Most chefs would be content to have one kitchen at home—not Fabio Viviani.
In the latest episode of Bravotv.com's digital series In My Kitchen, the Top Chef Season 5 Fan Favorite is opening up his California home to show off his personal kitchen, his professional cooking lab—and the amazing, state-of-the-art culinary arena of his new house. (He's also got a home in Chicago, where he splits his time.)
Over the years, the New York Times bestselling author has used these spaces to launch his empire: a wine line, lifestyle magazine, and restaurants like Mercato in Chicago and San Diego, Siena Tavern in Chicago and Miami, and Cafe Firenze in Moorpark, Calif. And as his career has grown, so have his aspirations to make his kitchens bigger and better. He's currently in the process of moving to a new home that will feature a tricked out space complete with a six-burner stove ("It's got jet-engine power!" he says), spacious bar, and Italian granite countertops. "I've been working on this house for over a year," he adds. "It's an entertainment kitchen and my wife picked out [almost] everything."
But there are certain elements of his kitchens that are uniquely Fabio: an espresso machine, stainless steel mixing bowls, and sturdy cookware. "I bang the crap out of it," he says of his pots. Perhaps none of those tools are as essential as a wooden spoon, which he says his grandmother always used to cook—and to discipline.
"I used to get spanked with it," he says. "My grandma is like a freakin' Marine sniper. Thirty-feet away—she could hit me with a wooden spoon. I'd always get hit in the head. I'm just an old-school guy in a modern world."
Go inside other Top Chef Cheftestant's kitchens in the playlist below.