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>>Barry Salzman: Good afternoon. For those of you I've not met before, I'm Barry Salzman
and I have to say I've not filled TechTalk like this in the year I've been at Google.
So, note to self, Mario, you are invited to every one of our media platforms or hands
meetings from here on forward. So, I first met Mario in 2001 and at the time, a reservation
at Babbo was the toughest reservation to get in New York City. At the time I think he had
three restaurants-- is that right?-- and had published two books. Ten years later, Babbo
is still the toughest ticket in town, which in and of itself is no small feat in a city
known for fickle foodies, but in addition, Mario has, I think, 15 restaurants today.
I'm getting the thumbs up. Fifteen restaurants today, published eight books, television shows,
vineyard, charitable foundation and the latest addition to-- I think the latest addition,
unless I'm out of date-- to the Mario Batali empire has been the Android App, and that's
what he's here to talk about today. As a tribute to Mario, I think everybody knows that all
chefs at Hemispheres are doing a set of Mario Batali inspired dishes for lunch. So, after
this, be sure to head up there and join us for lunch. I just wanna read you something
from Mario's official bio. And it says," At the root of Mario's success is his passion
and respect for all of the great tastes and traditions of Italian cooking, combined with
an insatiable desire to experience and experiment. This magical combination of passion, education,
and chutzpah is on display every night at his extremely popular restaurants, and evident
in his books and TV shows."
Well, last night I watched Mario's last appearance at Google on YouTube and I want to say that
Mario, you have broken a Google record. He was on record as being the outside speaker
to have used the f word more than anybody else in a 45 minute presentation. So, I'm
certain he's not gonna disappoint this time. Mario, I have to say it is f-ing good to have
you back.
[laughter]
Please join me in welcoming Chef Mario Batali.
[applause]
>>Mario Batali: Good afternoon, everybody. I'm sure you'll be slightly disappointed that
with a 12 year old and a 14 year old, I've changed my rating from R to PG.
[laughter]
So, I only say "fuck" when it's really essential, which sometimes is and sometimes isn't. I'm
here today in support of the launch of the Android App that I have. It is, if you've
ever watched the old Food Network's show called "Molto Mario", which is on now on the Cooking
Channel I think at 4:30 in the morning.
[laughter]
Maybe it's 4:42 just to challenge you. No, I think it's like 7:30 or 8:00. What it is,
is a straight-forward, very direct demonstration of what really good Italian technique, how
simple it is, how much it's based on shopping. And, as opposed to a lot of the other Apps,
which are virtually cookbooks translated to the page, this I actually walk through each
of the dishes, just as if I'm in the kitchen with you. And the idea is to empower you to
feel that you can actually watch it. There's a thousand features which we're gonna demo
in a few minutes that describe and display how you can use it in the very complicated
world of multitasking, how we can use all of the tricks and treatments to make it happen.
But what it's really fundamentally about is understanding that people, in addition to
wanting to go out to be entertained by food, that what they really wanna do is understand
their food, they wanna love their food and they wanna know about their food.
Thirty years ago, you became a cook, not a chef, right after you got out of the military
and some time before you went to jail.
[laughter]
And that's because cooking at that time was the lowest common denominator job. Anybody
could peel a potato, anybody could start in a kitchen, and effectively work in a diner
in any town or in the military-- or in prison--cooking food. Our fascination with food came as a
result of our fascination with our health, our understanding of our health, our fascination
with the things that give us pleasure. And I must say, I'm quite pleased to say that
whereas 30 years ago you might go out to get a bite and then go to the game or go to the
opera and then get a bite, or go to a concert or a museum and get something to eat on the
way, at this point now amongst many of the people in this room, the bite is actually
the central part of our evening or our afternoon. And it's our obsession and our pride and our
understanding, as well as our internationalization in our super Suave' Bolla way that we travel
around the world and look for things that make us happy, that food has come to the center
of the plate, as it were. Subsequent to that, of course, cooks became a little bit more
successful. And it's in no short, it's not to short it, but I think that although cooks
have enjoyed a certain little bit of fame, eventually the next rock stars aren't gonna
be cooks. It's gonna be farmer's [looks to the left and sighs] and fishermen because
eventually you'll realize that no matter how much technique there is and how many bams
there is or how many squirt bottles there is, or all of those other things, effectively
what really is the biggest decision is you're going to make are going to be on what you
buy and how you source it and where you get it. So, there's also shopping parts in this
app, but I think the real understanding is to make something delicious, you really have
to buy something that has a point of view. And it's that kind of slow-food mentality,
that kind of searching for biodiversity that is what I really try to represent at this
point. I don't know if any of you have heard about this little grocery store I opened up
called Eataly on 23rd Street. But if you walk in there there's a, there's a huge component
of it is slogans. It's allowing people to understand that it's one little bite of information
that will allow you to really get your hands on what a great tangerine is, or why you eat
this kind of spaghetti or what kind of oil this is. And it's not really about Italian
food. It's about the micro-regional components of Italian food and American ingredients as
well, cooked into that world that make it so satisfying to do and so delicious and also
nutritious for you. So, this app has all of that rolled into it and what it really is
about is empowering you to understand that you can cook just like I can, almost as good
as some of the great grandmothers from Italy. And that's the objective behind this is to
remove a little bit more of the veil, to look a little bit behind the curtain, but effectively
watch and learn how to cook the kind of things that I do, as well as use it just for entertainment.
I mean, it's just kind of fun to watch someone who seems to know what they're doing, doing
what they do pretty good. And that's why I'm here to do it. Now, I'm gonna introduce Matt
Bardin, who's my partner in this, who understands all the technology of it. Basically, I stood
up in front of a camera for about five days and we shot 85 videos, which is a good little
clip, and we had a good time. So, Matt, why don't you show us about how to use this Android
App?
>>Matt Bardin: Ok. So, let's, this is the home screen of the app. Actually, maybe we'll
start with -- no, that's good. And the main feature, navigationally, is this--
>>Mario Batali: Hold on. Lemme interrupt one second. If there is any questions at all time,
it can be, we can just go right ahead and say or ask. Bring up what you want. If you
see something that looks incongruous or you just wanna say that you love Led Zeppelin,
I mean, just bring it on. [laughter]
>>Matt Bardin: So the nav-, main navigation features this dial, which is inspired by a
stove dial and basically, we give the users a lot of ways to navigate and drill down and
look at the recipe. So, you can go by region, by course, by season, things kids love cause
Mario's into kids. You can bookmark your favorites.
[laughter]
>>Mario Batali: "Mario has kids," is what he meant to say. I have kids; I like their
friends, we hang out. I'm not so into kids.
[laughter]
>>Matt Bardin: No, I haven't heard that.
>>Mario Batali: I'm childish is what he meant to say. I'm childish, that's what he meant
to say.
[laughter]
>>Matt Bardin: And he hasn't used the f word once.
>>Mario Batali: Not yet, just the fucking introduction.
[laughter]
>>Matt Bardin: So, let's look by category and let's look at the pastas. And I didn't
bring my glasses up, so I don't know what this is.
>>Mario Batali: That's Bucatini All'amatriciana. One of my personal favorites.
>>Matt Bardin: So, if you look at it this way, you can scroll through and just quickly
look at all of the steps. You can also hit the--not the back button--whoops. You can
also hit the menu button and this custom designed navigation bar lets you see the ingredients,
which you can also move to your shopping cart. It lets you see all the videos that would
relate to this particular app and I mean--
>>Mario Batali: Meaning that as you use an olive oil, if you wanna understand a little
bit more about olive oil, right then and there you stop, you put a little bookmark and say,
"All right. Lemme find out a little bit more about olive oil, maybe before I use it or
before I purchase it." So then you go to that and then if in the middle of that, for some
reason, you wanna understand a little bit about how to zest a lemon, you can go right
back to that and say, "All right, lemme show you, lemme see how to zest a lemon." And then
go back to the recipe and then continue through.
>>Matt Bardin: And since you mentioned going back, this tab right here is for bookmarks
and as soon as I touch that it's automatically bookmarking this recipe. So, that's how I
jump around and can cook several things at once. So now if I wanna cook this recipe,
I would turn it this way, in landscape mode and this gives me the steps, either in text
form or in images. So, I can scroll through and just look at all the images. A lot of
chefs are visual people and they can kinda look at this and get a sense of what they
wanna do, but then it also gives you the text and you can toggle back and forth. This one
doesn't -- oh, there's a timer. If Mario calls for a timer, we've built them into the app.
And--
>>Mario Batali: So, say simmer ten minutes, for example. Or, cook pasta--
>>Matt Bardin: Whoops! Was there a timer here? There it is.
>>Mario Batali: There you go.
>>Matt Bardin: So, if I tap this bar, there's my timer and I set it and it's now running
behind all of these. It's good, right?
>>Mario Batali: Perfect. Nice, huh?
[laughter]
Bravo, Matt.
[clapping]
Now, if at that same time, you went to another recipe of a salad that you were making to
serve with this and there was a timer on that, you could run concurrent timers going at the
same time. It will also warn you when your spaghetti should be coming out of the water,
in case you're busy on the phone or liking kids or whatever else you do.
[laughter]
>>Matt Bardin: Which Mario is known to do apparently. So, just in terms of -- Mario
mentioned the other kinds of videos there. There are not just recipes in this app. There
are also two other kinds of videos. There are kitchen basics, which -- do you wanna
talk about that a little, Mario?
>>Mario Batali: Sure. I'll describe how and what you should look for when you're buying.
Or, what you should be aware of. We'll talk about different kinds of salumi, what salumi
is, where you can buy it, what the good ones are, what the ones that aren't so good are.
I generally don't talk poorly about anything, but if I find something I find that I don't
like, I'll mention a way to avoid it and that's just about going to the right stores.
>>Matt Bardin: Umm.
>>Mario Batali: Like, if you wanna know about salt, I talk about salt for like, four minutes.
[laughter]
It's just the kinda guy I am.
[laughter]
I think the understanding, however, that really, in addition to your – to the ingredients
that you use and that you buy specifically for that dish, the most often drive-by victim
is the things that you use in your pantry that you haven't evaluated. If you're using
a subpar oil or a subpar salt or a subpar kind of tomato or a subpar kind of anchovy,
everything that you use that in, or even breadcrumbs. If you use them improperly or you buy them
wrong, the building blocks, the fundamental starting, the foundation of your dish is already
marred. So, you're not gonna be able to stand much of a chance of making it great. The point
is not necessarily following only what I say. It's about developing your own culinary point
of view. And the informational text and the informational videos in here, kind of coerce
you to become more involved in understanding your pantry, which is really how you're gonna
make much better food. And having three different kinds of salt because you know what they're
for and using their different levels of salinity and their texture, will affect the final composition
of the dishes as well as the pleasure it's going to give to your friends and yourself
and understanding those details, is what making really good food is all about and it's not
complicated, especially when someone describes it to you. Maybe reading it, it's not so obvious,
but when you're sitting there looking at it and I'm pointing out the things and what to
look for, that empowers you to become a better cook. I hope.
>>Matt Bardin: So, let's just go back to, let's go back to that recipe and just show
you the video--
>>Mario Batali: Three -- two minutes and 23 seconds, let's get your sauce going, Matt.
[chuckles]
>>Matt Bardin: Oops. Ok. Let's turn it back this way and now you can watch the video.
You can watch the video. There we go. Speak now--
[laughter]
>>Mario Batali: It wants you to speak now.
>>Matt Bardin: Ok.
>>Mario Batali: Don't talk. Shhh!
>>Matt Bardin: What was that? I don't know what that's doing. Here we go.
