Batali Heads to Hong Kong

Mario Batali says they’re signing a deal to open in China

We caught up with chef Mario Batali at the Now That's Italian! Annual Gala Dinner and Auction while he stirred up some polenta, and we picked his brain about his next projects. Batali is following Michael White and opening a restaurant in Asia (word is it will be a branch of Lupa).

“We’re going to go in Hong Kong first, see how it feels, see how it fits,” Batali told us. “There will be 1 billion Chinese in the middle class, and I love the idea of being in a market where we’re feeding regular people at a price that’s not exclusive.”

His Hong Kong eatery will serve up pizza and pasta, but “not organ meats because they eat those at home.” So no tripe, but simple Italian ingredients. “Kind of a classic understanding of what great Italian food is. The Chinese, like most Americans, aren’t going to be fooled by bells and whistles,” Batali warned us.

As for Eataly news, in the next 10 years he plans to open Eatalys in Los Angeles, Washington D.C. (if they find a big enough space, presumably), Toronto, and Mexico City.

Watch below for Batali sounding off on The Chew, Italian food, and Eataly.

 

The Daily Byte is a regular column dedicated to covering interesting food news and trends across the country. Click here for previous columns.

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