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In Bed With Fabio Viviani of Top Chef

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A really fun part of my job as New Times blogger is interviewing chefs and personalities in the food business. I've found that most people in this industry are witty and charming, so I was looking forward to my phone call with Top Chef All-Stars contestant and Restauranteur Fabio Viviani. Since Fabio's in California, we arranged to talk at noon, Miami time. I called him with my list of prepared questions, which were promptly tossed over my 16th floor balcony.

Fabio Viviani: "I'm under the covers, I'm in bed right now. I think I broke my toe. Yesterday I was running and I cracked my left toe. Do you want to hear about my day yesterday? I had two meetings -- I'm about to do web shows about wine and about food. So I drive 60 miles to LA, drive back and do two classes at the restaurant. At 6:30 I'm at the other restaurant to do three chefs tables. I go home, take a shower and then I'm writing a blog about why I hate cilantro. I'm still in bed, I'm in bed with you right now."

Right about now I feel like I should be paying him or some long distance phone carrier from Senegal $4.95 per minute (long-distance rates apply).

Trying to steer him back on the subject of food, I ask Fabio what's on his plate most days, while secretly trying to get visions of what Fabio is wearing out of my head.

"Fresh pasta. I try to eat vegetables, I'm bored out of my ass. Italians don't eat vegetables."

I interject, since in my past there have been several Italian boyfriends and many Sunday dinners where Mama gave me the "mal ochio" because I was taking her 32 year old baby away from her. "Fabio," I say, "I know at every Italian table there's at least escarole. I know because I've dated Italians".

"You? You date Italians? I know you're not supposed to ask a woman her age, but aren't you old enough to not make that mistake again?"

Okay, maybe I shouldn't date Italians, but fool around....a little...every now and again? Especially with ones that can cook? Okay...back on track, I ask Fabio about any new endeavors. Okay, I make a plea for him to open a restaurant in Miami. Because the commute back and forth to LA is so long and these long-distance things never really work out.

"I like Miami. I'll be at the South Beach Food & Wine Festival, doing demonstrations with Bertolli Olive Oil. If you are going to be there, call me. You can do another interview or we can just have a glass of wine together".

Is that a date? Did Fabio ask me out on a date? Okay, back on track..must act professional. I ask Fabio what he's currently working on.

"Since I'm the man I just put out an e-book on Amazon.com. It's called Did I Really Make Breakfast? I don't eat breakfast, but if we were lovers, I would cook breakfast for you. I do eat breakfast, sometimes. I like chorizo, pancakes are too girly for me."

Just as I was thinking how much I love chorizo....I realize that I've been on the phone for over an hour. I have appointments to keep, deadlines to meet. Back to reality, I wrap up the hot chat line session phone interview. I've got a good story and who knows? Maybe I'll just bump into Fabio at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival...after coincidentally spending the entire morning at the salon, wearing my new mini-dress and black boots....Viva Italia!

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