Mario Batali Eschews "High Art" for Real Italian Cuisine

Celebrity Chef

Mario Batali's plumy apprenticeship and three years in Italy pulled him away from his culinary education and turned this Italian American on to the fresh taste of authentic Italian cuisine.

Culinary Arts

How Did Celebrity Chef Mario Batali Build His Career?

After he graduated from Rutgers in 1982, Mario Batali briefly tried Le Cordon Bleu in London, but left for an apprenticeship under famous London restaurateur Marco Pierre White. Then, he was off to a small family-owned trattoria in northern Italy for three years and the rest is history.

What Makes Mario Batali a Celebrity Chef?

Mario Batali is "Falstaffian, larger than life, mercurial, frighteningly intelligent," according to Chef Anthony Bourdain. Mario does many things superbly and is a passionate multitasker. In addition to his 13 award-winning restaurants in NYC, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles, and a retail wine business, he's written half a dozen critically acclaimed cookbooks and starred in several Food Network cooking shows: Ciao America with Mario Batali, Molto Mario, and Iron Chef America.

Mario Batali says, "There's a battle between what the cook thinks is high art and what the customer just wants to eat." The popularity of his restaurants proves that he focuses on food that people like to eat.

  • B&B Ristorante (LV): casual Italian at the Venetian
  • Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca (NYC): a "gastronomic superstar"
  • Bar Jamon (NYC): informal Spanish tapas
  • Carnevino Italian Steakhouse (LV): classic Italian at the Palazzo
  • Casa Mono (NYC): traditional Spanish taverna
  • Del Posto (NYC): the ultimate Italian restaurant
  • Enoteca San Marco (LV): casual Italian at the Venetian
  • Esca (NYC): southern Italian seafood trattoria
  • Lupa (NYC): Roman-style trattoria
  • Osteria Mozza (LA): Bologna-style restaurant
  • OTTO Enoteca Pizzeria (NYC): classic pizzas
  • Pizzeria Mozza (LA): informal pizzeria
  • The Spotted Pig (NYC): organic English and Italian cuisine
  • Italian Wine Merchants (NYC): sophisticated wines

What Are Celebrity Chef Mario Batali's Plans for the Future?

Mario recently ventured from the Food Network. He's finishing a 26-episode PBS food show with Gwyneth Paltrow--the setting: a road trip in Spain--and is negotiating with the Travel Channel to develop a series on Italian cuisine and culture with Chef Anthony Bourdain.


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Mario Batali
New York Times