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Mario Batali Thinks Farmers Are the Next Hipsters

Mario Batali Thinks Farmers Are the Next Hipsters


Mario Batali and Massimo Bottura kicked off the Identità New York cooking demonstrations (shown above), and as Bottura pointed out, “It’s not easy to be on stage with Mario.” When Bottura said that practice makes perfect pasta, Batali, ever the comedian, quipped, “Well, just like making love, too. If you practice, you simply do it better.”

So it’s a good thing Batali didn’t show up in his Guy Fieri costume to steal the show. “I thought people might be disappointed that Guy Fieri was here [instead of me],” Batali told us later. “I looked exactly like him.”

In the spirit of Halloween, we asked Batali what his favorite part of the candy-fest is. “I like spooky s#%t,” he told us. “I don’t like scary stuff.” He's a big fan of the annual Halloween parade up Sixth Avenue, "one of the wildest" events in the city. “It’s an adult entertainment opportunity,” he said.

Up next for the top Italian chef? He’s finishing up a digital production company to create 5-to-10 minute shorts, featuring Batali’s high-ranking foodie friends. And his latest restaurant, Tarry Lodge, isn’t supposed to be a destination spot for New Yorkers. “It’s too crowded,” he says. “New Yorkers aren’t going to find anything new in Westport. But if you happen to be in the neighborhood, we’ll have good food.”

Some highlights from today’s demonstration:

On the Next Hipsters: “In the future, farmers are going to be the next hipsters, not chefs, because they can deliver food to you in a way that doesn’t have to be translated. Farmers are on the way up.”

On Smuggling Food Through Customs: “You should always travel with a golf bag and not fill it with golf clubs, ‘cause that’s how you get all your stuff home. They’ve never checked my golf bags.”

On Meatless Mondays: “After three or four bites of a big steak, I’m bored. I’m not done, but I’m bored. So Meatless Mondays, it’s not an anti-meat thing, it's a pro-vegetable thing.”

On Italians and Chicago Pizza: “They would go to Chicago and they would kill themselves if they saw what was going on over there. They wouldn’t call it pizza, they’d call it sfincione, it’s like a giant Sicilian bread thing. It has nothing to do with pizza.”

The Daily Byte is a regular column dedicated to covering interesting food news and trends across the country. Click here for previous columns.


Meatless Mondays: Even Mario Batali's Doing It

No stranger to boar sausage, or to a finely braised veal shank, Mario Batali however isn't the first name that pops to mind when you think about vegetables. And that's what's so interesting about his decision to embrace Meatless Monday in all of his 14 restaurants across the country.

"The fact is, most people in the U.S. eat way more meat than is good for them or the planet," maintains Batali. "Asking everyone to go vegetarian or vegan isn't a realistic or attainable goal. But we can focus on a more plant-based diet, and support the farmers who raise their animals humanely and sustainably. That's why I'm such a big believer in the Meatless Monday movement."

Meatless Monday is all about incorporating more vegetables into our diet. It's about moderation, just one day a week, trying new plant-based recipes and sampling delicious ways to bring more veggies into our lives.

And it's catching on. Batali is joining early adopters, political leaders and celebrities such as Michael Pollan, Al Gore, Sir Paul McCartney, Simon Cowell and Gwyneth Paltrow the entire Baltimore Public School System, nearly 30 college campuses and 100 blogs and 8 international programs spanning Brazil to Taiwan.

"We're delighted that Maestro Mario is helping to move the movement," declares Sid Lerner, founder and chairman of Meatless Monday, an initiative of The Monday Campaigns. "If anybody can entice meat lovers to enjoy their veggies as well, it's Batali!"

So how's Mario going to do it? Every Monday every one of his 14 restaurants will serve at least two vegetarian options, whether entrees or pastas or pizzas. In addition, many of the restaurants will designate these dishes as Meatless Monday options, using Mario's new MM logo (below). With this simple gesture, Mario will send a powerful message to other chefs and restauranteurs that we can all start the week right by eating our veggies.

Stay tuned to Huffington Post Food because later this week Elizabeth Meltz, Mario's sustainability director, will post descriptions and photos of the actual Meatless Monday dishes created by his chefs for today's launch.


