Mario Batali (born September 19, 1960) is an American chef, writer, restaurateur and media personality. In addition to his classical culinary training, he is an expert on the history and culture of Italian cuisine, including regional and local variations. Batali co-owns restaurants in New York City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Batali has hosted his own TV programs, Molto Mario, Mario Eats Italy, and Ciao America with Mario Batali, and he has appeared on Iron Chef America on the Food Network. ... He has five cookbooks: Simple Italian Food, Mario Batali Holiday Food, The Babbo Cookbook, and most recently, Molto Italiano, winner of the James Beard Award for International Cookbook, as well as Mario Tailgates NASCAR Style.
The Mario Batali Foundation is for children, with a three-pronged approach: literacy, diseases and hunger relief. The foundation and the Food Bank of New York have this CookShop program to educate parents and kids about nutrition and getting the best value for their money.
the Batali look: the shorts, the clogs, the wraparound sunglasses, the red hair pulled back into its pony-tail. One moment, a rotund Clark Kent in his underpants; the next, "Molto Mario" - the clever, many-layered name of his cooking television program, which, in one of its senses, literally means Very Mario - and a figure whose renown I didn't appreciate until, as guests of the [NFL] commisioner, we were allowed onto the field before the [NY Giants] game.
Mario and Academy Award winner Gwyneth Paltrow, along with food writer Mark Bittman and young Spanish actress Claudia Bassols, have been eating and drinking their way through Spain for a 13-part PBS series airing this month. ... they’d go to as many regions as possible, in constant search of memorable food and exceptional wine. Mario had spent time in Spain as a teenager, during what he calls the “formative gastronomic years”.
Mario Batali is the most recognized chef in a city with more chefs than any other city in the world. ... It would be safe to say that no New York chef ate more, drank more, and was out and about as much. If you live in New York City, you will see him eventually (sooner, if your evenings get around two in the morning).
An apprenticeship with London’s legendary chef Marco Pierre White and training in an Italian village gave him the essential skills and knowledge to return to the United States to begin his restaurant empire. With his partner Joe Bastianich, Batali operates eight New York City hot spots, the flagship of which is Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca, where he has seamlessly combined traditional principles with intelligent culinary adventure since 1998.
His real training was in Italy, in the mountain town of Borgo Capanne, at a family-run trattoria, La Volta, where he stayed for three years and honed his hearty Italian specialties. When he returned to the States, he worked at a Greenwich Village restaurant called Rocco. In 1993, he opened Po, an Italian restaurant on Cornelia Street in Greenwich Village, and it became his first big success.
Mr. Batali grew up in Seattle, a third-generation Italian-American. His father was an engineer for Boeing, his mother a nurse -- and everybody cooked. His first career goal was pro football -- until he realized how big the pros were. So he studied Spanish theater and economics at Rutgers, in New Brunswick, N.J., then cooked in California hotels.
Molto Mario is no fluffy star. He earned his reputation with his fantastic cooking... Home cooks have embraced Batali's friendly television persona and his knack for making Italian cuisine accessible and fun.
As the owner of 14 restaurants, the author of six cookbooks, and a familiar presence on several TV shows, Mario Batali has entered the rarefied ranks of what is known as the celebrity chef.