Chef, Restaurateur, and Cookbook Author
Whether you’re Italian by birth (giving you a good head start), or just strive to perfect the Italian style of cooking, celebrity chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author Mario Batali can show you the way to create classic, delicious Italian food with a bold and contemporary flair. He has a simple philosophy on Italian cooking: simple is very often better; from the ingredients though the preparation and to the presentation.
After some initial training at Le Cordon Bleu in London, Chef Batali worked for the Four Seasons Hotel Company in San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Looking for something beyond the corporate world he decided to immerse himself in the cooking and language of Italy, developing his passion in a mountainside trattoria. While life in Italy was idyllic, a bout with homesickness, not to mention the lack of permanent working papers, brought him back to the United States to create his own Italian experience stateside.
Working in New York, Mario met someone who profoundly changed both his professional and personal life. Not only did Susi Cahn introduce him to exotic vegetables and her family’s Coach Farm goat cheese, along with her numerous connections in the city’s food world, but the two fell in love, married, and are now the proud parents of two growing boys.
Well known across the television world for his Food Network shows Molto Mario, Mario Eats Italy, and the new Ciao America, New York locals and visitors to the city have recognized, enjoyed, and praised Mario Batali’s cuisine at his city restaurants Babbo, Lupa, Esca, and Otto Enoteca Pizzeria. Babbo was acknowledged by the James Beard Foundation as “Best New Restaurant” of 1998, Batali was named “Man of the Year” in the chef category of GQ Magazine in 1999, and “Best New York Chef” by the James Beard Foundation in 2002.
His first book, Mario Batali Simple Italian Food: Recipes from My Two Villages was published in 1998. This was followed in 2002 with Mario Batali’s Holiday Food, and his latest book, The Babbo Cookbook was published in 2003. His recipes are always approachable, colorful, and full of character, succeeding on the strength of their ingredients. Assertive flavors reflect Batali’s assertive personality. While based on simplicity, his food is full of bold contrasts and is not for the fearful.
Chef Mario Batali encourages us to enjoy the entire process of cooking; from the shopping for great ingredients until the last crumb is brushed off the table. He feels that you can find tremendous inspiration from the variety and quality of seasonal ingredients, and by developing a style that reflects your own personality. Likening cooking to dancing, Batali’s has said that while it can sometimes be repetitive, it is always full of joy and pleasure.