Following up the launch of its 35th anniversary issue last March, Food & Wine decided to keep the press up by asking Mario Batali to guest edit their April issue (which hits stands tomorrow). And while the issue is filled with Batali's friends (ahem, Joe Bastianich), Jimmy Fallon is by far the best cameo we could ask for.
Food & Wine has an excellent roundup of the feature's photos on their website, which makes Batali and Fallon look positively chummy. "Whenever I'm on Late Night, I'm teaching Jimmy and he's actually enjoying it, not just going through the motions," Batali wrote to The Daily Meal in an email. "So it felt sort of natural and fun to do a photo shoot cooking school lesson with him... we were missing Higgins, I love those guys."
Naturally, other contributions include an interview with writer Jim Harrison and a list of Batali's favorite restaurants in Italy (we're adding them to our checklist as we speak), but we're also a fan of the feature asking Joe Bastianich to go against Food & Wine's Ray Isle to choose the best wines for $15. As for how Batali dealt with all the deadlines? "Food & Wine is really organized.... they made the whole experience so easy and fun," Batali wrote. "As expected there are lots of last-minute questions and changes they threw in close to deadline. It can get pretty intense those last few days."
And naturally, Batali is far too busy to launch his own magazine, what with The Chew and his multiple restaurants. "I'm friends with Bob Guccione and he's interested in starting a new magazine," Batali wrote. "After this experience, I realized I have no time left in my day so that might be something to table for now." Looks like David Chang's going to remain the biggest player in the chef-publishing world for now.