[pause]
[beep]
Can you guys hear this?
[video clip playing]
Anyway, that's the video.
[laughter]
>>Audience Member #1: Mario, what is that?.
>>Mario Batali: Bucatini all'amatriciania; that means bucatini in the style of the women
from Amatricia. It's spaghetti with a hole. What I have here is guanchiale. If you couldn't
find some guanchiale--
[laughter]
you would go buy some pancetta or some great American bacon. I just give it a little chop
right here with one of these fancy knives.
[laughter]
I point to my name on my sweatshirt. And then I show you that even with the hands that used
to be the Jimmy Dean pure pork sausage hand models, you can actually still make good food.
[laughter]
The beauty of this is using these cameras, we use these Canon 5 cameras that are so beautiful
that you get in there and you can really get a good sense of it. I always use extra virgin
olive oil.
[laughter]
And blah, blah, blah. And it goes on and it's just like a segment from one of the old shows
that I used to do, that I'm going to be doing again, where I fundamentally show people how
to do it step-by-step, watching it there. I'm really in the kitchen with you which it
what makes it fun and it also makes it something that you can really use. It's almost as good
as a Kid Rock video as far as I'm concerned.
[laughter]
>>Matt Bardin: All right.
>>Mario Batali: Any other details?
>>Matt Bardin: Uh, I think that's a good start.
>>Mario Batali: Good. All right. Barry, why don't you come up? Let's talk a little bit.
Matt'll keep going through that and show us other details.
>>Matt Bardin: Here's the shopping list.
>>Mario Batali: Well, the shopping list is really cool because what will happen by the
end of next Spring, is you can create a shopping list and then you can push a button and it
will go to Eataly and they will send it to you. So, you're--
[clapping]
sitting around pretending you're working, "Yeah I'm calling someone really important"
and you're basically shopping for tonight's meal. Eataly will deliver that to your house
before you get home. That's technology working for us, my friends.
[audience chatter]
[clapping]
[bell ringing]
>>Mario Batali: The timer just went off.
>>Matt Bardin: There's the timer going off. Take the pasta out.
>>Mario Batali: Take the pasta out of the pan.
[laughter]
>>Barry Salzman: I would love to sit next to you, but I have to stand, since [ ].
>>Mario Batali: All right, no problem.
>>Audience Member #1: We can get them on our computer, can't we?
>>Mario Batali: On your computer. Well, I know that it, I know they can get it on one
of your competitors smaller format programs.
[laughter]
I've seen that one. Have you guys got a gPad, yet?
[laughter]
I'll bet it's coming, though and it was immediately beyond that.
>>Audience Member #1: Ok, thank you.
>>Barry Salzman: So, I'm not gonna sit and have the kind of conversation I would like
for I'm not micced, so I'm gonna stand at the podium. But I wanted to maybe kick it
off with sort of a broader question and then we'll come back to the app, Android specifically.
But Mario, the broader question is one that you and I were talking a little about yesterday
and if I look at the arc of your career, to the ten years, the last ten years and the
incredible increase that you've had over the last ten years, it's paralleled very much
a broader interest in food, right? It's the interest in food, the farm-to-table movement,
nutrition, a lot of these, the making of chefs as celebrity. This has really been a phenomenon
that has increased exponentially over the last ten years. Why? What do you think has
driven that change in how we think about food?
>>Mario Batali: Well, I think food became a significant part of people understanding
that not only should they exercise, but they should eat well. I think that information
became much more diffuse with the rise of the Food Network and then subsequently with
the rise of social media and technology. I think that it's now very much part of the
game to share information very quickly as it comes out, as you hear about something.