Meatless Mondays: Even Mario Batali's Doing It

No stranger to boar sausage, or to a finely braised veal shank, Mario Batali however isn't the first name that pops to mind when you think about vegetables. And that's what's so interesting about his decision to embrace Meatless Monday in all of his 14 restaurants across the country.

"The fact is, most people in the U.S. eat way more meat than is good for them or the planet," maintains Batali. "Asking everyone to go vegetarian or vegan isn't a realistic or attainable goal. But we can focus on a more plant-based diet, and support the farmers who raise their animals humanely and sustainably. That's why I'm such a big believer in the Meatless Monday movement."

Meatless Monday is all about incorporating more vegetables into our diet. It's about moderation, just one day a week, trying new plant-based recipes and sampling delicious ways to bring more veggies into our lives.

And it's catching on. Batali is joining early adopters, political leaders and celebrities such as Michael Pollan, Al Gore, Sir Paul McCartney, Simon Cowell and Gwyneth Paltrow the entire Baltimore Public School System, nearly 30 college campuses and 100 blogs and 8 international programs spanning Brazil to Taiwan.

"We're delighted that Maestro Mario is helping to move the movement," declares Sid Lerner, founder and chairman of Meatless Monday, an initiative of The Monday Campaigns. "If anybody can entice meat lovers to enjoy their veggies as well, it's Batali!"

So how's Mario going to do it? Every Monday every one of his 14 restaurants will serve at least two vegetarian options, whether entrees or pastas or pizzas. In addition, many of the restaurants will designate these dishes as Meatless Monday options, using Mario's new MM logo (below). With this simple gesture, Mario will send a powerful message to other chefs and restauranteurs that we can all start the week right by eating our veggies.

Stay tuned to Huffington Post Food because later this week Elizabeth Meltz, Mario's sustainability director, will post descriptions and photos of the actual Meatless Monday dishes created by his chefs for today's launch.


Meatless Mondays: Even Mario Batali's Doing It

No stranger to boar sausage, or to a finely braised veal shank, Mario Batali however isn't the first name that pops to mind when you think about vegetables. And that's what's so interesting about his decision to embrace Meatless Monday in all of his 14 restaurants across the country.

"The fact is, most people in the U.S. eat way more meat than is good for them or the planet," maintains Batali. "Asking everyone to go vegetarian or vegan isn't a realistic or attainable goal. But we can focus on a more plant-based diet, and support the farmers who raise their animals humanely and sustainably. That's why I'm such a big believer in the Meatless Monday movement."

Meatless Monday is all about incorporating more vegetables into our diet. It's about moderation, just one day a week, trying new plant-based recipes and sampling delicious ways to bring more veggies into our lives.

And it's catching on. Batali is joining early adopters, political leaders and celebrities such as Michael Pollan, Al Gore, Sir Paul McCartney, Simon Cowell and Gwyneth Paltrow the entire Baltimore Public School System, nearly 30 college campuses and 100 blogs and 8 international programs spanning Brazil to Taiwan.

"We're delighted that Maestro Mario is helping to move the movement," declares Sid Lerner, founder and chairman of Meatless Monday, an initiative of The Monday Campaigns. "If anybody can entice meat lovers to enjoy their veggies as well, it's Batali!"

So how's Mario going to do it? Every Monday every one of his 14 restaurants will serve at least two vegetarian options, whether entrees or pastas or pizzas. In addition, many of the restaurants will designate these dishes as Meatless Monday options, using Mario's new MM logo (below). With this simple gesture, Mario will send a powerful message to other chefs and restauranteurs that we can all start the week right by eating our veggies.

Stay tuned to Huffington Post Food because later this week Elizabeth Meltz, Mario's sustainability director, will post descriptions and photos of the actual Meatless Monday dishes created by his chefs for today's launch.


Meatless Mondays: Even Mario Batali's Doing It

No stranger to boar sausage, or to a finely braised veal shank, Mario Batali however isn't the first name that pops to mind when you think about vegetables. And that's what's so interesting about his decision to embrace Meatless Monday in all of his 14 restaurants across the country.

"The fact is, most people in the U.S. eat way more meat than is good for them or the planet," maintains Batali. "Asking everyone to go vegetarian or vegan isn't a realistic or attainable goal. But we can focus on a more plant-based diet, and support the farmers who raise their animals humanely and sustainably. That's why I'm such a big believer in the Meatless Monday movement."

