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- Italian chef
Chow Ciao! with Fabio Viviani loves its fans, and we value the cooking community that has grown around our show. As such, we were devastated by the loss of one of our most enthusiastic and well-loved fans, LEP JOE MORABITO, who often cooked Chef Fabio's recipes for the troops while stationed in Afghanistan.
Joe first posted to the Chow Ciao! Facebook page in August of 2012, when he shared a photo of 700 meatballs he'd made on his base in Afghanistan. We were so touched, and so impressed, that we introduced Joe to the rest of the Facebook community. When we spoke to Joe, we learned that he was a former police officer and restaurateur, and that he loved to feed people. Over the last 10 months, Joe became a friend to many of his fellow Chow Ciao! fans, and we all looked forward to his posts.
On June 8, 2013, Joe, a civilian Law Enforcement Professional who trained Afghan police forces, was killed in a "green on blue" attack on his base in Afghanistan, when one of his trainees turned his gun on Joe and several others. We, and the Facebook community, were devastated by the news, as we had just heard from him the day before he died, when he posted a photo of himself, grilling up a storm.
When we reached out to Joe's widow, Andrea, we discovered just how much cooking meant to Joe. A Bronx native from an Italian family, Joe learned early in life that feeding people is a great way to show love to others. Like Fabio, he learned to cook from his mother. He fed his wife and three lovely children, he fed his friends, and he fed the patrons of his family's restaurant, all before he headed to the Middle East and fed our brave troops. Andrea painted a more detailed picture of our dear friend, a man who loved his country more than anything, and we decided to share his story with you.
Thanks for your service, Joe, on behalf of everyone at Chow Ciao! with Fabio Viviani and Yahoo! Studios.
To honor Joe's memory, his family suggests donating to the Wounded Warriors Project.