Mario Batali and Massimo Bottura kicked off the Identità New York cooking demonstrations (shown above), and as Bottura pointed out, “It’s not easy to be on stage with Mario.” When Bottura said that practice makes perfect pasta, Batali, ever the comedian, quipped, “Well, just like making love, too. If you practice, you simply do it better.”
So it’s a good thing Batali didn’t show up in his Guy Fieri costume to steal the show. “I thought people might be disappointed that Guy Fieri was here [instead of me],” Batali told us later. “I looked exactly like him.”
In the spirit of Halloween, we asked Batali what his favorite part of the candy-fest is. “I like spooky s#%t,” he told us. “I don’t like scary stuff.” He's a big fan of the annual Halloween parade up Sixth Avenue, "one of the wildest" events in the city. “It’s an adult entertainment opportunity,” he said.
Up next for the top Italian chef? He’s finishing up a digital production company to create 5-to-10 minute shorts, featuring Batali’s high-ranking foodie friends. And his latest restaurant, Tarry Lodge, isn’t supposed to be a destination spot for New Yorkers. “It’s too crowded,” he says. “New Yorkers aren’t going to find anything new in Westport. But if you happen to be in the neighborhood, we’ll have good food.”
Some highlights from today’s demonstration:
On the Next Hipsters: “In the future, farmers are going to be the next hipsters, not chefs, because they can deliver food to you in a way that doesn’t have to be translated. Farmers are on the way up.”
On Smuggling Food Through Customs: “You should always travel with a golf bag and not fill it with golf clubs, ‘cause that’s how you get all your stuff home. They’ve never checked my golf bags.”
On Meatless Mondays: “After three or four bites of a big steak, I’m bored. I’m not done, but I’m bored. So Meatless Mondays, it’s not an anti-meat thing, it's a pro-vegetable thing.”
On Italians and Chicago Pizza: “They would go to Chicago and they would kill themselves if they saw what was going on over there. They wouldn’t call it pizza, they’d call it sfincione, it’s like a giant Sicilian bread thing. It has nothing to do with pizza.”
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