And the way that we do it now, it used to be that we wrote letters and then we used
the phone and then we used the handheld phone and now we can virtually send any piece of
media, any long short document, any piece of video from cell phone to cell phone, from
handheld to handheld, in seconds. So, the information gets out. It's much more widely
read. It's much more widely appreciated and the sophistication of the people that are
reading what used to be a Betty Crocker recipe are now much more fascinated in the idea of
not only regional Italian cooking, but they understand the difference between the cooking
of Puglia and the cooking of a town in Puglia called Bari. And then when you wanna talk
about what really makes Bari interesting, is the kind of fish that they use there or
the kind of sweet peppers they use in their fish stew and suddenly there's a whole level
of sophistication that travel around and as we will all realize very quickly in the next
ten years, when all content will become free, then we're gonna really see how that kind
of information goes out. And it's gonna be much more tied to how you create the relationships
between the content provider and the content user that's going to make the really big difference.
And the advertisers and the book companies and, sadly, the record companies have missed
the entire boat, are all starting to really pay attention to how this information's getting
out. And that's, that's the real next ten year generation ideology. It's how we're going
to monetize something, but how also we're gonna take credit for our own ideas in a world
where it's shared so quickly that it's everyone's idea at the same time. Which is good, this
is good. Don't get me wrong. It's not a, not a bad thing.
>>Barry Salzman: This is, in the meantime, anyone who has questions from the audience
if you wanna make your way to the mics; it looks like we've got another part of the demo.
But feel free to, to make your way to the mics. Just as a follow-up to that, Mario.
So, the Internet being a big catalyst of this trend, or this phenomenon, because of access
to information. What it also seems that it's done is create the opportunity for individuals
to become celebrities and to create brand around themselves. Prior to the digital media
momentum, the real brands were those that were owned by very large companies that had
the resource to get the exposure and the, and the publicity. How do you relate your
success in building the Mario Batali brand to digital media? Which tools have been more
powerful for you? Where do you feel like you've had better traction and what has been not
as effective as you might have expected?
>>Mario Batali: That's a good question. I would say that being part-- just being, just
being present in the revolution helps a lot. I certainly wasn't the first person on, on
YouTube, but a lot of the things that I do are now well represented. And the beginning
of that was letting people who might not have ever watched your show, or ever cared about
Food Network or ever cared about Italian food; suddenly, there's a compelling reason to take
a look at one little bite of it. And that introductory level is what causes people to
take it viral, if you would like to say that. And the idea of being able to use that as
a, as, not so much as a marketing tool, but as a communication tool to allow the message,
provided you have one; a lot of people don't have a message and they're all over the Internet
and all over YouTube, and that's all right, too. I mean, it's kind of funny to watch the
cat like, chase the alligator for a minute, but at the end of the day, whatever. I think
information and content's what's gonna drive that and if you have that, it's much easier
now to meet people that might not have ever heard of you. There's a guy named Gary Vaynerchuk,
the wine guy, who started out with this weird little thing in New Jersey and now he's, now
he sells like ten million dollars worth of wine in a matter of three years. He's taken
it from a standard iPhone camera, or whatever camera that you use, and-and-and broadcast
himself into a position with the Wall Street Journal, where he's like, the wine guy now
for young people. And it's interesting to see how he's managed that and it's because
his content is unique. It's because he's funny and because he knows what he's talking about.
[incoming tweet sound] And all of the rest is, all of the rest of it is tools that we
need to learn how to use or we can disregard and figure out later on. I'm new to the world
of tweets, Twitters and twats, as it were. I'm not sure of how you -- the past participle,
but--
[audience laughs]
I guess tweeted. I'm sorry. I'm new to this world and I enjoy it because it's not like
I say, "I'm going to get a pedicure." I-I manage it in a way that it seems at least
more interesting to me and a few more people than just-- I see a lot of people just saying,
"Yeah, I went and I had a tuna sandwich." Well, that's really great. Why did you waste
my time telling me that? But if I say, "All right, I went and I understood how they cured
this tuna and I made something interesting out of it and I watched it." And there's a
whole level of information, then this new social media has traction because it has something
more for someone to get their hands into. If it's just, I mean, "We have a party on
Thursday and you're all welcome to come," is a great use of it because you might reach
people that you want to come that you never would have had access to. But just saying
what you're doing, "I got a hair cut on Thursday," is like, "Yeah, right. Good."
