If you watched season five of "Top Chef" or "Top Chef: All Stars," you're familiar with all-things-Italian Fabio Viviani. He's been busy since getting booted from "All Stars" for his interpretation of a burger: endorsing products such as Bertolli olive oil, Bialetti cookwear, San Pellegrino water and Santa Margherita wines; consulting on the food operations of a casino in Wisconsin; and writing a book with his mom. Oh, and earlier this month, going head-to-head against late-night TV host Jimmy Fallon and reprising the burger that got him kicked off "All Stars."
He was in town last Saturday representing Santa Margherita Wines and filming a segment on CBS's "The Early Show" and found time to sit down for brunch at Maialino with Ad Age 's Rupal Parekh and me to talk about his endorsement-deal philosophy, the chef with whom he'd most like to work and why his mother thinks Google is a TV network. Among the other things Fabio told us (though not on camera): He occasionally tweets to his 35,000 followers from the toilet (though never during sex -- he's Italian, he explained, he needs both hands) and he still really cannot pronounce the word "burger." ("Boorger," he cooed, in thick Italian accent.)