Meatless Monday is all about incorporating more vegetables into our diet. It's about moderation, just one day a week, trying new plant-based recipes and sampling delicious ways to bring more veggies into our lives.

And it's catching on. Batali is joining early adopters, political leaders and celebrities such as Michael Pollan, Al Gore, Sir Paul McCartney, Simon Cowell and Gwyneth Paltrow the entire Baltimore Public School System, nearly 30 college campuses and 100 blogs and 8 international programs spanning Brazil to Taiwan.

"We're delighted that Maestro Mario is helping to move the movement," declares Sid Lerner, founder and chairman of Meatless Monday, an initiative of The Monday Campaigns. "If anybody can entice meat lovers to enjoy their veggies as well, it's Batali!"

So how's Mario going to do it? Every Monday every one of his 14 restaurants will serve at least two vegetarian options, whether entrees or pastas or pizzas. In addition, many of the restaurants will designate these dishes as Meatless Monday options, using Mario's new MM logo (below). With this simple gesture, Mario will send a powerful message to other chefs and restauranteurs that we can all start the week right by eating our veggies.

Stay tuned to Huffington Post Food because later this week Elizabeth Meltz, Mario's sustainability director, will post descriptions and photos of the actual Meatless Monday dishes created by his chefs for today's launch.


Meatless Mondays: Even Mario Batali's Doing It

No stranger to boar sausage, or to a finely braised veal shank, Mario Batali however isn't the first name that pops to mind when you think about vegetables. And that's what's so interesting about his decision to embrace Meatless Monday in all of his 14 restaurants across the country.

"The fact is, most people in the U.S. eat way more meat than is good for them or the planet," maintains Batali. "Asking everyone to go vegetarian or vegan isn't a realistic or attainable goal. But we can focus on a more plant-based diet, and support the farmers who raise their animals humanely and sustainably. That's why I'm such a big believer in the Meatless Monday movement."

Meatless Monday is all about incorporating more vegetables into our diet. It's about moderation, just one day a week, trying new plant-based recipes and sampling delicious ways to bring more veggies into our lives.

And it's catching on. Batali is joining early adopters, political leaders and celebrities such as Michael Pollan, Al Gore, Sir Paul McCartney, Simon Cowell and Gwyneth Paltrow the entire Baltimore Public School System, nearly 30 college campuses and 100 blogs and 8 international programs spanning Brazil to Taiwan.

"We're delighted that Maestro Mario is helping to move the movement," declares Sid Lerner, founder and chairman of Meatless Monday, an initiative of The Monday Campaigns. "If anybody can entice meat lovers to enjoy their veggies as well, it's Batali!"

So how's Mario going to do it? Every Monday every one of his 14 restaurants will serve at least two vegetarian options, whether entrees or pastas or pizzas. In addition, many of the restaurants will designate these dishes as Meatless Monday options, using Mario's new MM logo (below). With this simple gesture, Mario will send a powerful message to other chefs and restauranteurs that we can all start the week right by eating our veggies.

Stay tuned to Huffington Post Food because later this week Elizabeth Meltz, Mario's sustainability director, will post descriptions and photos of the actual Meatless Monday dishes created by his chefs for today's launch.


Meatless Mondays: Even Mario Batali's Doing It

No stranger to boar sausage, or to a finely braised veal shank, Mario Batali however isn't the first name that pops to mind when you think about vegetables. And that's what's so interesting about his decision to embrace Meatless Monday in all of his 14 restaurants across the country.

"The fact is, most people in the U.S. eat way more meat than is good for them or the planet," maintains Batali. "Asking everyone to go vegetarian or vegan isn't a realistic or attainable goal. But we can focus on a more plant-based diet, and support the farmers who raise their animals humanely and sustainably. That's why I'm such a big believer in the Meatless Monday movement."

Meatless Monday is all about incorporating more vegetables into our diet. It's about moderation, just one day a week, trying new plant-based recipes and sampling delicious ways to bring more veggies into our lives.

And it's catching on. Batali is joining early adopters, political leaders and celebrities such as Michael Pollan, Al Gore, Sir Paul McCartney, Simon Cowell and Gwyneth Paltrow the entire Baltimore Public School System, nearly 30 college campuses and 100 blogs and 8 international programs spanning Brazil to Taiwan.

