About Chef Fabio Viviani
Renowned chef Fabio Viviani will be judging the Great Taste Challenge. He’s an expert in food, wine and entertaining and takes pride in his wine pairing skills. For his favorite dishes, Fabio chooses Santa Margherita wines.
Chef Fabio Viviani is the co-owner and Executive Chef of Café Firenze Italian Restaurant and Martini Bar in Ventura County, California.
Born and raised in Florence, Italy, Fabio attended Italy’s Institutuo Professionale per I Servizi Alberghieri, focusing on advanced Tuscan and regional cooking as well as a wide variety of specialty courses. He has traveled across Europe and incorporates Italian, French and Spanish influences in all his dishes. In his hometown of Florence, Italy, Fabio co-owned and managed several Florentine restaurants before bringing his Tuscan dishes and Florentine flair to Southern California in 2005.
Fabio’s career took a star turn after being cast in the fifth season of Bravo’s ”Top Chef,” where he earned the title of ”Fan Favorite.” This summer, Fabio and childhood friend and restaurant partner, Jacopo Falleni, will release the Café Firenze Cookbook, featuring 24 original recipes paired with specialty cocktails and luxurious wines, including the entire Santa Margherita range.
Great Taste Challenge
Three finalists competed at Chicago Gourmet. Dishes were tasted, judges deliberated, and Fred was announced the winner. Congratulations, Fred! View finalists
Fabio’s Favorite Wines
The Santa Margherita wines are known for their approachable flavor profiles that make them incredibly food friendly. Learn more
Fabio’s Pairing Recipes
These authentic, Italian recipes are the perfect pairing for Santa Margherita wines. Learn more
Top 10 Fun Facts About Fabio Viviani
- 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.
- Despite historical data, Fabio questions whether there has ever really been a man on the moon.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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”.
- Fabio accidentally set his grandmother on fire when he was 5 by foolishly playing with rubbing alcohol and fireworks — a bad combination.
- In 2005 while living in Italy, Fabio owned 6 restaurants, 3 dance clubs, a bed-and-breakfast and a farmhouse.
- While Fabio lived in Italy, he never missed watching a single game of his soccer team, Fiorentina, play at the stadium in Florence, Italy.
- Fabio likes to keep active and plays several sports, including: volleyball, karate, boxing, mixed martial arts, tennis and swimming.
- Fabio loves almost all food, but really hates two things: cilantro and peanut butter .