>>Barry Salzman: I see you put some other content up. Did you wanna talk about that?
>>Matt Bardin: I just, you were talking about Puglia and I just wanted to show another feature
of the App is to drill down into the recipes by regions.
>>Mario Batali: Stretching out eastward toward Greece and Byzantium.
>>Matt Bardin: Whoops. So, here's the map of Italy and I got Puglia wrong, sorry, Mario.
First, I put up Lazio or something else, but here's Puglia and so here's information about
the region and then the recipes that are on this App right now that are from Puglia.
>>Mario Batali: Which is pretty cool. 'Cause that's original content. That means that's
not in the book. What that is, is you get something that's unique to that, and that's
what, that's what kind of drives an App sale for me. A lot of the Apps are like, I like,
I like the Google App that you can talk into the phone. That's probably the one I use the
most cause I can say, "All right, where the hell is Harry Cipriani right now?" And that
finds it for me. But other informational ones, like there's this one by a guy named Ruhlman
called Ratio, which for me is the greatest cook App of all time. If-if you have a fundamental
understanding of how to cook, and you go on Ratio and it says sausage. It says this is
how much of meat, this is how much of fat, and this is how much of spice as a ratio.
And if you wanna make a pound of sausage, it tells you what to do. Same thing with a
biscuit batter or a cake mix or a, like a hundred things. You go in there and you say,
"All right, I wanna know how to make this." And you kinda know how to make roux-based
gravy, like a Thanksgiving gravy, how much roux do you need for a gallon of stock?
[metal door closing]
And it shows you how to--
>>Barry Salzman: A lot.
>>Mario Batali: I'm not worried. Just so you know -- that's what an aneurysm sounds like.
[laughter]
So if you have one of those in a private, quiet room, go to your doctor.
[laughter]
But the idea of -- the information exchange is what it's all about and that's what makes
this App kind of distinct. I'm really cooking there with you. It gives you all the information
that you might have ever thought about while you're on the show and that's kind of interesting.
Yes.
>>Female Audience Member #1: Hi, Chef Batali, thanks for coming. So, I actually have a reservation
at Lupa with some Googlers tonight.
>>Mario Batali: Beautiful.
>>Female Audience Member #1: And I'm wondering what should we order?
[laughter]
>>Mario Batali: That's an excellent question. Have you been there before?
>>Female Audience Member #1: No, it's actually my first time.
>>Mario Batali: OK. The best way to understand an Italian meal is to get some antipasti to
split up. Then, get one pasta per two or three people and split them. And then everyone get
an entree, so that at least everyone gets one thing that they guaranteed they like.
But you taste other things, like there's this crazy calves tongue in a slightly briny pickle
with sliced onions in it that's called lingua salmistrata that is so good, but so many people
wouldn't order it because they won't wanna commit to that appetizer for themselves. So,
you get like four, five appetizers for five people, or six people. Then you split a bunch
of pastas, then you'll all get your main course. If you never had the cacia & pepe, which is
a sheep's milk cheese and black pepper pasta condiment, we do it as better than almost
any other place in-in-in America and it's the most classic peasant dish of all Roman
trattoria. It is not a fancy dish, it's not a ristorante dish, but it is so good when
you taste it that you'll die. You won't die, actually. You'll be happy and live longer.
[laughter]
>>Female Audience Member #1: I'm going for happy. Thank you.
>>Mario Batali: There you go.
>>Barry Salzman: All right. So, this is not a shy crowd. You're not gonna make me sit
here and read out questions from the Dory, I hope. So--
>>Mario Batali: And you don't even have to go to the mic, if you just wanna yell it.
Like, I can hear.
>>Matt Bardin: There are recipes in the App, by the way.
>>Mario Batali: Yes.
>>Female Audience Member #2: So, hi, my name's Phoebe. Thanks for coming again.
>>Mario Batali: Hi Phoebe.
