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Mario Batali (born September 9, 1960) is an Americamarker chef, writer, restauranteur and media personality.

Personal life

Batali was born in Yakima, Washingtonmarker. He is of Italian, English, and French Canadian ancestry. He moved to Spainmarker with his family in 1975 and returned to the U.S. in 1978 to attend Rutgers Universitymarker. There, he double majored in Spanish Language, Theatre and Economics, graduating in 1982. He later went to attend Le Cordon Bleu, though he left both because he found the pace too slow and that the best way for him to learn was in a professional kitchen. Mario currently lives in New York Citymarker with his wife Susi Cahn (daughter of Miles and Lillian Cahn, founders of Coach Farms) and two sons, Leo and Benno. He also owns homes in Northportmarker, Michiganmarker, and Red Hook, New Yorkmarker. His father is Armandino Batali, owner of Salumi in Seattlemarker.

Batali is one of the principal subjects of Bill Buford's 2006 book, Heat.

Professional career

During college, Batali worked as a dishwasher at "Stuff Yer Face" restaurant in New Brunswick, New Jerseymarker, quickly moving up to pizzaman. Batali went on to serve as an assistant in the kitchens at the "Six Bells" public house in the Kings Roadmarker, Chelseamarker, under Marco Pierre White, La Tour d'Argent in Parismarker, Moulin de Mougins in Provence, and the Waterside Inn, outside Londonmarker. In 1985, he worked as a sous chef at the Four Seasons Clift in San Franciscomarker before being promoted to helm the Four Seasons Biltmore Hotel's La Marina restaurant in Santa Barbaramarker. At twenty-seven, Batali was the highest paid young chef in the company. In 1989, he resigned and moved to the northern Italian village of Borgo Capanne to apprentice in the kitchen at La Volta, where he sought to master a traditional style of Italian cooking inspired by his grandmother, Leonetta Merlino, and Ettore Boiardi, better known as Chef Boyardee.

In 1993, Batali opened “Po”. In 1998, with business partner, Joseph Bastianich (son of Lidia Bastianich), he went on to start “Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca”. The pair have since opened seven additional restaurants, Lupa (1999), Esca (2000), Otto Enoteca Pizzeria (2003), Casa Mono (2004), Bar Jamon (2004), Bistro Du Vent (2004, closed in 2006), Del Posto (2005), Enoteca San Marco (2007 in Las Vegas, Nevadamarker), and B&B Ristorante (2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada) and a shop named Italian Wine Merchants (1999) which is no longer under Batali's ownership.

The New York Post reported in September 2007 that Batali’s contract with the Food Network would not be renewed, and that he would no longer be featured on its Iron Chef America series. The article further reported that although Batali had not initially been dismissed from Iron Chef America, he decided not to make any further appearances on the show after the network made the decision to cancel his cooking show, Molto Mario, which had been airing on Food Network since 1997. A Food Network spokesperson confirmed to ABC News that Molto Mario, would no longer be aired, but said that "Mario Batali is still part of the Food Network family. Sometimes family members go off and do other things. We completely blessed his decision to go to PBS ... He is still going to appear on Iron Chef America." No new episodes of Molto Mario have been filmed since 2004, but the network continued airing re-runs over the ensuing three years (with reruns currently airing on Fine Living). Batali was absent on the season finalé of The Next Iron Chef, but he appeared twice during Iron Chef America's 2008 season, and his likeness has been licensed to appear in the Nintendo game Iron Chef America: Supreme Cuisine.

Batali is featured in PBS’s show Spain... on the road Again with Gwyneth Paltrow, Mark Bittman (of The New York Times) and Claudia Bassols (a Spanish actress) featuring Spanish cuisine. The 13-episode series was filmed from October 2007 into early 2008. This will be the first of a series of shows that will be developed for PBS over the next several years. Batali is also in negotiations with Travel Channel to develop a series on Italian cuisine and culture with Anthony Bourdain that reportedly will be an "exhaustive, definitive Italy series with the kind of production values that Planet Earth had".

Batali teamed up with premium drum stick producer Vic Firth to create custom kitchen tools. Together they designed a line of wooden rolling pins, pepper grinder and salt grinders.

In 2009, Batali announced the creation of the Mario Batali Foundation "to educate, empower and encourage children". The foundation is an event-driven fundraiser for children’s disease research, children’s hunger relief, and literacy programs.

In 2009, Batali made his film debut in Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Television credits


  • Michelin Guide to New York City; One Star
  • Three Stars from The New York Times for "Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca"
  • "Best New Restaurant of 1998" from the James Beard Foundation for "Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca"
  • "Man of the Year" in GQ's chef category in 1999
  • D'Artagnan Cervena Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America in 2001
  • "Best Chef: New York City" from the James Beard Foundation in 2002
  • "All-Clad Cookware Outstanding Chef Award" from the James Beard Foundation in 2005 (national award)
  • "Best Restaurateur" from the James Beard Foundation in 2008


  • Mario Batali Simple Italian Food: Recipes from My Two Villages (1998), ISBN 0-609-60300-0
  • Mario Batali Holiday Food : Family Recipes for the Most Festive Time of the Year (2000), ISBN 0-609-60774-X
  • Vino Italiano: The Regional Wines of Italy (contributor) (2002), ISBN 0-609-60848-7
  • The Babbo Cookbook (2002), ISBN 0-609-60775-8
  • The Artist's Palate (foreword) (2003), ISBN 0-7894-7768-8
  • Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home (2005), ISBN 0-06-073492-2
  • Mario Tailgates NASCAR Style (2006), ISBN 0-89204-846-8
  • Spain...A Culinary Road Trip (2008), written with Gwyneth Paltrow, and Julia Turshen. ISBN 978-0-06-156093-4


  3. List of restaurants
  4. Spanish Food with Gwyneth and Mario (
  5. Books and Products: Vic Firth Mills
  6. Chef Mario Batali - Show Molto Mario - Show List A to Z - TV - Food Network
  7. Food Network
  8. Chef Mario Batali - Ciao America With Mario Batali - Show List A To Z - TV - Food Network
  9. Food Network : Healthy Recipe Collections, Party Ideas, Quick & Easy Recipes
  10. Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations: New Jersey -

External links

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