Fabio Viviani, chef of the California spots Café Firenze
and Firenze Osteria
and author of the new book Fabio's Italian Kitchen
, knows baking isn't his forte, but a few years ago, he shrugged off advice from an experienced pastry chef, who told him that the sugar on the outside walls of the 60-pound wedding cake he'd made needed to be deeply caramelized in order to support everything above it. About 45 minutes before the cutting ceremony, the cake caved in. Take it from Viviani: "Listen to people who know what they're doing."