Catching up with Antonia Lofaso + Fabio Viviani at Top Chef Kitchen by Bravo

Chefs Antonia Lofaso and Fabio Viviani mug for the camera before a busy dinner service at Top Chef Kitchen in New York.

This week at Top Chef Kitchen by Bravo in New York City, Top Chef alums Antonia Lofaso and Fabio Viviani are the featured chefs at the one-of-a-kind, four-course dining experience from Bravo’s Emmy®- and James Beard Award-winning television series, Top Chef. Viviani has two restaurants in Los Angeles, is opening a new restaurant in Chicago, and is scouting a location for another in Miami. When he’s not in one of his restaurants, he is filming his show Chow Ciao! on Yahoo! Lofaso owns Black Market in Studio City, California, and is opening a second as-yet-unnamed restaurant in March 2013 (although Viviani claims they do know the name and it is one he suggested). We caught up with them pre-service in Top Chef Kitchen, as Chef Lofaso was making ravioli for the evening’s dinner. 

Were you intimidated to cook for New York foodies?

FV: I’ve done a lot of private parties in New York, but I never cooked for a restaurant. I got kicked off Top Chef twice in New York, both seasons, so New York doesn’t faze me anymore.

Fabio, what was it like working with Antonia?

FV: We were on a season of Top Chef together, so I know she can be very difficult at times.

AL: That’s when I turn my head [away from him].

FV: I love her to pieces.

Were you excited to work with someone you were a little familiar with?

AL: With Fabio? For this? Yes! So many times when we do these events, it can feel like we’re being more competitive *after* the actual competition versus during. After [Top Chef], it’s more like, ‘Oh my god! What is everyone doing? Is my food better?’ Fabio is just so easy. Not easy in a sleeps-with-a-lot-of-women sort of a way.

FV: What?!

AL: I called you easy. [Pause] Actually, he may be easy in both senses of the word.

FV: I’m easy — easy to please.

AL: Yes, that’s for sure. He’s just sweet, and he’s all about good food, There’s no ‘I’m so much better than you’ air.

FV: It’s not about bragging rights. It’s about having fun! And making good food today! Even though my food is better.

You have created separate Top Chef Kitchen menus, but diners can mix and match. Was there a discussion ahead of time about how they would meld?

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A Visit to Top Chef Kitchen by Bravo with Chefs Richard Blais + Grayson Schmitz

On Saturday night, we were pleased to get a peek inside Top Chef Kitchen by Bravo, an impressive four-course dining experience from Bravo’s Emmy®- and James Beard Award-winning television series, Top Chef. Open for a limited time, Top Chef Kitchen hosted Richard Blais (The Spence) and Grayson Schmitz last weekDue to Hurricane Sandy, Top Chef Kitchen was closed for more than a week, but reopened this past Saturday, and we were lucky enough to pop in.

Peep some pictures below from our visit, and check back later for an exclusive interview with Fabio Viviani (Cafe Firenze and Firenze Osteria) and Antonia Lofaso (Black Market Liquor Bar), who are currently behind the burner at Top Chef Kitchen through Sunday.

On Our Plate: Free Mobile-Friendly Sites for Restaurants; Win Dinner at Bravo’s Top Chef Kitchen; 2013 Michelin New York Stars; Silicon Valley Restaurant Week

Silicon Valley Restaurant Week has arrived! Dine for less through 10/24.

Happenings on and around OpenTable…

* We’re giving away a trip to NYC and dinner for two on October 30, 2012, at Bravo’s Top Chef Kitchen. Enter with a tweet to eat at New York City’s hottest restaurant!

* Speaking of giving away, we’re giving away mobile websites to our restaurant customers. Learn more.

* You can also win dinner for you and 9 friends plus a swanky overnight hotel stay, courtesy of PureWow, OpenTable + SniqueAway. Enter for a chance to win!

* The Michelin Stars for 2013 are out in New York. Learn which of the Big Apple’s restaurants have earned this big honor!

* Trending on OpenTable restaurant reviews? Butternut squash!

* Did you send the Tweet of the Week? Click thru to find out.

* The fifth Chicago’s In Good Taste is hereHelp find a cure for breast cancer by dining out through October 31.

* San Francisco’s Street Smart 4 Kids has returnedDine out and donate to help the city’s at-risk and homeless youth.

* Seattle Restaurant Week is in full swingBook now for $15 lunches and $28 dinners October 14-18 and 21-25.

 * Silicon Valley Restaurant Week starts today! Reserve to enjoy special three-course, prix-fixe dinners, October 17-24.

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