// FOOD FOR THOUGHT

NO­TABLE CHICAGO PER­SON­AL­I­TIES BILLY DEC AND FABIO VIVIANI STAMP THEIR FOODIE-CEN­TRIC BRANDS ON A PAIR OF AM­BI­TIOUS SIDE PROJECTS.

Michigan Avenue - - CONTENTS - BY ELAINE GLUSAC

Two no­table Chicago per­son­al­i­ties are stamp­ing their food­iecen­tric brands on a pair of am­bi­tious side projects.

Side hus­tles aren’t new for celebrity chefs, but as bar­ri­ers to me­dia en­try in­creas­ingly dis­solve, lo­cal no­ta­bles are step­ping out of the kitchen to sat­isfy the con­tent-hun­gry.

Re­cently, restau­ra­teur and man about town

Billy Dec de­buted his foodie pod­cast, “The Meal of Your Life” (free on itunes), hold­ing one-onone con­ver­sa­tions with chefs, restau­ra­teurs, and celebri­ties about their most mem­o­rable meals. His bestie David Sch­wim­mer kicked off the se­ries, iden­ti­fy­ing his child­hood fa­vorite as “the av­er­age meal at the fam­ily ta­ble.” Says Dec, “I think it’s an im­por­tant time for peo­ple to gather, talk, un­der­stand, cel­e­brate, and learn more about each other, dif­fer­ent cul­tures [and] per­spec­tives, life—all of which I hope this pro­motes.”

Mean­while, Siena Tavern dy­namo and Top Chef alum Fabio Viviani has dou­bled down on side projects, de­sign­ing a lex­i­con of ooz­ing cheese­burg­ers and deca­dent donuts in the se­duc­tive new Food Porn Emoji (also free on itunes), and chan­nel­ing his in­ef­fa­ble en­ergy into a new Youtube show, “Fabio’s Kitchen.” In each weekly episode, Viviani cre­ates a unique dish rang­ing from nonna’s meat­balls to mod­ern mac and cheese, many drawn from his new book, Fabio’s 30-Minute Ital­ian. “When it comes to TV, you have to wait for a net­work to give you a show,” says Viviani. “I’m not in the business of wait­ing for business—i cre­ate my own!”

“IT’S AN IM­POR­TANT TIME TO GATHER, CEL­E­BRATE, AND LEARN MORE ABOUT EACH OTHER.” —BILLY DEC

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