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Mar 13, 2008 05:04 AM

Does anyone speak better than Batali?

I just want to say he is a very eloquent man. Whenever I see this guy, I don't expect much for some reason... But then he starts talking and my perception totally takes a 180. I just think this guy talks really really well. :-P

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  1. You mean motor mouth? He's the fastest speaker I've ever heard and gets so much information into one sentence it's headspinning. I'm not sure I'd call him eloquent, but he sure has a ton of knowledge about Italy and Italian food. As he should. Lately I've been watching re-runs of his Molto Mario shows and still find them vastly interesting and inspiring.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Gio

      He has recently been on a Southeast Asian kick, and he is getting the Southeast Asian stuff right too. Good to know he is diversifying.

      1. re: Gio

        I always got the idea that when he was filming Molto Mario that he needed to get in as much information as he could in the 22 minutes allotted.

        What I mean is, that he knew that he knew all of this information about Italy, Italian Food, Prep, Traditiona dn and everything else, and that it was valuable for the viewer to get it all.

        I always appreciated that, and I always appreciated his dedication to Offal and Variety Cuts.

      2. I wouldn't call him eloquent in the same way I'd use the word for, say, Tim Gunn, who always chooses the exact word or turn of phrase to express his point. But Batali does know his stuff and can talk about any level of it seemingly off the cuff, sounding, at least to me, deeply knowledgeable.

        1. I really, really, miss Molto Mario. Never talking down to the guests or us, not afraid to drop a cultural reference, and of course the food -- oh, the food... (Although I often wonder what he's holding back...)

          18 Replies
          1. re: Richard 16

            I also miss MM (I can see those chubby fingers miming it now...). Any cooking show that requires its viewers to be alert and well caffeinated is my kind of program.

            Not only does he cram in all that information, but he really cooks while he's doing it. The speed and effortlessness of the motions of his hands are as impressive as those of his tongue.

            1. re: mhoffman

              Love Malto. Hope he is taking better care of himself. He was red-faced and very fat last time I saw him.

              1. re: melly

                I keep expecting to see a "BATALI DIES OF HEART ATTACK" thread.

                1. re: melly

                  Apparently, the clogged one is trying to improve his health:
                  (scroll toward the middle end)

                  1. re: gloriousfood

                    I sincerelly hope he does. I was having flash backs of K-paul. Mario is IMO a fantastic chef. I heard something about a new series with another network.

                    1. re: Docsknotinn

                      yes, there's a Bittman - Batali show from Spain coming to PBS soon
                      (preeeety sure it's PBS, no idea when it starts)

                    2. re: gloriousfood

                      Unfortunately, if you read the article carefully, you will see that it's Joe Bastianich that's on a diet, not Mario.

                      Thanks for pointing out this great article. I'm actually appalled by some of the comments by Shaw -- "diabetes thing is a major hoax?!?!?!"

                      1. re: Miss Needle


                        "It’s rubbing off on Mr. Batali, the High Priest of the Fat Pack.

                        “I exercise, I eat and I am a fully existing person in society,” he said. “But would I like to be 40 pounds less? Am I am sorry I’m not in better shape? Yes.”

                        So he is going to follow in his partner’s shoes.

                        “Believe me, by the end of this year I hope to lose 40 pounds the same way he has, by portion control and exercising two or three hours a day,” Mr. Batali said. “You can’t eat a large portion of a pig and lose weight.”"

                        1. re: MMRuth

                          You are absolutely right. Just finished reading the entire article. Was going to amend my statement.

                          I remember reading somewhere that he doesn't like to stuff himself, just eating ______, an it was a laundry list of a bunch of food. If that's the way he eats normally, it probably won't be too difficult for him to lose weight by cutting down portion size. Exercising 2-3 hours a day? I think it's a bit excessive for him at the moment. But I think he can work up to it. I hope he makes his goal.

                      2. re: gloriousfood

                        if I could cook like mario I would probably be 1,000 lbs. Manga!

                    3. re: mhoffman

                      You gotta love any cooking show that manages to have a man dressed in drag toss off a line such as "Nothing says I love you like a homemade salami", while keeping a straight face.

                      1. re: ChefBoyAreMe

                        How is Mario dressed in drag? I think I missed that one. I do get a cuckle out of the orange clogs but that's Mario.

                        1. re: Docsknotinn

                          Actually, it wasn't was one of the guests. Looked exactly like Mike Myers in the old SNL Barbara Streisand skits. I ran into Mario one day at Otto and asked him about it, if it really was Mike Myers. Apparently, it wasn' was a guy who tended bar at Babbo, who did it for the goof.

                    4. re: Richard 16

                      For those of us who haven't seen every episode yet, Molto Mario is being shown on FINE.

                      Just checking the TV guide and wow, they seem to have Molto Mario on several times a day. Also some others like Wolfgang Puck; shows with real chefs rather than entertainers.

                      1. re: rajat

                        puck's show that is a "cooking school" is excellent! i wish fn had it on in a reasonable time slot, and more often.

                        and yes, molto mario IS the best speaker -- and most informative. i love people who speak quickly and succinctly! a treasure!!!!

                        1. re: alkapal

                          Puck has been on FineLiving Network lately - during the day. Thank goodness or Tivo. So has MM. and Gordon Elliot's Follow That Food.

                        2. re: rajat

                          I watch Puck at times, I like his recipes and have never had a problem with any that I've tried, always been happy with the end result.

                      2. If you have the chance, check him out on Sundance's "Iconoclasts" from the first season - he's paired with Michael Stipe (from REM) and it's a GREAT show.

                        Also, Season Three is offering an episode with Wynton Marsalis paired with John Besh in New Orleans - looks really interesting from the clip on Sundance's site.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: ElsieDee

                          Besh/Marsalis was an interesting episode of Iconoclasts. Not much cooking but a lot about backgrounds. It was good.

                          I saw the Stipe/Batali but hedged; not a big Stipe fan. I'll have to watch it now.

                          1. re: Dee S

                            If you don't like Stipe, keep hedging. What a blowhard. MM needs to take better care of himself.

                          2. re: ElsieDee

                            I saw the show and thought it was interesting. It surely must have been bizarre for people to see the two of them motoring around Manhattan and patrolling what I think was the Union Square Greenmarket. I never would have picked those two for friends. The thing that was a bit annoying to me was when they went to someone's apartment to cook and they put the names of two women up on the screen, but not people who came later. I know one was part of the Phoenix clan, not sure about the other. Just did not sit right with me. And some of the photos of Michael Stipe were a bit creepy.

                          3. Mario is very well educated, and also very well-spoken. Many of the top chefs have only a culinary (more vocational) education... and not the travel experience Mario had even before he started cooking professionally.

                            But there are other well-spoken chefs. Most of them are not on TVFN.

                            Jacques Pepin comes immediately to mind, and Thomas Keller.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: ChefJune

                              Pepin is the right comparison -- in those reruns of his solo technique shows from 20 years ago, he exhibits the same unpretentious fluidity with information.
                              Although he is a wee bit harder to understand with 'is Frenchitude.

                              1. re: pitu

                                He can't help his accent. He is from Lyon and didn't come here until he was adult.