Chef Jeffrey Viviano started his passion for cooking in his grandparent’s kitchen which instilled a love for food and family at the dinner table. His family lived very modestly and used hunting and fishing as a food source, not just a hobby. Chef Viviano remembered always being very careful not to make a mistake in cleaning and cutting the fish because he didn’t want any waste. Those were one of the lessons he learned that he still practices every day.
Chef Viviano’s culinary experience spans over 30 years across the United States. While his formal culinary training was at Newbury College in Brookline, Massachusetts, Chef Viviano’s creative style has been honed at properties with great reputations for consistent, American food that leans toward French and Mediterranean flavors. He served as the Executive Chef at the Willits Hallowell Center at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley Massachusetts where he worked for the President’s office executing specialty catered events. Chef Viviano also spent nine years as Chef de Cuisine at noteworthy Hyatt properties in Boston, Los Angeles, and New York before returning to Connecticut to work for Arturo Franco-Camacho of Roomba in New Haven, as Executive Sous Chef at the Griswold Inn in Essex, and Executive Chef at the historic Hartford Club in Hartford.
Today, Chef Viviano serves as the Executive Chef at Bruin Plate, UCLA’s premiere dining hall which provides fresh, wholesome, healthy, and nutritionally balanced food choices that will follow the best practices of sustainability. On Bruin Plate’s menu, two dishes are very popular with the students: Polynesian Style Striped Bass with preserved lemon and elephant garlic chips, and a Blackened Arctic Char with roasted garlic mofongo and grilled pineapple. Both the Bass and Arctic Char are on the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Best Choice list which allows him to serve what the students love to eat while adhering to the Bruin Plate standard of sustainability.
At home, Chef Vivian noted that he usually has some kind of fresh seafood in the refrigerator. Whenever they are available, one of his favorite dishes to cook for his family is Santa Barbara Spot Prawns with butternut squash risotto and lemon beurre blanc.
Bruin Plate at UCLA
350 Charles E. Young Drive West
Los Angeles, CA 90095