Mario Batali is an American chef, restaurant owner, writer and media personality. He was born on September 9, 1960 in Yakima, Washington into a family of Italian, French, Canadian, and English descent. Mario Batali went to Spain with his family in 1975 and in 1978, came back to the US to study at Rutgers University. In the said university, he double majored in Spanish language and theater and economics. He graduated in 1982.
When Mario Batali turned 25 years old, he worked as a sous chef at the Four Seasons Clift in San Francisco, California. He was promoted and tasked to control the La Marina restaurant of the Four Seasons Biltmore Hotel in Santa Barbara. After two years of working in the restaurant, he became the highest paid chef in the company. However, two years later, he decided to resign from his post at the Four Seasons. He went back to Italy, in the northern Italian village of Borgo Capanne, where he became a trainee in the kitchen at La Volta. His main goal was to perfect the traditional style of Italian cooking. One of the people who inspired him to cook was his grandmother, Leonetta Merlino.
By 1997, Mario Batali sealed a contract with Food Network to host his own cooking show called Molto Mario. In September 2007, The New York Post reported that Mario Batali will not be renewing his contract with Food Network. He is currently featured in PBS’s show Spain……on the Road Again with prominent celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Mark Bittman (of The New York Times), Pee-wee Herman, and Claudia Bassols. The show features Spanish cuisine. He is also negotiating with the Travel Channel to create a TV program on Italian cooking and traditions.
In 2009, he announced the launch of the Mario Batali Foundation. The goal of the foundation is simple: to encourage, educate and empower children. This fundraising organization was created for disease research and hunger relief for children, and also focuses on a literacy program.
At present, Mario Batali owns several restaurants in various parts of the United States.