Somehow I knew, that Fabio was the first person I wanted to portray under the new label, “People”.
Fabio is of course Italian – Pisa is his hometown and the region of Tuscany has from day one been the fulcrum for Fabio’s selection of wines and the small tasty antipasti he creates every day. But slowly other regions have found their way into the wine shelf and today you can find almost all of the Italian wine regions here.
But life was not all about food & wine for Fabio. “I am educated as a chemist, but I couldn’t see myself doing that for the rest of my life”, Fabio says.
He came to Denmark in 1989 on a snowy April day. Five years later – to be exact the 15th of February 1994, he opened the doors to Cibi e Vini, which just happens to be about 100 meters from where I work (and still work today). I have lost count on how many times I have chosen Cibi e Vini for setting up the food for my wine tastings during the years and please don’t tell me how many kilos of Parmesan cheese I have bought there, my pants already feels too small just thinking about it. My good friend Carl and I, even had a sandwich named after us, as we picked it up every morning for several years.
Throughout the years Fabio have had help on and off from young chefs, but today it’s his wife Mie who make up the dream team. Make no mistake, it might be Fabio, which I portray here, but Mie is an outstanding chef and makes on of the best Osso Buco I have ever tasted.
I can’t remember exactly what date I actually met Fabio for the first time, but as I was already into Italian wines back then - Cibi e Vini was just the place for me. Besides the food, Fabio had a curious approach to wine and for spotting new comers and not being afraid to take chances. Cibi e Vini was the first, according to my knowledge, to sell organic Italian wines in Denmark.
When I think of it today, it’s not only Fabio’s carefully handpicked Italian wine producers and his high standards of hams, cheese, olive oils, pasta, pesto’s, Italian chocolate and homemade antipasti – it’s also the atmosphere in the shop. Typical a Friday for me, when I am tired from work, and just want to come home and relax with a good bottle of wine I stroll pass Cibi e Vini. The shop is usually pretty filled at that time, as I am not the only one with such a Friday-plan. Now Danes hate to stand in line and I sometimes find myself just observing how the behaviour of the costumers can slowly transform, when they understand that they just have to be patient. Everyone are desperate to get home and kick-off the weekend and just waiting for their turn. But somehow, standing in the shop is calming – Mie and Fabio provide the same personal service to all their costumers no matter if there is 100 persons or 1 person in the shop. Often a costumer will have doubts on exact, which cheese or ham to buy and will of course, like the rest of the waiting herd, be offered a small sample to taste. Slowly people’s faces will light up as they ooze the joy of not rushing all the time, as they taste the goodies. You see, the Italian has for a long times realized that “slow” is beautiful.But I have to say, that it would be wrong of me to say that Fabio is typical Italian; “if we don’t make it today, we make it tomorrow”. Fabio is always busy. The Danes has for a long time noticed Fabio’s shop and as the words spreads, Fabio provides private and business clients with out of the house catering, almost every week
Anyway – it has been a pleasure opening the door to Fabio’s universe and I hope you can sense some of Fabio’s character. Do visit his shop if you happen to be in the neighbourhood and say hello from “Toga” (my nickname).
Cibi e Vini