Mario Batali Dishes on Gay Marriage, Travel, and Food Trends
We love Mario Batali. The guy’s a family man, Gwyneth Paltrow’s tapas buddy, and whips up some of the best Italian food this side of Tuscany. As if those weren’t enough reasons to hang his portrait in your kitchen -- and give him a pass for sporting Crocs -- Batali’s as huge a proponent of marriage equality as eating locally. In an Out contributor Jimmy Im, co-founder of gay flash sale site OutEscapes, Batali said, “What will surprise everyone in fifteen years when you can marry whoever you want is looking back at events like people going to the back of the bus in 1966: it will be that preposterous to us. How you couldn’t marry whoever you wanted, gay, straight, lesbian, transvestite, transexual, anything -- it doesn’t make a difference.”
As for travel, Batali’s all about trying the local fare. “I always buy stuff when I get there,” says the chef, “particularly food and wine. I always recommend drinking local wine. You’ll never find me in the South of France drinking Burgundy. Drink local, it’s better that way.” He also recommends giving Bologna, Oaxaca, and the Pacific Northwest a shot for summer getaways. (Beats South Beach for the fourteenth time!)
The restaurateur also gave his predictions for food trends. Batali foresees the cuisine of Southeast Asia coming (more) into vogue and as well as a resurgence of D.I.Y. “Home grilling and home cooking is also going to be bigger and bigger every year as people are seeing it in pop culture and TV.”
Big things are happening for the maestro of macaroni. Batali plans on opening four more locations of Eataly, his Italian food and wine mega-markets, in the next six years (and you thought shopping at Ikea and Target was fun). Though he intends to get a footing in Hong Kong and Shanghai, keep your fingers crossed he opens one near you.
Click here for the full interview.