Top Chef’s Fabio Viviani Opens New Restaurant in Chicago – Exclusive
Good news, Italian-food-loving people of the Midwest: Fabio Viviani — the affable, adorable, and talented former Top Chef contestant — is coming to town! He just opened Siena Tavern, a hip new eatery in located in downtown Chicago.
Wetpaint Entertainment attended the grand opening of the new hotspot, where we chatted with Fabio about his new eatery and his favorite to win Top Chef: Seattle!
Wetpaint Entertainment: What made you come to Chicago?
Fabio Viviani: Why not? I mean, come on, just walk around, the city is fantastic, the people are amazing. The people, here, they mean business, but they have the Midwestern hospitality, so it feel like a good corner of Italy — I’m not talking about size, ’cause this is a huge city, but I’m talking about friendliness, I’m talking about the family-oriented people, I’m talking about a great food scene. You guys are amazing people!
Stephanie Izard, another former contestant — and Top Chef winner — lives here. Do you think you’re as good of a cook as she is?
I can only hope to be as good as she is. She is an amazing human being. She is a fantastic chef. Every time I’m in town, I have to eat some of her food.
Who’s your pick to win Top Chef: Seattle?
I hope the Filipino guy [Sheldon] wins. You know what, ’cause he’s humble, he can cook his ass off, and he’s a good guy. The world will be dominated by good people. If you’re a good person, you will succeed. This guy is has a good heart and his food is frigging delicious — I’ve never tried it but it looks delicious. (Laughs.)
What else are you working on these days?
We have more TV stuff coming up this summer. We have the Ciao Chow show on Yahoo! that’s stronger than ever. We did another frigging 100 episodes, you guys are going to see me ’til like 2045. I’ll be dead and the Ciao Chow will still be there. We have a book coming out in April called Fabio’s Italian Kitchen. It’s a memoir with family recipes on it [that are] untamed, untouched, and un-Americanized.