"We're delighted that Maestro Mario is helping to move the movement," declares Sid Lerner, founder and chairman of Meatless Monday, an initiative of The Monday Campaigns. "If anybody can entice meat lovers to enjoy their veggies as well, it's Batali!"

So how's Mario going to do it? Every Monday every one of his 14 restaurants will serve at least two vegetarian options, whether entrees or pastas or pizzas. In addition, many of the restaurants will designate these dishes as Meatless Monday options, using Mario's new MM logo (below). With this simple gesture, Mario will send a powerful message to other chefs and restauranteurs that we can all start the week right by eating our veggies.

Stay tuned to Huffington Post Food because later this week Elizabeth Meltz, Mario's sustainability director, will post descriptions and photos of the actual Meatless Monday dishes created by his chefs for today's launch.


Meatless Mondays: Even Mario Batali's Doing It

No stranger to boar sausage, or to a finely braised veal shank, Mario Batali however isn't the first name that pops to mind when you think about vegetables. And that's what's so interesting about his decision to embrace Meatless Monday in all of his 14 restaurants across the country.

"The fact is, most people in the U.S. eat way more meat than is good for them or the planet," maintains Batali. "Asking everyone to go vegetarian or vegan isn't a realistic or attainable goal. But we can focus on a more plant-based diet, and support the farmers who raise their animals humanely and sustainably. That's why I'm such a big believer in the Meatless Monday movement."

Meatless Monday is all about incorporating more vegetables into our diet. It's about moderation, just one day a week, trying new plant-based recipes and sampling delicious ways to bring more veggies into our lives.

And it's catching on. Batali is joining early adopters, political leaders and celebrities such as Michael Pollan, Al Gore, Sir Paul McCartney, Simon Cowell and Gwyneth Paltrow the entire Baltimore Public School System, nearly 30 college campuses and 100 blogs and 8 international programs spanning Brazil to Taiwan.

"We're delighted that Maestro Mario is helping to move the movement," declares Sid Lerner, founder and chairman of Meatless Monday, an initiative of The Monday Campaigns. "If anybody can entice meat lovers to enjoy their veggies as well, it's Batali!"

So how's Mario going to do it? Every Monday every one of his 14 restaurants will serve at least two vegetarian options, whether entrees or pastas or pizzas. In addition, many of the restaurants will designate these dishes as Meatless Monday options, using Mario's new MM logo (below). With this simple gesture, Mario will send a powerful message to other chefs and restauranteurs that we can all start the week right by eating our veggies.

Stay tuned to Huffington Post Food because later this week Elizabeth Meltz, Mario's sustainability director, will post descriptions and photos of the actual Meatless Monday dishes created by his chefs for today's launch.


Meatless Mondays: Even Mario Batali's Doing It

No stranger to boar sausage, or to a finely braised veal shank, Mario Batali however isn't the first name that pops to mind when you think about vegetables. And that's what's so interesting about his decision to embrace Meatless Monday in all of his 14 restaurants across the country.

"The fact is, most people in the U.S. eat way more meat than is good for them or the planet," maintains Batali. "Asking everyone to go vegetarian or vegan isn't a realistic or attainable goal. But we can focus on a more plant-based diet, and support the farmers who raise their animals humanely and sustainably. That's why I'm such a big believer in the Meatless Monday movement."

Meatless Monday is all about incorporating more vegetables into our diet. It's about moderation, just one day a week, trying new plant-based recipes and sampling delicious ways to bring more veggies into our lives.

And it's catching on. Batali is joining early adopters, political leaders and celebrities such as Michael Pollan, Al Gore, Sir Paul McCartney, Simon Cowell and Gwyneth Paltrow the entire Baltimore Public School System, nearly 30 college campuses and 100 blogs and 8 international programs spanning Brazil to Taiwan.

"We're delighted that Maestro Mario is helping to move the movement," declares Sid Lerner, founder and chairman of Meatless Monday, an initiative of The Monday Campaigns. "If anybody can entice meat lovers to enjoy their veggies as well, it's Batali!"

