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Aug 24, 2008 12:35 PM

Batali, Paltrow & Bittman in Spain...

According to Sept. Food & Wine Magazine, a new 13-part series about culinary Spain brings together Mario Batali, actress Gwyneth Paltrow and food writer Mark Bittman as they explore the country...sounds delightful! With many others reporting from there, Spain is finally being accorded a rightful place among the world's best food and wine resources.
The series will air starting in September...

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    1. re: enbell

      Official link I posted on another thread yesterday:

    2. I can't imagine what Gwyneth Paltrow has to do with with this show, with the exception of being a celebrity. Has she actually ever eaten anything? This show sounds dreadful.

      7 Replies
      1. re: roxlet

        "Has she actually ever eaten anything?"


        1. re: roxlet

          I read somewhere that she speaks Spanish fluently, and as someone pointed out, lived in Spain as an exchange student. But I think she's really on the show for her celebrity value. I can't imagine that she would be a culinary wonderland. She was on a strict macrobiotic diet for years before she quit.

          1. re: gloriousfood

            I heard she named her child "Manzana"


            I will def. watch the show as Mario can do no wrong, plus I love Spanish food.

            1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston

              right, her daughter is "apple". her son, "moses". i found out on the amazing internet! ;-)

          2. re: roxlet

            Yeah, as soon as I heard of this show the song "One of these things is not like the other" popped in to my head.

            1. re: LabRat

              Just because she's blond (I'm guessing), beautiful, and a celebrity doesn't mean she's ignorant about food. Let's give the show a couple of episodes. The trailer looks like fun.

              1. re: Richard 16

                I understand she's a long-time foodie. And that's supposedly how she and Mario first got together.

          3. Paltrow has, apparently, been a regular visitor to Spain since she spent a few months there as an exchange student in her mid-teens. I believe she also has a residence there. I would guess that gives her the appropriate street cred to give the "sometime visitor's" point of view, at the very least.

            11 Replies
            1. re: ferret

              I saw a tease on PBS. her Spanish is excellent. I was pretty surprised. This kind of reminds me of the Mario show with Rooney, going through Italy. Bittman isn't as clueless as Rooney and they really leave Mario alone, i.e. he doesn't have to be the straight man all the time and the humor seem less forced. Not sure what Paltrow adds to the series but she is very knowledgeable about Spain and its culture. The other woman, a Spanish film actress seem to take up the culinary slack. So three out of four isn't bad.

              1. re: Phaedrus

                She understands and has lived the culture--they are food tourists. She will be the one able to converse with the chefs and staff--asking the good questions and being the diplomat, while the other two provide "color" and personality. hah!

                1. re: toodie jane

                  The other woman along for the ride is actually Spanish, so she could do the necessary speaking. I saw a promo. She and Gwinnie go to a spa while Mario and Mark go eat. Then they talk about how fat they're going to get while dipping a churro into hot chocolate. Yeah, right...

                  1. re: roxlet

                    Well, that's the promo anyway. we all know how accurately trailers portray their respective movies. I hope for the best. She's an intelligent woman, and can perhaps find a way to rise above the script. She speaks the language, which makes her 10 steps ahead of the others.

                    I don't know her level of passion for food. My 60 year-old BIL has about 9% body fat and eats like a high school fullback, so body size isn't an indicator of caloric intake. Look at her mom. Genetics. Let's wait and see.

                    1. re: toodie jane

                      It's television. You need to maintain viewership and interest. The one think Bittman proves on TV is that he's better as a writer -- he wears thin on TV very quickly. Batali is knowledgeable about the Italy and Spain but his street cred is still focused on Italy. It's nice for them to have some balance and maybe broaden the audience -- they're likely to get more viewers with Paltrow along.

                  2. re: toodie jane

                    Mario has had a restaurant in Spain for a few years now actually.

                    1. re: HarryK

                      Really, what's the name of the restaurant and where is it?

                      1. re: KTinNYC

                        Never heard of any such restaurant. If you've read "Heat" it details how Batali supported one of his chefs in opening a tapas restaurant, Casa Mono (in New York). That's the only Spanish connection I'm aware of with Batali.

                        1. re: ferret

                          I know about the connection with Andy Nusser and Casa Mono and Bar Jamon. And I think Heat mentioned that Mario went to high school in Spain for a couple of years but I've never heard of any restaurant in Spain either.

                          1. re: ferret

                            Maybe I'm mistaken. Problem is a Google search turned up lists of Mario's America restaurants only (yes, that could be because he only has them in the US) but so many pages list one or three restaurants it's tough to find something very complete. As there's no mention of any on his site either, yep, perhaps I was confusing Casa Mono. Though I would have sworn I heard (misheard?) he partnered with someone in Spain. If true (which now I'm starting to doubt) I can't prove it.

                        2. re: HarryK

                          Mario lived in Spain as a youngster, so his spanish isn't that bad either. The only real gringo seems to be Bittman.

                  3. i'm really looking forward to the series.

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