With 15 restaurants, eight cookbooks, a travel food show, and a silver screen debut under his belt, world-renowned Italian chef Mario Batali is making a return to the kitchen. This Summer, Batali will open the first US location of Eataly, a colossal food emporium based in Turin, Italy. The 60,000 square foot greenmarket and food center, which will be near Manhattan's Madison Square Park, will have a meat restaurant, a fish restaurant, a pasta and pizza eatery, a vegetable-driven restaurant, a panino bar, and a brewpub on the roofdeck. The most significant point to note, aside from the project's sheer scope, is the fact that, for the first time since he opened Otto, Batali will design the menus for all six restaurants.
Much like Tom Colicchio, who has spent more time cooking in the last year with Tom Tuesday Dinner and Colicchio & Sons Tap Room, Molto Mario admitted he's missing the time spent in the kitchen. I love the idea of a celebrated chef coming full circle and embracing the sheer joy of cooking. Do you think Batali and other celebrity chefs can still cut it in the kitchen?