5 Things We Learned About: Chef Fabio Viviani

By Carissa Chesanek  |  February 11, 2014

Italian chef, restaurateur and Bravo’s Top Chef star Fabio Viviani plans to open the newest outpost of his Chicago-based Siena Tavern in Miami this summer. We got a chance to sit down with the chef as he gears up for Designed for a Cure charity event February 13, to hear all about his new spot (which will be traditional Italian Trattoria meets "cool" Miami restaurant) while getting an earful on much more. Here are five things we learned about the celebrity chef.

1. He's doesn't mess around with his gnocchi. 

Don't even think about challenging him on his pasta-making skills. "I am a humble guy, but I have the best gnocchi on the planet. I am known for my meatballs and coccoli: a savory fried dough with prosciutto and a creamy Italian cheese." 

2. He's got a motto that sticks.

The best advice he was ever given: "do it right or do it twice."

3. He was a 10-year-old watermelon salesman.

"My favorite summer job as a kid was picking watermelon in a field and then loading them onto a truck. When the truck was full, I would drive it to the farmers house, which was less than a mile away, and sell them for 200 lira each (about 15 cents)."

4. He's not starstruck. 

When he met the pope with his Nonno as a kid, he told him: “nice hat dude."

5. He's doesn't dumb down to cute cats and tropical paradises for his screen saver.

Instead, he keeps motivated with a scrolling banner that says, “You’re not building a legacy by reading this.”