Mario Batali and Pat LaFrieda Kick Off RED Campaign

These are some of the red-inspired dishes you can get at REd-participating restaurants.

If you could donate 40 cents per day to save a life, would you? That’s how much daily medication for someone battling HIV costs. And as Mario Batali, Marcus Samuelsson, Buddy Valestro, Martha Stewart and a host of other culinary personalities have demonstrated in the new PSA for the Eat RED Drink RED campaign to fight AIDS, 40 cents is only as much as a puff of flour, or a small piece of dough. The campaign is meant to raise money and awareness for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, and if Chef Mario Batali and Pat LaFrieda, who are heading the campaign, had it their way, every restaurant would participate.

Check out the PSA video below:

“The idea that you can actually fix something, that together we can actually fix something 100 percent is an empowering feeling,” Chef Mario Batali. “Choosing to participate in RED actually saves lives. “The real world impact is for 40 cents a day you can save someone’s life for the rest of their life. The idea that children are getting this disease and not being able to reach their true potential is tragic, and just the idea that you can allow them grow up without that disease is amazing.”

Right now the list of eateries ranges from Mario Batali’s line of restaurants, and Danny Myer’s ‘The Modern’ to Starbucks, the National Food Trucks Association and Buddy Valestro’s ‘Cake Boss Café.’ OpenTable and Zagat will be listing RED restaurants on their website.

There are numerous ways restaurants can still get involved before the RED campaign starts on June 1st, from offering RED-inspired dishes and cocktails (made with Belvedere vodka, the official vodka sponser of the campaign), to offering prizes, like Eataly’s RED contribution of offering the chance to win a behind the scenes tour of Eataly with Mario Batali.

Besides talking about the RED Campaign, Chef Mario Batali also offered his opinion on the brand-new Nutella bar at Eataly, which opened as a temporary replacement for the wine store that closed after issues with the New York State Liquor Association.

“I ain’t never gonna open a wine store again!” Batali told The Daily Meal. “How cool is it we had a line on the street for five hours that day [when the Nutella bar opened.]”


Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi