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Kobe Bryant Flies in Italian Chef to Cook Vanessa Bryant a Birthday Dinner

You cannot outdo Kobe Bryant when giving your loved one a birthday gift.
You cannot outdo Kobe Bryant when giving your loved one a birthday gift.Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Sean HojnackiFeatured ColumnistMay 7, 2013

Kobe Bryant has his wife Vanessa's name tattooed on his arm. What more can a spouse ask for?

As a player who's made hundreds of millions of dollars in his career, Kobe has a unique burden upon him each year when his wife's birthday rolls around. So what's a guy to do?

He started off her special day well, posting a photo of Vanessa—whom he referred to as his "shorty rock"—and stating that "today is the day my angel came to earth." Good start.

But then he took gift giving to a new level by flying in a top chef from her favorite restaurant in Italy to cook her favorite foods.

Kobe posted a photo on Instagram of their birthday celebration with executive chef from Milan Fabrizio de Togni, writing, "Fabrizio de Togni is the master chef for Paper Moon @ladyvb24 favorite restaurant in Milano. He's a friend and agreed to fly in for Vanessa's bday dinner and prepare her fav dishes."

This Instagram post was a much nicer treat than the pic of his newly repaired Achilles tendon.

For some reason, De Togni is preparing about a dozen fillets of beef in the photo of their dinner, but who am I to argue with the Black Mamba? Kobe and Vanessa also dined on eggplant parmigiana and penne arrabiata

Bryant even flashed his Italian language skills, appending the hashtags "millegrazie" and "ciboitaliano" which mean "a thousand thanks" and "Italian food."

According to his post on Facebook, De Togni is opening another Paper Moon in Qatar, so he either traveled 6,000 or 8,000 miles to cook dinner for Kobe's wife, depending on which restaurant he left from.

In Italy, food is a cornerstone of any loving family, and Kobe called in the big guns for this birthday. 

You may recall that Kobe landed in some hot water back in 2003 over an extramarital affair, so he probably lives with the perpetual threat of being in the doghouse with Vanessa.

The couple had initiated divorce proceedings which would have netted her $75 million and three homes, but they reconciled in January of 2013 (per CBS Los Angeles).

Without a doubt, by flying in a world-class chef to prepare his wife's favorite food on her birthday, Kobe scored some major points. 


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