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Fabio Viviani's Shockingly Quick Transformation to Fameball

Selling frozen pizza in Penn Station.
Selling frozen pizza in Penn Station.
Photo: Eat To Blog

Seemed like only yesterday that Fabio Viviani was the charming quote machine that came within an arm's length of winning the fifth season of Top Chef after cooking his Euro butt off on the show. But alas, that was about a year ago now, and what a difference 365 days makes. Nowadays, Fabio is doing infomercials for "the about-to-come-out unbelievable Torpedo Kitchen Pro" and is the front-runner to replace Rocco DiSpirito as the likeable, talented chef who, for better or worse, quickly became more invested in life in front of the camera than outside the kitchen. But hey, it's hard to knock the pursuit of dollars, right? And we'd be remiss if we didn't point out that like many celeb chefs, he does do plenty of charity work too. In any event, let's take a look back at the evolution of Top Chef fan favorite:

3/4/09: He wins the title of Fan Favorite.

5/10/09: He signs on to become a spokesman for both Dr. Oetker frozen pizzas and San Pellegrino mineral water.

7/14/09: He releases his Cafe Firenze Cookbook. Book tour follows.

9/28/09: He sues his partner after not getting paid. Makes an appearance on TMZ too.

10/01/09: He gets a new reality show on Bravo called Fabio: A Catered Affair.

10/12/09: He splits with his partner from Cafe Firenze after much legal drama to open a new project, Osteria Firenze.

10/21/09: He played the role of traveling salesman as he promote said frozen pizza: "Italy’s top-selling frozen pizza is finally being introduced to pizza lovers in the United States. Dr. Oetker is the NO.1 in Italy and is coming with the best seller Ristorante to the US."

11/05/09: Normally charming, he oddly came off like a slimeball when hosting the Top Chef Reunion Show.

12/16/09: He received one of the most brutal reviews in memory from the Los Angeles Times. His Osteria Firenze earned the rare distinction of zero stars, along with assessments like this: "I didn't expect was a menu so conventional it reads like a tourist trap -- mostly generic dishes from no particular region. Italian Food for Dummies."

1/11/10: He shoots an informercial for "the about-to-come-out unbelievable Torpedo Kitchen Pro.