Chef/Culinary Personality/Restaurateur/Cookbook Author
Chef Fabio Viviani has harbored a passion for food since his childhood growing up in Florence, Italy. Between training in Italian and Mediterranean cuisine at the top hospitality schools and working with culinary luminaries such as Alessandro Panzani and Saverio Carmagini, Viviani also owned and operated several concepts by the time he was 27, including two nightclubs and five restaurants in Florence. Though having already established himself as a well-respected businessman in Italy, he was ready for a change. In 2005, Viviani moved to California, where he opened his first American-based restaurant, Café Firenze, in Moorpark, just north of Los Angeles.
Teaming up with one of Chicago’s restaurant consulting groups, Dineamic, Viviani opened Siena Tavern in Chicago in 2013, and the following year he opened Mercato by Fabio Viviani, a quick-service Italian concept with branches in Chicago and San Diego. In 2015, Viviani continued to make a name for himself in Chicago by opening Bar Siena and Prime & Provisions. In 2016, he expanded to the Delta terminal at Los Angeles International Airport with the opening of Osteria by Fabio Viviani, which won USA Today’s Reader’s Choice Award for “Best Airport Sit Down Dining” in 2018. Simultaneously, he opened additional Mercato by Fabio locations in Tempe, Arizona; Phoenix; Cleveland; and Benton Harbor, Michigan. In 2017, Fabio opened the Press Room in Detroit hot on the heels of his February opening of Portico by Fabio Viviani in New York’s del Lago Resort & Casino.
Looking ahead to 2018, Viviani plans to open restaurants in Tampa, Florida; Detroit; Washington D.C.; and Oklahoma City. He also plans to open high-end food courts in Indiana, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Missouri before the end of the year.
Best known for his television debut on Bravo’s hit series Top Chef — earning the “Fan Favorite” title — his on-screen appearances have propelled him to become one of the top culinary names in the country.
He is a recurring guest on national television shows such as Good Morning America, The Rachael Ray Show, The Chew, and countless Food Network shows, including Cutthroat Kitchen: All-Star Tournament, which he won. In February 2017, he released Fabio’s Kitchen, a 52-episode cooking show hosted on YouTube, followed by a second season that was launched in May 2018.
Off-screen, Viviani is a regular headliner at global food events and, aside from his restaurant businesses, also owns a Maine-based seafood delivery service called Lobster by Fabio and a winery in Sonoma that produces the five wine varietals featured in the Fabio Viviani Wine Collection.
In addition to having his own lines of cookware and culinary gadgets, he has been a proud spokesman for international brands for the last decade, including Arnold Premium Breads (2014–2017), Legends of Europe (2015–2016), Bialetti Cookware (2011–2017), Bertolli Olive Oils (2012–2015), and Johnsonville Sausage (2016–2017). He has authored four successful cookbooks: Café Firenze Cookbook, The New York Times Best-Seller Fabio’s Italian Kitchen, Fabio’s American Home Kitchen, and most recently Fabio’s 30-Minute Italian, released in May 2017.
Among Viviani’s other passions, he has a knack for business and entrepreneurship. He combined his love of food and technology when he collaborated with Chicago-based Sapphire Apps to release Food Porn Emoji by Chef Fabio Viviani, the first HD food emoji keyboard on the app market. In May 2018, he launched DOPPLE, an app through which people can record video answers to questions from their followers.
His varied accomplishments have impressed many, resulting in his induction into the Chicago Culinary Museum and Chefs Hall of Fame as 2017 Chef of the Year on March 8, 2017.
Following Viviani’s initiation, the mayor of Chicago also declared March 8, 2017, to be Chef Fabio Viviani Day in Chicago, encouraging Chicagoans to recognize his achievements and contributions not only to his home city but also to the nation’s culinary scene.