>>Female Audience Member #2: I had the chance to do an internship at a goat farm and one
of the things I learned while I was there is that it's very challenging to get a foothold
in New York City when you're a small supplier. So, I'm curious, how do you, how do your restaurants
make their decisions about which suppliers to go with and how long term are your relationships
with your suppliers typically?
>>Mario Batali: Good question. The easiest way to impress one of the purchasers--and
the purchasers in our restaurants are always the chefs--we don't have like "purchasers;"
we don't have that big of an organization. You bring in a sample. You make sure you get
an appointment. You talk to the head chef, or a sous-chef, you let them taste the product
and if it's great, we'll buy it. We love the idea of local. We love the idea of-of things
that represent the Italian ideology. When you talk about ricotta, like, the hardest
thing for us to do often is to get sheep or goat milk ricotta because it's inconsistent.
Because the animals give up milk when they're ready and if you don't do a lot of the animal
husbandry and you can keep your herd in the same kind of growth pattern that you need
to make this a year round supply of cheese, if you're out of it for three weeks, you fade
out of our radar and we need to find a way that we can get it almost regularly. That
said, we'll still run specials with products that maybe come intermittently. Like, listen,
it's only in the spring that we get ramps. So, we run ramps in our menu for five, six
weeks and then they're gone. Which to me is a very beautiful thing because that causes
us, in America, who can buy strawberries on Christmas Eve -- it allows us to understand
that, in fact, there's seasons to some of these things and the time that they taste
best is when they're in fact coming out of the Mother Earth when Mother Earth planned
on it, as opposed to being made in a gaseous environment with grow lights on it. Virtually
all of our agriculture is now being run like green pot used to be run out of Northern California--
[laughter]
You put everything in a dark hole with a lot of light on it and it'll grow as quickly as
you need and then you sell it. Two hundred dollars an ounce, it used to be. Now, it's
like twice as much as that as far as I can tell.
[laughter]
And that's what they're doing with the mesclun and all these crazy greens that have absolutely
no season and no reason to be on a plate in the middle of the winter. So, that, I mean,
the fundamental core of your product is something we want. We want local, farm-made, beautiful
products that represent something similar to that in Ita- in Italy. And what we buy,
and we don't try to import all the ingredients from Italy. The reason our food tastes Italian
is the same reason that the food in, in Venice doesn't taste like the food in Palermo. 'Cause
the people in Venice don't buy ingredients from Palermo. They don't like the idea of
it. They use all their local ingredients because for an Italian the thing that tastes best
is the thing that smells like the wind on a Thursday afternoon within ten minutes of
where their mom had them. And if you can capture that smell, whether it's in the Mid Atlantic
Hudson Valley, or whether you're in Charleston, or whether you're in Puglia or whether you're
in Champagne, Illinois, capturing that regional flavor is the true method ideology that you
really wanna get to, when you're cooking something that speaks more than just the recipe, but
of the passion of your interest in the flavor of the soil and geospecificity of the place
you live in. So, bring us your cheese.
[Barry and audience laugh]
Yes.
>>Male Audience Member #3: So, big fan. Thanks for all the great years on Food Network. So,
you brought up salt a second ago and there's this kind of new trend for all different kinds
of salt out there. What's your take on the pink Himalaya salt and the smoke salt and
either just sea salt and Kosher salt? It would be really interesting to hear about that.
>>Mario Batali: For me, I use salt for three things.
>>Matt Bardin: Mario, make him buy the App.
>>Mario Batali: He's gonna buy the App. Of course he's gonna buy the App.
>>audience #3: I didn't even do the QR code yet. I'll--
>>Mario Batali: There you go. Well, we need support on the App in this manifestation because
so far, I believe it's hard for people to shop for an app in-in the Google space right
now, because it's not organized in a way that you can just say," I want Mario Batali's app."
You have to say, "Mario Batali, or Mario Cooks" -- or it's very specific to whatever the
actual description is, so I'm sure your guys are working on that to make it easier to do.
