Archives for Chefs category

Chef Fabio Viviani Dishes on Bravo’s New Life After Top Chef Show

Posted on Sep 25, 2012 under Archives, Chefs, Interviews | No Comment
Chef Fabio Viviani

Chef Fabio Viviani

I’ve had the pleasure of cooking with and interviewing Chef Fabio Viviani numerous times over the past few years.  Chef Viviani is always charming and very very busy with new projects.  Viviani is everywhere – endorsing products, hosting Chow Ciao on Yahoo, cooking at his two restaurants, opening the new Siena Tavern in Chicago and conducting cooking demonstrations and interviews all over.  For those of you who haven’t caught any of the above, a brief background – originally from Florence, Viviani moved to the US, opened Cafe Firenze in Moorpark and appeared on reality TV show Top Chef on Bravo during its fifth season. He was one of the final four contestants when he was eliminated from the competition and was voted “Top Chef Fan Favorite” by viewers.  Viviani also appeared as a contestant on Top Chef: All Stars. He is also owner and chef at the Toluca Lake Firenze Osteria.

One of his latest projects is starring in Bravo Television’s new show, “Life After Top Chef,” (premiering Wednesday October 3 on Bravo) which follows Viviani and three other “Top Chef” alums – Richard Blais in Atlanta, Jen Carroll in Philadelphia, and Spike Mendelsohn in D.C.,   as they continue to heat things up, from opening their own restaurants to expanding franchises and establishing their brands.

I sat down with Fabio and caught up on all of his projects including “Life After Top Chef,” the upcoming opening of his new restaurant Siena Tavern and the “Top Chef” cruise in April 2013.


Interview with Chef Susan Feniger

Posted on Aug 13, 2012 under Archives, Chefs, Interviews | No Comment
Chef Susan Feniger

Chef Susan Feniger

Susan Feniger is one half of the popular “Too Hot Tamales” along with her longtime business partner Mary Sue Milliken. Almost 30 years ago, the two chefs opened CITY. Next came Border Grill in Santa Monica, California and Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, and then the Latin themed Ciudad in downtown Los Angeles and the Border Grill Truck. With the opening of Susan Feniger’s STREET in Hollywood in 2009, the celebrated chef launched her first solo venture.  Feniger’s dream of creating a unique restaurant inspired by the authentic flavors of street food was fulfilled. A veteran of 396 episodes of “Too Hot Tamales” and “Tamales World Tour” series, Feniger also co-authored five cookbooks with Milliken–City Cuisine, Mesa Mexicana, Cantina, Cooking with Too Hot Tamales, and Mexican Cooking for Dummies.   Her new book is Susan Feniger’s Street Food.  She has been on the board of the Scleroderma Research Foundation for 17 years and also serves on the board of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center.  I sat down with Chef Feniger to discuss her new book, STREET restaurant, and her philosophy on cooking.


Interview with Chef Bernhard Mairinger of BierBeisl, Beverly Hills

Posted on May 17, 2012 under Archives, Chefs, Interviews | No Comment
Chef Bernhard Maringer

Chef Bernhard Mairinger

At the age of 15, Austrian born Bernhard Mairinger began his formal culinary training as the Commis de Cuisine at Austria Classic Hotel Aichinger, a four star Resort & Spa where he worked during his tenure at the respected culinary academy Höhere Bundeslehranstalt für Tourismus Bad Ischl.

He continued to work his way up the ranks at various restaurants and resorts throughout Europe, including Hotel Alex in Zermatt Switzerland, Ashdown Park Hotel near London, and Hotel Zürserhof, one of Austria’s top ski resorts of the Arlberg. This seven year journey led to Mairinger’s entry into the Michelin star world, in his position as Chef Tournant for Da Gianni in Mannheim, Germany.

At 23, Mairinger was recruited by the Patina Restaurant Group to serve as Chef de Cuisine for Patina at the Hollywood Bowl, Nick & Stef’s Steakhouse and, most recently at Patina, the company’s Michelin star flagship restaurant, which was also rated four stars and named Best Restaurant of Los Angeles in 2010 by the Los Angeles Times.

At 27, Chef Mairinger brings Los Angeles its first taste of authentic Austrian fare with the opening of his restaurant BierBeisl, his highly anticipated solo debut to LA’s dining scene.

In February 2012 shortly after the restaurant opened Mairinger was named to Zagat Guides’ 30Under30 list honoring the rising stars of the Los Angeles culinary scene.  After a  tasting dinner of some delicious Austrian fare, I sat down with Chef Mairinger to chat about his love of traditional Austrian food, see pics at and the opening of BierBeisl.


Interview with Joe Bastianich

Posted on Apr 20, 2012 under Archives, Chefs, Interviews, Other interesting people | No Comment
Joe Bastianich, cover of his new book Restaurant Man

Joe Bastianich, cover of his new book Restaurant Man

I caught up with restaurateur, winemaker, and host of MasterChef US and MasterChef Italy Joe Bastianich on the new redesigned set of MasterChef in Culver City.

Bastianich, along with partners Mario Batali and his mother Lidia Bastianich – has established some of the country’s most celebrated restaurants in New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles including Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca, Lupa Osteria Romana, Esca, Casa Mono, Bar Jamόn, Otto Enoteca Pizzeria, Del Posto (New York),  B&B Ristorante and Carnevino (Las Vegas)  and Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza (Los Angeles). The beginning of 2011 marked Bastianich and Batali’s  first overseas venture with the opening of Osteria and Pizzeria Mozza in Singapore.

In summer 2010, Bastianich again partnered with his mother and Batali, as well as Italian retail pioneer Oscar Farinetti, to bring Eataly, the largest artisanal food and wine market in the world, to New York.

Additionally, Bastianich operates three wineries in Italy and one in Argentina.   He has authored several books on wine, including the award winning “Vino Italiano” with Sommelier David Lynch.

Bastianich is an accomplished author whose passion for the culinary arts has been recognized with professional awards from Bon Appétit magazine and the James Beard Foundation.

I talked with Bastianich about his love of food and wine, MasterChef US and Italy, and his upcoming memoir, “Restaurant Man,” scheduled for release on May 1, 2012.