosted flakes then I put 3-4 scoops soup-spoons of Nutella on top of the flakes – then you eat it.

DB: Jesus–

FV: I eat that for breakfast sometimes!

DB: That would probably kill at some downtown hipster brunch places – or maybe in Williamsburg.

DB: I recently saw the movie Kings of Pastry and learned about the M.O.F. competition in France.  Does Italy have a similar award for reaching the top level in pastry?

FV: No.  In Italy there are 5 cakes and everyone knows about them.

DB: Is it true that you were the personal chef for William Shatner?

FV: Yes, I worked with him for about a year and a half.  He comes into the restaurant several times a month and we got to be friends and have since attended many charity events together.  This guy is 80 years old and is kicking from morning until night.  I mean he is big like the sun.  He’s one of the most interesting people that you are ever going to meet.  He’s an America icon and a great person and has done so much you can’t believe it.

DB: I read that you catered for 750 people for Glendale Memorial Hospital.

FV: We do a lot of charity – this was a black tie event, everything was sponsored by us.

DB: How big was the prep team that you brought?

FV: I had five people from my restaurant but we also had kids helping us from school.  Because whenever we have an event like this we try to give the kids in school to get a feel for what the reality of being chef is.   In school we spoil them, we market up the school, we tell them”oh, you’re going to be great, you’re going to be chef and  make $100,000 a year”  No, we going to kick your ass, you gonna be yelled at, and, if you’re strong enough, and don’t cry like chefs on Top Chef Just Desserts, you might make it.

DB: Did you ever find anyone for your restaurants from these events?

FV: Two of my business partners, my sous chef and my executive chef, one was a dishwasher 5 years ago, one was prep chef.  I give them a piece of the business.   It’s good karma.  Karma is a great thing if you know how to use it!

DB: With Top Chef Just Desserts who’s in the drivers seat?  Morgan has been doing well.

FV: Morgan is doing well.  Big personality, big temper.  If he can get a hold of his mouth and his temper.  In show like this, people remember people they don’t remember dishes.

In Part II Fabio discusses Top Chef: All Stars  and a life-threatening pie craving!- coming soon!

Follow Fabio on Twitter http://twitter.com/fabioviviani

Follow DessertBuzz on Twitter: http://twitter.com/dessertbuzz

For Fabio Viviani’s first take: Go here.

Go here for an interview with contestant Zac Young from New York’s Flex Mussels

Go here for an interview with contestant Eric Wolitzky from New York’s Baked bakery.

For a recap of episode 5 go here.

For a recap of episode 4 go here.

For a recap of episode 3 go here.

For a recap of episode 2 go here.

For a recap of episode 1 go here.

Go here for a look at Johnny Iuzzini.

Go here for a closer look at Judge Danielle Kyrillos.

Official Bravo Bios for the judges: Johnny Iuzzuni – Executive Pastry Chef Jean Georges, Hubert Keller – Owner/Chef Fleur De Lys, Gail Simmons – Food and Wine Magazine, Dannielle Kyrillos – Daily Candy

Go here for the DessertBuzz Top Chef: Just Desserts preview page.

DessertBuzz Interview: Top Chef All-Star Fabio Viviani

Posted by Niko on October 6th, 2010

After suggesting in a Top Chef: Just Desserts post that Bravo should couple Zac Young and Fabio Viviani for a new show – I received an email from someone claiming to be Viviani.  At first I wasn’t sure it was him, but the subsequent emails I received could only have come from the Top Chef Season Five Fan Favorite.  He agreed to subject himself to some Top Chef and dessert related questions for DessertBuzz:

DessertBuzz: What country has better desserts France or Italy?

Fabio Viviani: What kind of question is this ??? Don’t they teach you at school that France did learn the basic nouvelle cuisine from the knowledge about country rustic Italian food that the Italian Queen in charge at those times in Italy one day all suddenly decided to go at the court of France and get married ??? Italy!!!!!

DB: Favorite Italian and non-Italian dessert?

FV: Gelato and Cheesecake…..

DB: You were voted the fan favorite in season five, did any of the contestants reach out to you for advice on how to charm the judges or viewers?

FV: Yes I was Fan Favorite… I guess America sometimes does make mistake!!  I didn’t talk in particular with anybody in the Top Chef:Just Dessert cast. I think these guys have enough personality to be just fine without my advice- Lol!

DB: Who do you think has had some impressive looking desserts so far?

FV: The winner of the first episode [Heather H] was a nice looking one…. not sure about taste I wasn’t there :-) , but I also think that the Disco Dust of the other contestant (Zac Young) was genius. Brilliant and ballsy enough to get him the spotlight, just don’t spit on my dessert! :-)

Zac's Young's Chocolate Fondant with disco-dust

DB: I recall you got pretty stressed out in season 5 but none of you ever had a breakdown like Seth Caro did in episode 2 (the red hots are for my mommy!) What was your reaction to that scene?

FV: I wasn’t too stressed but at a certain point I did tell a judge (I won’t name who) that in case he was persisting in making fun of the fact that I wasn’t understanding/speaking English properly I would’ve waited for him to fall asleep and…(just kidding!)

DB: What chefs are you looking forward to squaring off against in Top Chef: All Stars?

FV: Spike…. he better bring a helmet, Marcel, look forward for that. And myself, I will be the only shadow standing in my own sunshine.

Spike - in Fabio's crosshairs

DB: What restaurants do you like to eat at when you come to New York City and what desserts do you like from those restaurants?

FV: Gramercy Tavern the Tapioca Coconut Pudding [by pastry chef Nancy Olson] is to die for…actually I love dessert but I get bored really fast eating them, that’s why I tend to take BIG bite… lol!

DB: Stephan was the closest thing to a villain in season 5. Who do you think is headed that way on Top Chef:Just desserts? Would it be Morgan?

FV: This guys they need to focus on food and keep their mouth shut, unless they are not blowing disco dust off course, I don’t think that Morgan is a Villain but he may have a good shoot if he keep going like last episode :-)

DB: What dessert should I have at Firenze Osteria NOHO

FV: Limoncello Cheesecake and Caramel Gelato….. but I worn [sic] you, once you have BOTH, you’ll never like any other dessert….. act accordingly!

We’ll be checking back in with Viviani as the season progresses.

Fabio Viviani can be seen December 1 on Top Chef: All Stars.  He is the owner and Executive Chef of Firenze Osteria (NoHo) and Cafe Firenze (Moorpark) both in LA.

Follow Fabio on Twitter http://twitter.com/fabioviviani

Follow DessertBuzz on Twitter: http://twitter.com/dessertbuzz

More Top Chef: Just Desserts coverage on DessertBuzz:

Go here for an interview with contestant Zac Young from New York’s Flex Mussels

Go here for an interview with contestant Eric Wolitzky from New York’s Baked bakery.

For a recap of episode 3 go here.

For a recap of episode 2 go here.

For a recap of episode 1 go here.

Go here for a look at Johnny Iuzzini.

Go here for a closer look at Judge Danielle Kyrillos.

Official Bravo Bios for the judges: Johnny Iuzzuni – Executive Pastry Chef Jean Georges, Hubert Keller – Owner/Chef Fleur De Lys, Gail Simmons – Food and Wine Magazine, Dannielle Kyrillos – Daily Candy

Go here for the DessertBuzz Top Chef: Just Desserts preview page.