Monday, March 04, 2013

Gnocchi-Making With Fabio Viviani

Fabio Viviani gives good gnocchi.
Probably the only thing that could get me out and at Casa Tua at 9am the morning after the Burger Bash was the boisterous Italian chef Fabio Viviani. Along with a dozen other groggy food writers I settled in at the rustic communal table framing the open kitchen at Casa Tua to catch the former Top Chef star (and now Bertolli endorser) share some culinary wisdom and make gnochhi.
The finished product: pillowy dumplings.
First, there was lots of Italiano chit-chat: "I don't want to be an Iron Chef, I want to be your Italian grandmother," which sums up his approach to celebrity chef stardom and his choice to push homestyle cooking via Bertolli and his restaurants rather than shoot for more TV fame.
Then, some cooking tips. The first rule of gnocchi-making: "Buy the cheapest, nastiest potatoes you can find." Second, let's the dough sit overnight. "You need to be patient. Making gnocchi is like foreplay."
And he's still planning on opening a Miami spot, though he wouldn't divulge where or when. "It will be like my Chicago place Sienna Tavern but we're going to Miami Vice it," he explained.
And an added bonus: olive-oil poached sea bass with pesto and mango.

Casa Tua -- keeping it classy.

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