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MARIO BATALI QUOTES

American chef (1960- )

The very common error of young or unconfident cooks is to keep putting more of their own personal ideology into a plate until there’s so much noise that you really can’t even hear a tune. You can say more in an empty space than you can in a crowded one.

MARIO BATALI, Harvard Business Review, May 2010

Food is much better off the hand than the fork.

MARIO BATALI, Esquire, Jun. 2004

Cookbooks have all become baroque and very predictable. I'm looking for something different. A lot of chefs' cookbooks are food as it's done in the restaurants, but they are dumbed down, and I hate it when they dumb them down.

MARIO BATALI, Food & Wine interview

There have been as many disasters as there have been successes. What usually goes wrong is not anything technical. It's my misunderstanding of my clientele's basic trust for me. We did a pig's-ear salad that I found delightful and provocative, but it was a loser.

MARIO BATALI, Time Magazine, Sep. 25, 2008

When I was a child, our whole family cooked. All my cousins cooked. All my aunts and uncles cooked. It was part of our heritage. We would load up the yellow Cutlass Supreme station wagon and pick blackberries during blackberry season or spring onions during spring onion season. For us, food was part of the fabric of our day.

MARIO BATALI, "The Traditions of the Table"

If you're smart, then your dreams evolve, too.

MARIO BATALI, Esquire, Jun. 2004

My objective as a manager, of course, is to remove the obstacles that prohibit greatness of the people that I’ve hired.

MARIO BATALI, Harvard Business Review, May 2010

I can tell in two minutes if I should hire someone in the kitchen. Two minutes. It's his desire. It's that open-eyed, attentive expression. If he doesn't have it ... I mean, I can teach a chimp how to cook dinner. But I cannot teach a chimp how to love it.

MARIO BATALI, Esquire, Jun. 2004

It used to be that you would go out to the theater and get a bite or you would go to the game and get a bite or go to the concert and get a bite. At this point in our society, the bite is often the main event. So it has to be more than turkey and gravy and potatoes. The lighting and the buzz and everything in addition to the food have an impact on what the customer feels. In that way, it's very much in the theatrical sense.

MARIO BATALI, "The Traditions of the Table"

I don't change anything for someone unless I know they don't eat something. I don't create dishes that only celebs or friends would get. There's a democracy to the food that goes out in all my restaurants.

MARIO BATALI, Time Magazine, Sep. 25, 2008

I love simple food. I like to serve the entire animal, not only because it somehow provokes a customer to think about it, but also because to honor of the animal that has been killed for us to eat, you have to eat the whole thing. It would be silly to just eat the chops and throw everything else away.

MARIO BATALI, Harvard Business Review, May 2010

If you want your kids to listen to you, don't yell at them. Whisper. Make them lean in. My kids taught me that. And I do it with adults now.

MARIO BATALI, Esquire, Jun. 2004

My ten year old son, at this point, can go into the kitchen and, without a recipe, make cookie dough of some kind. It's not the same every time, but he just knows what it looks like, which is a lot earlier than I ever was involved. I mean, I could make, out of a package brownies and cakes, but not just wing it together. He might be a visionary.

MARIO BATALI, Gothamist interview

My mom made something that I always requested for my birthday called mock chicken legs. She would take ground veal and ground pork and mix it up with a bunch of spices, and then take a Popsicle stick and put it inside a little ball of the meat. Then you bake them. It was like a veal-and-pork hamburger rolled in ground-up Rice Krispies. It was delightful.

MARIO BATALI, Time Magazine, Sep. 25, 2008

Once you become an elaborate and well-developed culture, anything from Rome or the Etruscans, for that matter, the food starts to become a representation of what the culture is. When the food can transcend being just fuel, that's when you start to see these different permutations.

MARIO BATALI, "The Traditions of the Table"

I'm adhering to the core of 2000 years of gastronomic history.

MARIO BATALI, Harvard Business Review, May 2010


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