Mario Batali Biography

Mario Batali is an American chef, author, restaurateur, and television personality who gained fame through his Food Network shows, Molto Mario and Iron Chef America. He has also appeared on PBS Network’s Spain… on the road Again and ABC Network’s The Chew. With numerous restaurants in cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas, Batali has made a significant impact on the culinary world. He is also known for his cookbooks, including The Babbo Cookbook and Big American Cookbook: 250 Favorite Recipes from Across the USA. However, in 2017, he faced allegations of sexual harassment, leading to his dismissal from The Chew and the closure of three of his Las Vegas restaurants. Additionally, he had to sell his stake in Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group. In 2019, he was charged with indecent assault and battery related to a 2017 incident. While he has apologized for his past behavior, he denies the allegations of sexual assault.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Mario Francesco Batali
  • Age: 63 Years, 63 Year Old Males
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: Susi Cahn
    • Father: Armandino Batali
    • Mother: Marilyn LaFramboise
    • Children: Benno Batali, Leo Batali
  • Born Country: United States
  • Occupation: Chefs, Restaurateurs
  • Height: 5’11” (180 cm), 5’11” Males
  • U.S. State: Washington
  • Ancestry: Italian American
  • City: Seattle, Washington
  • Notable Alumni: Le Cordon Bleu
  • Education: Rutgers University, Le Cordon Bleu
  • Awards:
    • 1999 · Babbo – James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant
    • 2005 · Babbo – James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Chef
    • 2002 · Babbo – James Beard Award for Best Chef: New York City
    • 2008 · Babbo – James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurateur
    • 2015 · The Chew – Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Informative Talk Show Host
    • 2001 – James Beard Foundation Award for Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America
    • 2011 · My Father’s Daughter: Delicious; Easy Recipes Celebrating Family & Togetherness – Goodreads Choice Awards Best Food & Cookbooks
    • 2006 · Molto Italiano – James Beard Award for International Cooking

Career

Mario Batali’s career in the culinary world began while he was studying at Rutgers University. He started working at a pub/restaurant called Stuff Yer Face, starting as a dishwasher and later becoming a pizza maker. After leaving Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in London, he became an apprentice to Chef Marco Pierre White. He then worked as a sous chef at the Four Seasons Clift in San Francisco and later at the Four Seasons Biltmore Hotel’s La Marina restaurant in Santa Barbara. In 1989, he moved to a small Italian village called Borgo Capanne to apprentice at the La Volta kitchen, where he dedicated himself to learning authentic regional Italian cuisine.

After returning to the US, Batali opened his first restaurant, PO, in 1993 in partnership with Steve Crane. He later teamed up with restaurateur Joe Bastianich to form the Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group (B&BHG). Their first restaurant, Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca, opened in 1998 and received accolades such as The Best New Restaurant award from the James Beard Foundation and 3 Stars from the New York Times. The B&BHG went on to open more than a dozen restaurants, including Lupa, Esca, Otto, Casa Mono, Bar Jamon, Bistro du Vent, and Del Posto. They also opened Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles, as well as B&B Ristorante, Enoteca San Marco, and Carnevino Italian Steakhouse in Las Vegas.

Alongside his success as a restaurateur, Batali also established himself as a television personality. He appeared on various Food Network shows, starting with Molto Mario from 1996 to 2004. He went on to host shows like Mediterranean Mario, Mario Eats Italy, Ciao America with Chef Mario Batali, and the Iron Chef America series. He also co-hosted the PBS Network show Spain… on the road Again with Gwyneth Paltrow and Mark Bittman. Batali co-hosted seven seasons of the ABC daytime talk and cooking show The Chew, for which he won a Daytime Emmy Award in 2015.

Batali is also a prolific cookbook author, with titles such as Mario Batali Simple Italian Food, Mario Batali Holiday Food, The Babbo Cookbook, Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home, Molto Gusto: Easy Italian Cooking, Molto Batali: Simple Family Meals from My Home to Yours, America: Farm to Table, and Big American Cookbook: 250 Favorite Recipes from Across the USA.

Throughout his career, Batali has received numerous awards, including the James Beard Foundation award for Best Chef: New York City in 2002, the Outstanding Chef Award in 2005, and the Outstanding Restaurateur award in 2008.

Controversies and Personal Life

In late 2017, several women came forward and accused Batali of sexual harassment. He later apologized for his past behavior and was removed from his television show The Chew. He took a leave of absence from B&BHG and eventually surrendered ownership of his stakes in the group and a small ownership in Eataly, the Italian food marketplace. Stores also refused to sell his products and cookbooks. In 2019, he was charged with indecent assault and battery, to which he pled not guilty.

Mario Batali was born on September 19, 1960, in Seattle, Washington, to Marilyn LaFramboise and Armandino Batali. His father was an Italian-American engineer who went on to establish Salumi restaurant, and his mother was a part French-Canadian nurse. Batali has a brother named Dana and a sister named Gina. The family moved to Madrid, Spain, in 1975, where Batali attended high school. He returned to the US three years later and studied Spanish theatre and Economics at Rutgers University. Batali developed a passion for cooking, particularly Italian cuisine, from a young age, influenced by the talented home cooks in his family.

In 1994, Batali married Susi Cahn, the daughter of Coach Inc. founders Miles and Lillian Cahn. They have two sons together, named Benno and Leo Batali.

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