11 Things You Didn't Know About Mario Batali

11 Things You Didn't Know About Mario Batali
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11 Things You Didn't Know About Mario Batali

Read on to discover Mario Batali's first memory of cooking, his favorite food at Eataly and more!

His first memory of cooking

Mario's first memory of cooking is watching his grandmother "simmering oxtail sauce for either the calve’s brain ravioli or the potato gnocchi," he reveals. "What always surprised me is that after we had the big bowl of pasta, she brought out main courses and we were like WHAT?"

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One food he can't live without

Mario says he cannot live without spaghetti or hot sauce. "Right now my favorite is Melinda’s jalapeño sauce, green. It’s spicy but not too spicy," Mario shares.

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His least favorite food

"I don’t like durian," Mario admits.

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The story behind the Crocs

If you've ever seen Mario in action, you've probably noticed that he prefers a certain look for his feet. "My wife gave me a pair of Calzuro Italian operating room clogs, and we loved them," Mario shares.

Then, Crocs came out. "I fell in love with Crocs immediately," Mario reveals. "They were originally fishing shoes from Colorado. I started wearing them and the rest is history. I have like 30 little giblet things to put in them, and today it’s skull and cross bones in honor of the fact that Keith Richards just moved across the street from my house. I also have spotted rays and Batmans as well as the OTTO logo. May be time to bring those out."

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Significance of the color orange

Mario told us that his signature color is orange because it reminds him of being happy. "When my kids were on the playground in New York City, I was paralyzed with fear when I couldn’t see them," Mario shares. "They were just three and five years old. All of them were in black and I decided, that’s it, they’re wearing bright orange from here on out."

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If he wasn't a chef

What would Mario be doing now if he wasn't a renowned chef and restaurateur? "I’d be a pool boy in Malibu with the cleanest drains in town," Mario reveals.

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His favorite food at Eataly

When Mario heads to Eataly he told us that he usually leaves with cheese or vinegar. "Right now I love Robiola with two milks: cow and sheep," says Mario.

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His culinary icons

Mario says that Marco Pierre White and Jeremiah Tower are his biggest culinary idols.

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Favorite moment on 'The Chew'

Mario and his co-hosts on 'The Chew,' including Michael Symon, Daphne Oz, Carla Hall and Clinton Kelly, have met many guests. But Mario sums up his favorite moment on the show in two simple words: "Michelle Obama."

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Favorite (and least favorite) food trends

Mario admits to loving the current trends having to do with farm to table, locavorism and wild seafood. He also admits that there are some trends he doesn't like. "I hate pop-ups and one-menu restaurants. They are never as much fun as I want them to be... With that said, I love a good hot dog stand," Mario shares.

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What he still wants to do

Mario has had quite a successful career, but there are a few things he hasn't had a chance to do yet that he'd like to. "I haven’t traveled enough in Africa," Mario shares. "I desperately and eventually need to see the Victoria Falls. I would also like to see the music in Mali. That western African music culture is something that drives me crazy. I’ve never been there and I would love to go."

Image Credit: Martin Burea, AFP via Getty Images


Chef Mario Batali is known for his traditional style of Italian cooking, his many restaurants and his cookbooks (his latest cookbook, America Farm to Table, hit shelves earlier this month). Mario grew up watching his grandmother cook, and several restaurants around the world later, the chef is renowned in the food world. You may be most familiar with him for his cooking, but Mario gave us the inside scoop on the food he can't live without, the story behind the Crocs he wears and more!

Check out the slideshow above to learn 11 things you didn't know about Mario Batali! Then, find out what's on his essential grocery list, discover his favorite tailgating tips and check out his guide to locally grown foods!

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