After being closed for nearly two weeks following Hurricane Sandy, Top Chef Kitchen opened up for its final week, and in the closing days, Italian whizzes Fabio Viviani and Antonia Lofaso were on the line.
The Dish caught up with the duo, both having never cooked for the public in New York City before. "I got kicked out twice from New York Top Chef, so hopefully this week nobody will kick me out," Fabio joked. And while Antonia was gracious to be behind the burners in the Big Apple, she still has a whole lot of California love (cue Tupac song...).
"I'm a big LA girl, and from the restaurants we have in LA to the restaurants here in New York, I think we rival," Antonia told us proudly. "I've worked for great chefs in Los Angeles, and I'm proud to be a part of the scene there."
Antonia went on to tell us that she's most excited that people will actually get to taste her food instead of just seeing it on TV, and Fabio's thrilled to be working alongside his pal -- bolstering the (funny) feud he's got going on with his bromance buddy Richard Blais. "The reason why I'm happy to work with Antonia and why I chose not to work with Richard is because this is not a competition, this is just fun," Fabio said. SEE PHOTOS OF THEIR DISHES BY CLICKING THE PHOTO BELOW
And given their dueling pasta dishes, whose will fare better: Antonia's ravioli or Fabio's gnocchi? Mr. Viviani is quite confident, snarking "please, come on" when questioned if his choice of pasta is better than Antonia's.
Oh, and while Fabio's in New York, when he's not cooking there's a good chance you can catch him on a street corner downing one of New York City's lowbrow delicacies. "I swear I eat at least 2-3 hot dogs a day when I'm here. In LA, you can get a lot of good things. A hot dog, I'll still pick New York," Fabio told The Dish.
Soon the doors of Top Chef Kitchen will be shuttered, and Thanksgiving being next week, we wanted to see what Antonia had planned and what she was looking forward to. "I'm traditional," she told us. "I want turkey and yams -- and my mom puts disgusting marshmallows on the yams. Every year I say I'm going to do something else, and then I just want her to make her yams with marshmallows. I'm extremely traditional. I've already been told this year that I'm not allowed to cook anything for Thanksgiving."
TCK is open through this weekend -- see if you can snag a last-minute reservation at TopChefKitchenNYC.com!