Chef Fabio Viviani has possessed a passion for food since his childhood growing up in Florence, Italy. At age 11, Viviani worked nights at a local bakery (since he was too young to officially join the staff) and, during his teenage years, held several positions in the restaurant industry, even serving under the mentorship of Simone Mugnaini, an iconic figure in the Italian restaurant industry. Between his training in Italian and Mediterranean cuisine at IPSSAR Saffi and working with culinary luminaries such as Simone Mugnaini, Alessandro Panzani and Saverio Carmagini, Viviani owned and operated five restaurants in Florence, a Farm House and two nightclubs by the time he was 27. Although a well-respected businessman in Italy, he was ready for a change and moved to Ventura County, CA where he opened Café Firenze in Moorpark.
Teaming up with one of Chicago’s most innovative restaurant consulting groups, Dine|Amic, Viviani went on to open Siena Tavern in Chicago in 2013 where it received accolades from Michigan Avenue and Chicago Tribune, to name a few. 2014 saw the debut of Mercato by Fabio Viviani, a quick service Italian concept in Chicago and the launch of Fabio Viviani Wine Collection. Additionally, Viviani opened his new steak restaurant, Prime and Provisions, as well as Bar Siena, both in Chicago in 2015. In January 2016, Fabio also opened Osteria by Fabio Viviani at LAX’s Delta Terminal.
Perhaps best known for his television debut on Bravo’s hit reality series “Top Chef” – earning the “Fan Favorite” title – his on-screen appearances have propelled him to become one of the fastest growing household names in the country. In addition to competing in Bravo’s “Top Chef All Stars” and starring in the spinoff, “Life After Top Chef,” Viviani has appeared is a recurring guest on television shows such as Good Morning America, The Rachael Ray Show, The Talk, The Chew, Ellen, Good Day LA, and Access Hollywood.
He has hosted regular spots on QVC channel with various kitchen appliances and products and was also the host of the Telly and Webby award-winning web series Chow Ciao! on Yahoo!, one of the top 10 lifestyle and food shows on the internet.
Off screen, Viviani is a regular headliner at global food events and festivals, has his own line of ceramic cookware, Co-Branded Signature Series Aeternum Evolution and is a proud endorser of beloved brands such as Bialetti Cookware and Bauli authentic Italian baked goods. He has authored three successful cookbooks: Café Firenze Cookbook, New York Times Best-Seller Fabio’s Italian Kitchen and Fabio’s American Home Kitchen, released in the fall of 2014. Recently, Viviani started the Know-How Leadership Academy, where he shares tips and advice to young entrepreneurs and also connects with them through his own digital magazine, Know-How Magazine.
The impressive career of Chef Canonne began with both culinary and pastry apprenticeships; one of which was under the legendary pastry chef Gaston Lenôtre, in Paris. After several years spent with Mr. Lenôtre, his path brought him to work at the following world-renowned establishments: The Côte Saint Jacques in Joigny, Burgundy, France; the Beau Rivage Palace in Geneva, Switzerland; the Hotel Euler in Basel, Switzerland; the Palais de L’Elysée for French President François Mitterrand in Paris, France; and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Chicago, Illinois. These experiences led Chef Canonne thereafter to teach and consult in numerous of the most prominent properties and companies worldwide, such as the Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts companies, the Raffles Hotel in Singapore; and the Atlantis Hotel in the Bahamas.
In 1995, Sébastien Canonne, along with Jacquy Pfeiffer, founded The French Pastry School where they and their whole team are devoted to imparting excellence. Today, The French Pastry School is considered one of the leading pastry institutions in the world. Sébastien Canonne is presently the Academic Dean for Faculty & Programs.
Born 3/7/1947 in St. Pierre la Riviere (Normandy) France into an agricultural family. Parents raised dairy cattle, and apples for Cider and Calvados. First began working in kitchens in 1966. Earned his C.A.P. de Cuisine in 1968 and Brevet Professional de Cuisine in 1974. Worked at Hotel Royal Monceau, Lucas Carton, and Maxim’s in Paris, before going to Madrid, Spain to assist in opening Maxim’s in Madrid. Also worked in London.
Emmigrated to USA in May of 1974 to work at Le Titi de Paris in Palatine. Met his future wife Judith and purchased the restaurant in January 1978. Moved the restaurant to Dundee Road in Arlington Heights in November 1987. In July 2004, sold Le Titi to a key employee and his wife. During his time as chef/proprietor of Le Titi, Pierre garnered many awards and accolades (Ivy Award, DiRoNA, Mobil Four Diamond Award).
After retiring from the restaurant business, Pierre began teaching as an adjunct culinary instructor at Kendall College, and still enjoys teaching and mentoring students and chefs in the culinary field. Pierre has two children, and three grandchildren. He is a beekeeper, keeps a koi pond, gardens organically, and loves bicycling, alpine skiing and motorcycling.
Over the past 25 years, Jim Kallas has held a number of management positions within Eurest on both region and division levels. Currently as Central Division President, Jim’s sphere of responsibility includes Café and Staff dining rooms for many of the Fortune 500 companies of America with operations reaching several states across the United States. He manages over 450 staff dining rooms with revenues in excess of $400 million.
Jim began his career in foodservice in the Chicago area and the eight years prior to his career with Compass Group he was involved in the resort and restaurant industry on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina.
Kallas is a proud member of the Washburne Culinary Institute Advisory Board and Vice Chairman of the Illinois Restaurant Association. His philanthropic work centers on the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Aspire of Illinois organization as a member of the board. He is also a member of the Society for Hospitality and Foodservice Management, Union League Club, Les Amis d’Escoffier and Disciples Escoffier International USA.
Charles Mok is an entrepreneur and member of the American Academy of Chefs the Honor Society of The American Culinary Federation. Charles learned the fundamentals of fine food preparation and presentation at the Washburn Chef Training School in Chicago. He performed his art while serving as the executive chef of exclusive clubs and luxury restaurants across Chicago. Charles reputation for excellence led him to author two books, Practical Hors D’oeuvres and Canopy Art, and also Salad and Dessert Art. These books were among the first of their type designed to help service personnel understand standardized presentation and production for upscale, high volume foodservice operations.
In early 1970 Charles and his business partner (armed with $1000.) started Restauranic, an upscale appetizer and specialty food manufacturing company which served major hotels, clubs and caterers throughout the United States, Canada, the UK and parts of Asia. This endeavor became so successful, it was acquired by a Fortune 500 company in 1995. While most would retire after achieving such success, Charles continued to pursue his passion, and launched a new company in 2010 Called Yens Foodservice/Dreamers Gourmet. This company offers various unique food products for the foodservice industry. This internet based business now distributes product across America, Canada and Saudi Arabia.
Charles plans to continue to hone his craft and develop new items for our industry, giving chefs new creative ways to serve product to their guests.