Featured Chef: Mario Batali

Mario Batali believes that olive oil is as precious as gold, shorts are acceptable attire for every season, and food, like most things, is best when left to its own simple beauty. To that end, Mario, together with his business partner Joe Bastianich, create magic night after night in his many twelve hotspots in  New York City, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Mario and Joe’s flagship restaurant is Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca, an award-winning Greenwich Village dining establishment, where Mario has seamlessly combined traditional Italian principles with intelligent culinary adventure since June 1998.

Mario is also the chef/owner of six other enormously successful restaurants in New York City. Lupa Osteria Romana, Esca, Casa Mono, Bar Jamón, Otto Enoteca Pizzeria, and Del Posto.

The duo’s first west coast venture, in collaboration with Nancy Silverton is Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles. Sharing the corner of Highland and Melrose Avenue, the former features a center island mozzarella bar, where fresh mozzarella is made all day, every day. Mario and Joe recently journeyed to Las Vegas to open B&B Ristorante and Enoteca San Marco in the Venetian Resort Hotel and Casino. Their latest project is Carnevino – an Italian steak house opened in January of 2008 in the Palazzo Hotel, adjacent to the Venetian.

Among his many accolades, Mario was named “Man of the Year” in the chef category by GQ Magazine in 1999. In 2002 he won the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef: New York City” award, and in 2005 the James Beard Foundation awarded Mario “Outstanding Chef of the Year”. Mario is also one of the recipients of the 2001 D’Artagnan Cervena Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America, a prestigious lifetime achievement award.

This Fall, his new PBS series with co-stars Mark Bittman, Gwyneth Paltrow and Spanish actress Claudia Bassols, will air. Spain…On the Road Again will follow the group’s adventures as they travel and eat their way through Spain.

Mario has authored Simple Italian Food (Clarkson Potter, 1998), Mario Batali Holiday Food (Clarkson Potter, 2000); The Babbo Cookbook (Clarkson Potter, 2002); Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes (Ecco, 2005); and Mario Tailgates NASCAR Style (The Sporting News 2006). Mario’s upcoming cookbook and grilling handbook – Mario Batali – Italian Grilling (Ecco, 2008), takes the mystery out of making tasty, authentic, smoky Italian food.

Mario splits his time between New York City’s Greenwich Village and Northern Michigan with his wife Susi Cahn of Coach Dairy Goat Farm, and their two sons.

See Mario’s recipes

Check out Babbo and Lupa

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