This profile of Chef Fabian Botta begins a series of profiles on coastal chefs who support the North Carolina commercial fishing industry by serving seafood that has been landed by local fishermen. These chefs have exacting quality standards for freshness, and they partner with fishermen to offer you the highest-quality product in their signature seafood cuisine. We encourage you to patronize their restaurants when visiting the coast.
Chef Fabian Botta was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but his family immigrated to the United States when he was 12 years old. Fabian began learning the culinary trade while helping his father in the family’s bakery business.
At 14 he began working in restaurants in Atlanta to gain exposure to global cuisines. He learned Cajun cooking at Joe Dale’s Cajun House, Russian cuisine at Nikolai’s Roof and classic French preparations at Chateau Fleur de Lis.
He also launched several restaurants in western North Carolina, such as The Tack Room, The Village Café and The Louisiana Purchase. He then spent several years as a consultant to the restaurant industry.
After 25 years, Fabian was ready to launch a deeply personal vision of fine dining and opened Fabian’s Restaurant in Winston-Salem. This led to an invitation to be a guest chef at The James Beard House in New York City in 2003, the first time a chef from the North Carolina Triad region had received such an honor.
In June 2008, Fabian and a business partner opened The Ruddy Duck Tavern in Morehead City. Here Fabian says he is able to share multicultural flavors with Carteret County residents and visitors.
Fabian describes The Ruddy Duck Tavern as “fun-casual dining” with offerings that range from hamburgers and flounder to crispy duck and everything in between. And he emphasizes that the meals at Ruddy Duck are prepared with the freshest seafood caught by local fishermen.