Hailing from Florence, Chef Fabio Viviani. At age 11, he worked nights at a local bakery (since he was too young to officially join the staff) and during his teenage years, he held several positions in the restaurant industry, even serving under the mentorship of Simone Mugnaini, an iconic figure in the Italian restaurant industry.
Between his training in Italian and Mediterranean cuisine at IPSSAR Saffi and working with culinary luminaries such as Alessandro Panzani and Saverio Carmagini, Viviani owned and operated five restaurants in Florence, a farmhouse, and two nightclubs by the time he was 27. Although a well-respected businessman in Italy, he was ready for a change and in 2005, Viviani moved to Ventura County, CA, where he opened Café Firenze in Moorpark, CA.
He has since appeared on Bravo’s Top Chef, where he was voted fan favourite in Season 5; and continues to make guest appearances in the media, releasing numerous cookbooks and smartphone apps to fully engage with the market. Fast forward to 2017, and Fabio has just launched his sixteenth restaurant, Portico at the Del Lago Resort and Casino at Waterloo, NY.
We know that Americans already love pasta and pizza, but what inspires you about Artisan Italian food that you feel makes the Bellavita Expo part of the NRA show worth a visit? And what excited you about being involved?
The whole Italian culture—the way we approach food, the way we think about food, the way we eat food, the time we spend at the table, and the conversation we have in the kitchen—is not just about the food itself. It’s about the actual experience. And you’ll definitely get that by visiting the Expo. I’m excited to share this part of Italian culture with everyone at the expo.
What do you feel is next for Italian cuisine and what top 10 trends should we expect in food for the next year? What recipes do you recommend for generation Y?
I’m not a trend guy. I don’t create trends, which by definition eventually fade away at some point. The food I do is there to stay, and it has been there for centuries. It makes it a perfect business opportunity because people continually like it. People like good food with culture, with passion, with history—and Italian food is right up there! For generation Y, I recommend trying to make their own fresh pasta. It’s easy, it’s quick—it’s a game-changer.
Fabio Vivani’s Linguine alle Vongole (Clam Linguine)
Homemade pasta dough rolled and cut into ½ inch ribbons
4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 cup fish broth or clam juice
2 lbs fresh or small clams in shells
5 cloves of Garlic crushed
1 tbsp of butter
½ cup fresh parsley chopped
10 small leaf of basil
1 cup dry white wine
In 3-quart saucepan cook with 2 tbsp of olive oil, garlic on medium fire, Add the wine, deglaze and completely reduce
Add the broth and the clams and bring the fire on medium/low
Add the butter and boil gently, uncovered, for about 20 minutes or until sauce is desired consistency, stirring occasionally.
Boil the linguini in salted water for only 2 minutes, drain them and add them to the pasta sauce, bring fire on high
Heat through, till the sauce is reduced and the pasta is coated
Drizzle with the rest of the olive oil and top with fresh chopped parsley.