The Tasting Panel magazine

Oct 09

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Page 46 of 92

46 / the tasting panel / october 2009 A s a child, Fabio Viviani was intro- duced to Pope John Paul II. He greeted the pontiff with a quip that could only be expected from a youth so energetic that he also once lit his grand- mother on fi re—accidentally, of course. "I just said, 'What's up, dude?' and he laughed," explains Viviani, who has come a long way since the grandmother-on- fi re incident caused his family to put his young hands to work in the kitchen—and out of trouble. Today, Viviani is a veritable superstar in the culinary world following a successful stint on Bravo's hit television show Top Chef, where, in 2008, Viviani was awarded the "Fan Favorite" title. Viviani isn't rest- ing on his television laurels, however, and has been hard at work in his Moorpark, California, restaurant, Café Firenze, just an hour northwest of Los Angeles. "We've really helped put Moorpark on the map," admits Viviani, who hopes to parlay his success with a second location that will debut in L.A.'s San Fernando Valley in the next few months. Rave reviews and television fandom aside, what matters most to Viviani is crafting the classically elegant Italian fare that he grew up on, as well as shar- ing his talent and passion with at-home The Italian Connection Santa Margherita celebrates its 30th birthday with the help of a Top Chef by Rachel Burkons / photos by Cathy Twigg-Blumel Chef Fabio Viviani's Café Firenze Cookboook pairs classic Italian dishes with the wildly popular Santa Margherita wines. Here, Viviani brings THE TASTING PANEL a perfect match: Linguine ai Frutti di Mare with Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio. Milestones

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