What’s in my kitchen - Mario Batali

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Mario Batali, lovingly referred to as Molto Mario, has traversed the globe from Paris and Italy to San Francisco. He finally ended up in New York City, where he co-owns ten restaurants.


Known for his signature laid-back, orange-Crocs-and-shorts-clad demeanour, he has appeared on the Food Network in the smash-hit show Iron Chef and currently hosts ABC’s daytime food show The Chew.

His latest book, published by Grand Central Life & Style, is out this month and takes a transcontinental look at 14 of the USA’s farms and farmers in stories, photos, and recipes.

“I just recently travelled to Mexico City and fell in love with the food there all over again. You have the loud, bustling street markets with tacos, mole shops, and tortilla baskets that I always take home with me. At the other end of the spectrum you have some of the best restaurants at which I’ve ever had the pleasure of dining.

Gabriela Cámara’s El Contramar is the kind of al fresco lunch that lasts all afternoon. I adore her and her magical seafood restaurant. Enrique Olvera’s Pujol is an absolute masterpiece, with the presentation of your meal matching the magic in his tastes and textures.”

The five must-haves:

  1. Parmigiano Reggiano, because it is the indisputable king of cheeses.
  2. Extra virgin olive oil, because it is the foundation for so many dishes – dressings, sauces, sautés, etc.
  3. Lemon (or citrus of some kind) to add acidity and lightness to my recipes. Or to get the smell of garlic off my fingers.
  4. Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, because it adds the much-needed essence of ocean air and mild sweetness that table salt does not capture.
  5. Batali Bros hot sauce, because we like it spicy in my family’s kitchen.
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