So how's Mario going to do it? Every Monday every one of his 14 restaurants will serve at least two vegetarian options, whether entrees or pastas or pizzas. In addition, many of the restaurants will designate these dishes as Meatless Monday options, using Mario's new MM logo (below). With this simple gesture, Mario will send a powerful message to other chefs and restauranteurs that we can all start the week right by eating our veggies.

Stay tuned to Huffington Post Food because later this week Elizabeth Meltz, Mario's sustainability director, will post descriptions and photos of the actual Meatless Monday dishes created by his chefs for today's launch.


Meatless Mondays: Even Mario Batali's Doing It

No stranger to boar sausage, or to a finely braised veal shank, Mario Batali however isn't the first name that pops to mind when you think about vegetables. And that's what's so interesting about his decision to embrace Meatless Monday in all of his 14 restaurants across the country.

"The fact is, most people in the U.S. eat way more meat than is good for them or the planet," maintains Batali. "Asking everyone to go vegetarian or vegan isn't a realistic or attainable goal. But we can focus on a more plant-based diet, and support the farmers who raise their animals humanely and sustainably. That's why I'm such a big believer in the Meatless Monday movement."

Meatless Monday is all about incorporating more vegetables into our diet. It's about moderation, just one day a week, trying new plant-based recipes and sampling delicious ways to bring more veggies into our lives.

And it's catching on. Batali is joining early adopters, political leaders and celebrities such as Michael Pollan, Al Gore, Sir Paul McCartney, Simon Cowell and Gwyneth Paltrow the entire Baltimore Public School System, nearly 30 college campuses and 100 blogs and 8 international programs spanning Brazil to Taiwan.

"We're delighted that Maestro Mario is helping to move the movement," declares Sid Lerner, founder and chairman of Meatless Monday, an initiative of The Monday Campaigns. "If anybody can entice meat lovers to enjoy their veggies as well, it's Batali!"

So how's Mario going to do it? Every Monday every one of his 14 restaurants will serve at least two vegetarian options, whether entrees or pastas or pizzas. In addition, many of the restaurants will designate these dishes as Meatless Monday options, using Mario's new MM logo (below). With this simple gesture, Mario will send a powerful message to other chefs and restauranteurs that we can all start the week right by eating our veggies.

Stay tuned to Huffington Post Food because later this week Elizabeth Meltz, Mario's sustainability director, will post descriptions and photos of the actual Meatless Monday dishes created by his chefs for today's launch.


Meatless Mondays: Even Mario Batali's Doing It

No stranger to boar sausage, or to a finely braised veal shank, Mario Batali however isn't the first name that pops to mind when you think about vegetables. And that's what's so interesting about his decision to embrace Meatless Monday in all of his 14 restaurants across the country.

"The fact is, most people in the U.S. eat way more meat than is good for them or the planet," maintains Batali. "Asking everyone to go vegetarian or vegan isn't a realistic or attainable goal. But we can focus on a more plant-based diet, and support the farmers who raise their animals humanely and sustainably. That's why I'm such a big believer in the Meatless Monday movement."

Meatless Monday is all about incorporating more vegetables into our diet. It's about moderation, just one day a week, trying new plant-based recipes and sampling delicious ways to bring more veggies into our lives.

And it's catching on. Batali is joining early adopters, political leaders and celebrities such as Michael Pollan, Al Gore, Sir Paul McCartney, Simon Cowell and Gwyneth Paltrow the entire Baltimore Public School System, nearly 30 college campuses and 100 blogs and 8 international programs spanning Brazil to Taiwan.

"We're delighted that Maestro Mario is helping to move the movement," declares Sid Lerner, founder and chairman of Meatless Monday, an initiative of The Monday Campaigns. "If anybody can entice meat lovers to enjoy their veggies as well, it's Batali!"

So how's Mario going to do it? Every Monday every one of his 14 restaurants will serve at least two vegetarian options, whether entrees or pastas or pizzas. In addition, many of the restaurants will designate these dishes as Meatless Monday options, using Mario's new MM logo (below). With this simple gesture, Mario will send a powerful message to other chefs and restauranteurs that we can all start the week right by eating our veggies.

Stay tuned to Huffington Post Food because later this week Elizabeth Meltz, Mario's sustainability director, will post descriptions and photos of the actual Meatless Monday dishes created by his chefs for today's launch.


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