Florence-born Fabio Viviani doesn’t think the cast of “Jersey Shore” stands a chance of survival when they head to his native country to shoot season 4. “They won’t make it out alive,” he jokes. “They’ll kill them all.
“Snooki doesn’t belong to this planet,” he says. “I think The Situation is gonna have a situation there. Maybe a couple of them are coming back, but most of them – they [sic] gonna chop them up and put them in a stew.”
The beloved “Top Chef” star, who was surprisingly booted last night for his dry “hamboorger,” says he’s a fan of “Jersey’s” tanned guidos and guidettes (“The Situation is killing it. He’s making in a day what I make in a month”), but admits their booze-fueled antics and Ed Hardy gear are an inaccurate representation of Italian culture. “Any time you have big gold neck chains and sucked up t-shirts with nipples out, that’s not Italy – it’s a parody,” he says. “‘Jersey Shore’ for Italy is like ‘Scary Movie’ for ‘Scream.’”
Energetic even at 6:45 AM, Viviani called from his bed in Los Angeles Thursday morning to discuss his elimination, the perks of being a Bertoli spokesperson, and why he’ll have Jimmy Fallon on his knees, begging for forgiveness. The highlights below:
On whether or not he regrets his “boorger”:
[Tom] Colicchio said it was a dry boorger, but I’m very happy. My boorger is on the menu in both [of my] restaurants. It’s doing fantastically. People love it. So I guess America needs to change the recipe for this boorger. It wasn’t traditional, but who am I to make a traditional boorger? I can’t even freakin’ spell it. I can’t even pronounce it!
On his tweet mania last night:
I was tweeting my face off, but I did no spoilers. Think about this one: I am among the lucky people to have twenty thousand people who are interested in hearing what I have to say. I am very grateful for the fans I have. I need to give them what they want. I had over four thousand messages last night, and I couldn’t thank everybody, so I did a thank you video, which is on Twitter. And I did a blog, which is, trust me, hands down the funniest blog you’ll ever read on fabioviviani.com.
On his continued outrage over Antonia’s mussels:
I’m a sore loser – totally. Those freakin’ mussels are French! Who the hell does that in Italy? Mussels with shaved fennel? Come on. Please. Really, I’m over this. That’s why when she said she won, we were all like, “Really? Are you freakin’ kidding?”
On his love of Jimmy Fallon:
Let me tell you something. I tried so hard to get booked on Jimmy Fallon’s show. I guess I’m not famous enough, so he didn’t get me. But then now, the only thing that allows me to be on his show is him coming on my show and kicking me out. That’s pretty messed up! [Laughs.] I am a huge fan of his. Whoever gets to mess with everybody on national television, I’m a fan of them. And he’s such a nice guy. No bad feelings. I just know that one day he’ll be down on his knee begging for forgiveness.
On his relationship with Anthony Bourdain:
Maybe sometimes you want to be a smart ass, but then you find someone who is more of a smart ass than you. Then you get put in your place. I love Bourdain. He’s a great guy, but he’s a smart ass. He’s a nutcase, and that’s why everybody loves him. But I didn’t get on that show to be made fun of, and that’s the only issue I had. He was making fun of my dish [early on], and I take that seriously. I consider Bourdain one of the biggest spokespersons for food worldwide. I wish one day that I will have half of the knowledge that Bourdain has right now. But the reality is, if you judge me as a chef, the last time he was a chef I was a teenager. That was twenty years ago. I’m 33, so give me a freakin’ break.
On the perks of being a Bertoli spokesperson:
I have several brands of olive oil in my kitchen, but for every day olive oil I use Bertoli. People say, “Oh, you represent Bertoli because they pay you.” I have better olive oil! I never said this is the best olive oil in the world, I only said it was the number one olive oil in the world for consistency and quality. When I’m home, the olive oil on my table is my grandfather’s olive oil. I’m not questioning if there are other olive oils that are more appealing. Every time I go to Napa, I try to cook with the local olive oil. The reason why I adore Bertoli is that regardless of where I am it’s always there. In this business people need consistency. They have one oil for every use. [As for perks] I’m a chef, it’s not about if somebody is getting free stuff, it’s about your beliefs. My advantage is to be associated with a worldwide brand.
On whether he’d ever do “Top Chef” again:
What am I gonna do, “Top Chef Freakin’ 13: Let’s Try It Again Guys?” We know that Bravo are nutcases, but I don’t know. If they did a spin-off, like “Top Chef: Italy,” I may go for host a position so I can say something about it and everyone else can shut up.
On what lies ahead:
I have two more books coming out, and I will start a wine blog online where I will taste wine from everywhere in the United States. I’ll teach people that everyone can be knowledgeable about wine. Plus, I’m starting to shoot a show soon. You may see me again, who knows? That’s not priority, though.