Celebrity chef cooks up eating mega-center

Click to follow
Indy Lifestyle Online

Mario Batali, renowned Italian chef, is getting back to basics, cooking and planning to bring Turin’s Eataly, slow food Italian market and artisanal foods, to New York with six new restaurants.

Batali, who is all about good Italian whole foods, is working with his partner Joe Bastianich, also son of acclaimed chef Lidia Bastianich, on the long-awaited Eataly. According to the New York Times (NYT) dining blog, Diner's Journal, it is long overdue. Oscar Farinetti, creator of Eataly Turin told the NYT in 2007 the project was to open in the Spring 2007 "a two-level, 10,000-square-foot space in the new Centria building at 18 West 48th Street."

New Yorkers waited but no Eataly. Farinetti's promise "to make high-quality Italian foods available to everyone, at sustainable prices and in an informal environment where they can shop, taste and learn" will finally become a reality but Bastianich isn't disclosing the exact location, only that it is scheduled to open by the end of 2010 between Union Square and Madison Square.

Batali explained to Time magazine on February 23, an American news magazine, "so much has happened since [we opened a restaurant]; the whole terrain has changed. There's the green movement, sustainability, the new world of small-farm sourcing. I'm turned on by that. It's a whole new palette to work from. I'm intimately involved in what the restaurants are going to be."

Eataly will have six distinct restaurants devoted to solely to meat, fish, pasta and pizza, vegetables, a panino bar and a brewery-gastropub on the roof deck.

"There's going to be peppery calves' tongue, two meat pastas with meat sauces - actually meat juices! - plus two rib-eye steaks." Batali describes the meat restaurant menu.

Like many celebrity chefs, Batali has had to leave the kitchen for the small screen, traveling to events and writing books. Despite being an authority on the business, he shared this about getting back into the kitchen and creating six new, distinct restaurants with all of his food, "there are five ways for everything to go wrong, and I'm a little nervous, but that's exciting."

New York may just be the next stop in Farinetti's global plan as he explained to the NYT in 2007, "Italian cuisine is not only one of the best in the world, it's also one of the most exportable. With Eataly, my intention was to create a universal format that would work equally well in Afghanistan or Peking or New York or Milan. So far, there is only one such enterprise: it's called Ikea and its furniture is identical throughout the entire world. With Italian food it should be even easier. I believe what we did in Torino could be transplanted anywhere and work just as well."

Comments