Fabio Knows Best

January 20, 2011


Last night was restaurant wars on “Top Chef All-Stars,” and once again Fabio was an amazing front-of-house man. He’s so charismatic! I was just informed that he has a restaurant in North Hollywood– Osteria Firenze. Much closer than Moorpark. Pack your knives– er, bags– Lauren, we’re going to NoHo!

I’m not even going to write about last night’s episode, because Lauren sent me FABIO’S RECAP. Get the scoop from the man himself! (He’s funny. Of course.)

Instead, I’m going to give you another bit of Fabio goodness. Just before the holidays, a PR rep sent me a list of easy holiday recipes from Fabio and Bertolli Olive Oil. So here they are. Better late than never! It’s always a holiday with Bertolli! (I just made that up… maybe I’m in the wrong field.) (I won’t quit my day job.)



by Chef Fabio Viviani

8 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

16 baby red potatoes

1 cup Bertolli® Classico™ Olive Oil

1 cup chopped fresh rosemary

1 cup chopped fresh sage leaves

8 ounces ground cooked sausage*

8 ounces ricotta cheese

4 ounces Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 475º.

Boil potatoes for 5 minutes. Cut in half and carve a hole in the flesh to hold filling. In a bowl, toss potatoes with 1 cup Bertolli Classico Olive Oil and herbs. Mix sausage and ricotta. Season, if desired, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stuff mixture into potatoes. Bake for 6 minutes. Top with Parmesan.

NOTE: If you can’t find cooked sausage, heat 2 Tbsp. Bertolli Classico Olive Oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook raw sausage until no longer pink.


by Chef Fabio Viviani

4 servings

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

4 boneless loin lamb chops

8 very thin slices prosciutto (about 1/2 lb.)

12 sage leaves

1 Tbsp. Bertolli® Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil

5 ounces microgreens or baby salad greens

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Preheat oven to 350°. Season chops, if desired, with salt and pepper.

Arrange 2 slices prosciutto on flat surface. Top with 3 sage, then wrap around 1 chop; repeat with remaining chops. Heat Bertolli® Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat and cook chops, turning once, 5 minutes or until prosciutto browns.

Arrange chops in 9-inch baking dish and bake 10 minutes or until chops are desired doneness.

Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients in large serving bowl. Just before serving, drizzle with additional Olive Oil.


by Chef Fabio Viviani

12 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 Hour, 10 minutes

4 eggs

1-3/4 cups sugar, divided

1/4 cup milk

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1-1/4 cups Bertolli® Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil, divided

2 containers (6 oz. ea.) fresh blueberries

Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 Tbsp.)

1 tsp. grated lemon peel

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 13- x 9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Beat eggs with 1-1/4 cups sugar in medium bowl with electric mixer on medium-high speed until eggs are pale and thick, about 5 minutes. Slowly beat in milk. Slowly add flour blended with baking powder and mix just until blended. Add 1 cup Bertolli® Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil and beat just until blended. Turn into prepared pan.

Bake in center of oven 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely.

Meanwhile, for blueberry sauce, combine blueberries, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, remaining 1/4 cup Bertolli® Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil and lemon juice in 2-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until blueberries start to burst. Remove from heat; stir in lemon peel. Let cool to room temperature. Serve blueberry sauce with cake.

All recipes have been tested and are courtesy of Fabio Viviani, owner and Executive Chef of Firenze Osteria Italian Restaurant and Martini Bar.


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Please Sir, May I Have Some More?: TOP CHEF ALL-STARS

October 28, 2010

Sugar and spice...

I didn’t even know that “Top Chef All-Stars” was a thing until I saw a commercial for it during “Millionaire Matchmaker.” I thought, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let Fabio be a part of this!

It’s a no-brainer. He’s so charismatic.

And my thought/prayers were answered, because Fabio is totally in the cast! As are Jamie and Carla from his season (I loved that season!), and Tiffany from last season (she was eliminated too soon!). And of course Angelo and Marcel will be the villains.

The other seasons– I don’t know as much about. But I’m excited to see some of my favorites. I don’t know who to root for!

I can’t wait to hear more Fabio-isms. “Bunky bed!” “This is Top Chef, not top (whatever)!” And some other third thing.


TOP CHEF Started Without Me/Fabio Viviani is a Tasty TV Morsel

August 20, 2009
Fabio (right) and his Euro-BFF Stefan.

Finale-mohawked Fabio (right) and his Euro-BFF Stefan.

Despite the constant commercials on Bravo, somehow I didn’t realize that the new season of “Top Chef” was premiering last night. “Top Chef” is one of those shows that I don’t watch every season, and usually don’t watch from the beginning of a season. Last time around I hopped on the bandwagon about halfway through, and stayed because I LOVED Fabio.

Who can forget his classic lines and phrases, such as “bunky bed” and “This is Top Chef, not Top Pussy”? (And, later, “This is Top Chef, not Top Scallop.”) (And Fabio was from Italy, so he said “poosy” and “scallope.”)

Also, (married) Fabio had a special man-love bond with the shows only other European contestant, Stefan. Fabio was the nicest guy on the block and Stefan had the vibe of an evil super-villain, but somehow they got along like two peas in a bunky bed.

Previous-Roomie (Lauren) and I were distraught when our beloved Fabio was kicked off in the Top 4 episode. Luckily the smart producers brought him back for the finale as a judge. (As I said before, he’s totally invited to join me on my “Rejects of Reality” TV show.)

Fabio’s restaurant, Cafe Firenze, is not too terribly far from here. Someday I hope to make a pilgrimage to the Fabio Mecca, just to bask in the light of his greatness (and eat delicious Italian food).

Maybe for my next birthday (oh yeah, by the way– today is my birthday!).

Back to the matter at hand… I still don’t know if I’m going to watch this season. (Big news, I know.) Let me know how it is, and maybe I’ll jump in later (As “More to Love” Luke would say to Wacky Danielle, “Dive into that, like you’d dive into a swimming pool.”)


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