Luck would have it that as soon as Mario Batali entered the reception hall at the Morgan Library last night, I whipped out my camera to a flashing battery sign. NO. WAY. IN. HADES.
Welp, yes way. And thus I had to resort to snapping these two pics on my Blackberry. Picture quality is not one of the phone's strong suits. BBM may or may not make up for this.
Regardless, last night I was lucky enough to attend an interview with Mario Batali conducted by Leonard Lopate (thank you Mrs. Dora and Nadina!). The event was part of the Taste of New York series and was hosted at the Morgan Library and Muesum.
Batali looked and sounded great. The man's vocabulary is borderline obscene; the words he seems to so effortlessly pull out and insert into his ever so eloquent answers make you stop and think about what it is he just said and then realize that yes, in fact, that usage makes perfect sense, how dare I even think otherwise. Above all, he stressed the importance of simplicity, of focus, and of the quality of ingredients. Did he talk about things that I've never heard him preach before? Perhaps not. But having him sit there, a mere three feet away from me (separated by an over-eager 8 year old Birthday girl), made it beyond impactful. Batali, it turns out, really knows his stuff and you can't help but feel inferior yet empowered all at the same time in his presence.
Were you aware that he has 8 restaurants in New York City alone? I wasn't. Did you know he grew up in Seattle (And recounted the beauty of charring the crap out of a whole salmon, caught minutes prior, on the grill, cutting it through the middle and enjoying it room temperature with family. Perfection.)? Again, had no idear. And the fact that he had to say goodbye to his first restaurant Po, because his partner was addicted to heroin sent gasps followed by laughter throughout the room. But above all, Batali has proved to himself along with the rest of the world that a devotion and insistence on keeping things simple and true and pure to what you know and love, success will follow.