Bravo's Sleazy Top Chef Reunion Dinner with Fabio Viviani


For the Top Chef "Reunion Dinner," Fabio Viviani was enlisted as the host of an awkward dinner party, assigned to elicit some Real Housewives of New Jersey-esque table-flipping ratings-bait drama — the network even promoted it as such, calling the preview clip "Angry Dinner." Fabio, however, as a pseudo-villain felt scripted and forced (the goatee didn't hurt, either).

Throughout the episode, Fabio trolls for reactions, bringing up issues from the past, trying to start fights and generate controversy. The contestants smartly don't take the bait — unlike Bravo's other reality stars, Top Chef's participants have real careers to worry about instead of just self-perpetuating their fameball status — and as a group, they refuse to participate and shut Fabio down. Genius.

Frustrated, Fabio breaks into a rant, schooling the other cheftestants in the ways of reality show reunion specials in his adorable/grating Euro patois: "You all know deh dreel, nobody twist your arm to be here. So don't make me look like the deeck-eh... So let's feenesh, or next time they ask you to do something like dees, you say no." What should have been a friendly reunion episode turned out to be ugly and humorless, exposing Bravo's stunning and shameful snakiness. Also: kind of boring!

But the previously-unseen footage of Toby Young telling Marcel to "shut up" and Marcel's reaction more than made up for it!

Video: Top Chef Reunion Fabio Trolling

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Video: Top Chef: Marcel vs Toby Young

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—Raphael Brion

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Comment Feed

  1. GramercyGal

    Yeah... this show was ridiculous and awkward to watch.

  2. Why Bravo insists on trying to break their Golden Egg is beyond me. I think the success of Real Housewives (which I don't understand either) is turning the entire network into a Jerry Springer circus-like atmosphere.

    Let's hope this was a lesson to them never to try it again. Can't wait for Top Chef to return to normal next week.

  3. Emily

    A whole new side of Fabio we haven't seen. Not pretty.

  4. Although it was awkward to watch fledgling host Fabio try to wrangle the conversations to pre-planned controversies, I don't think it was sleazy. Everyone had a chance to tell their side of the story. Karla and Casey handled it beautifully. Marcel handled it poorly, as producers expected. Yeah, it was a little tedious, but still interesting to hear what it was like from the contestant's perspectives. Having a new pejorative to use now, "Deeck-eh," was totally worth watching it!

  5. Honestly, why they ever chose Toby Young to be a judge is beyond me. The guy was needlessly arrogant, and I hated watching him.

  6. graciemae

    Fabio SUCKED SUCKED and then SUCKED some more. It is beyond belief how he gets his own show.

    One person who would be wonderful to watch would be Carla----she would be great. BTW did I miss what she is up to now? It seemed that she was the only one that we did not get a chance to catch up on.

  7. Manuel

    Re: Jennifer: Sorry, but Toby Young brings a welcome astringent intelligence to the show. I wish we'd have more Toby, not less.

    • I'm a food critic for the local alt-weekly, so it's not like I don't have the opportunity to levy large amounts of snark on chefs who have far more extensive training than me. I resist temptation, however, knowing that would only make me look stupid; a pariah in the very community I seek to convey. Young should learn from my prudence.

      As far as I know, there's no culinary work or training in his background. It's not like he's Michael Ruhlman or Bill Buford, who started as journalists and actually entered the food industry to learn the craft.

      So what I'D like to see more of from Top Chef is more of Toby's chops and less of that big fat mouth. (A little less reflection off the top of his shiny bald head would help, too.)

  8. Jon

    Agree with Gracie. He was just awful. What is it with Bravo? They don't need to stir the pot for every show. I hope they don't apply this treatment to the new Top Chef Masters.

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