Friday: Top Chef’s Fabio Viviani & Jacopo Falleni

Oct 28, 2010 2,474 Comments

Fabio Viviani

Owner/Executive Chef – Café Firenze
Top Chef Contestent

Fabio Viviani, is the owner of Café Firenze in Moorpark, California and Firenze Osteria in Toluca Lake, California. He also was Top Chef Season 5 Fan Favorite, was the stand-out chef on Top Chef, Season 5, which was just nominated three times for the 2009 Emmys.

Fabio’s first cookbook, Café Firenze Cookbook, Mangia e Bevi, penned with business partner and best pal since the age of 12, Jacopo Falleni has been a huge hit with rave reviews.

Fabio began his culinary career at the early age of twelve. Always asking for a chance to cook, he was given the opportunity two years later at fourteen when one busy night the chef cut himself badly and Fabio had the chance to prove himself. He has never looked back

Fabio attended Italy’s Instituto Professionale per I Servizi Alberghieri in Florence, focusing on advanced Tuscan and regional cooking as well as a wide variety of specialization courses. He spent months, sometimes working for free, at regional restaurants and abroad to learn the secrets of master chefs. He describes his style of cooking as “Italian Comfort-styled foods”.

Bringing his talent back to his hometown of Florence, Fabio co-owned and managed several high-volume Florentine restaurants. There Fabio won awards for his dry aged steaks at the Sagra Della Bistecca Awards in Cortona and his cheese and wine selections at the 2004 Enofood Awards.

Fabio has organized food events for fashion shows by Roberto Cavalli, Alessandrini, Gucci, and others and acts as a consultant to several Florentine restaurants in the promotion of Tuscan fusion cuisine. He is currently spokesperson for a number of high-profile products; Bertolli Olive Oil, San Pellegrino and Santa Margherita Wines. Fabio is now working on a signature line of food products, GoGourmet, specializing in gourmet foods direct to your table. Fabio has also been personal chef for American television icon, William Shatner.

As owner and Executive Chef of Café Firenze, in Moorpark, California and Firenze Osteria in Toluca Lake, California, Chef Viviani brings his Tuscan dishes and Florentine flair to Southern California. His book, Café Firenze, Mangia e Bevi, is now available in major bookstores with another ‘My Son is On Google, Recipes & Memories from an Italian Mom’ due out fall, 2012.

Outside the kitchen, Fabio enjoys soccer, fishing, and organic gardening.

Jacopo Falleni


Owner/General Manager, Firenze Osteria & Café Firenze & Award-winning Mixologist

Applauded as an artist in the hospitality industry, Jacopo Falleni is well steeped in the facets of his craft. Born in Florence, Italy, he excelled in an intensive curriculum of Hotel and Restaurant Management, graduating with high honors from the Instituto Professionale per I Servizi Alberghieri.

Following graduation, Jacopo continued to live in Tuscany, honing his skills as a manager of some of the most prestigious night clubs in Florence. Jacopo then graduated AIBES, Association of Italian Bartenders and was later invited to become an instructor at that institution.
Competitive in nature, Jacopo was a frequent winner of the AIBES Italian Bartending Contest. He received national acclaim as a mixologist and was awarded many Top 50 Choice Awards for his stunning and innovative garnishes. A sampling of his work was featured in a popular book of garnishes, released in 2004.

Never one to settle, and addicted to challenge, Jacopo set his sights on the U.S. “I believe that travel is necessary to acquire culture and knowledge. That is why I jumped on the boat to the United States,” states Falleni.

His first experience outside of his home country started in New York City, where he opened Il Gelatone, the first homemade Italian Gelato Shop in Manhattan. The store became an overnight success and began distributing to New York’s finest groceries and restaurants, including Dean and Deluca.

Heading to the west coast in 2004, Jacopo became the General Manager of Café Fiore in Ventura, California. Three years later, along with business partner and best friend Fabio Viviani, Jacopo created Café Firenze which became a local dining sensation and attracted national exposure within its first year of business.

Today, he is part owner and managing partner of Firenze Osteria, Toluca Lake, California and Café Firenze, Moorpark, California overseeing all restaurant and bar operations. He is constantly polishing the skills of his staff, infusing them with attitudes of warmth, dignity and grace.

Jacopo is the co-author of the recently published cookbook, The Café Firenze Cookbook: Mangia e Bevi, Food and Drink recipes from the Tuscan Sons, released 2009 to rave reviews.

Always striving to create the ultimate dining experience, Falleni is drawing from his award winning talent as a mixologist to create his new book on Molecular Mixology, due out soon. Jacopo is also in negotiations for a new mixology television show scheduled for late spring, 2011.

Reaching beyond his career, Jacopo’s energy extends to soccer, snowboarding, surfing and an ever deepening passion for horseback riding. Jacopo welcomes new experiences with enthusiasm; he truly embodies his life motto, “In order to get a good hug, you have to give the first one”.

The Brighter Side of the 805
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