Because if there's any way to make money, this app business is knockin' them out of
the park. The guys who present them, the I- company, as well as the G- company, are gonna
make a lot of money on this if they can make it easier for the customer to get to the product.
Salt is used for three things.
[laughter]
Salt is used as a preservative, as a flavor enhancer, and as a texture. As a preservative,
I would use kosher salt. Like if I'm making salami or I'm making something that I wanna
make [incoming tweet sound], like duck comfit or I want something to dry out, if I wanna
make gravlax or cured salmon, or anything like that, I use Kosher salt because it's
not expensive; it's texture is not so sticky to my fingers and the salinity is relatively
benign. There are fine sea salts that are much saltier and you use them in ways that
you want to, but I'll get to flavor thing in a whirl. The flavor component, what you're
looking for is a salt that's softer, easier, or more intense, or more specifically relates
to where the salt came from. There's the wet-looking salt from France; the French have done a great
job marketing salt that normally would've been a buck a pound and is now 15 dollars.
They have this sel, sel de mer, sel le carmargue, sel de whatever. And some of them were still
even wet and we're still buying them. We're buying half-processed salt. And that flavor
component is something that matches the dish. If you want something to taste like it's from
Puglia, you should buy Puglia olive oil, you should buy Puglia olives, Puglia spaghetti,
Puglia tomatoes, and Puglia salt, if you can. That said, what I use and then there's the
textual component. And there's this super Sale Mare Grosso from Sicily, there's the
Maldon sea salt, which is my personal favorite and that's about the shaley texture and it's
slightly lower salinity on a finished dish. Like you cut a steak, you grill a perfect
steak, you coat the heck out of it with salt and a little bit of pepper and olive oil and
you grill it until it's just charred beautifully and has a nice crust. Inside a steak like
this, though, it's not salty on the inside. It's not, it's not seasoned. So, we'll slice
the steak and then we'll put a little more extra virgin olive oil and a little bit of
this Maldon salt on it, so you get this crunchy texture, a lower level of salinity, but a
game that turns up that rare piece of meat in the center, or well done if you so like
it. But what it does is it makes that whole chewing experience, that one bite captures
everything that I want to say about the potential for beef's flavor. And it's because I salted
and crusted it on the outside, I cooked it right, I let it rest, and then I finished
it with a different kind of salt. And that's the understanding of salt. And so, I would
say you need Kosher salt, and that's also for your pasta water, you need a big crunchy
sea salt that you put in a salt grinder, or a pepper grinder to put over things when you
cook them, and then you need a crunchy less salty salt to finish dishes, which is my favorite
is the Maldon. Now I go into it in much further detail.
[laughter]
>>Male Audience Member #3: I'll check it out as soon as I can. Thanks.
>>Mario Batali: Beautiful. Yes, sir.
>>Male Audience Member #4: Hi, thanks for coming.
>>Mario Batali: My pleasure.
>>Male Audience Member #4: Thanks for letting us try out your App. I, I had one question
and one criticism about the app, if that's OK. The first question I had is, the app has,
I believe, 30 or 40 recipes, in total?
>>Mario Batali: 65.
>>Male Audience Member #4: 65. Is there a plan to get more recipes in there, in the
future? Is that gonna be an update, or are we gonna have to buy more recipes? How is
that gonna work?
>>Mario Batali: You're going to have to buy more recipes.
>>Male Audience Member #4: No, it's fair enough. I just, is that planned?
>>Mario Batali: It's just like a cookbook. This is a small cookbook that, for five bucks,
is a good deal. The next one, the thought originally was to do an in-store upgrade,
but the problem with that is that if, say you sell 150 thousand. The only people that
can buy the upgrade are the ones that have the 150 thousand. The idea of selling a second
one might be that I'll do the flavors of summer, or I'll do pastas for Easter, or I'll do a
smaller one and it will, it will be a more specific need thing. Maybe somebody doesn't
want 65 videos; maybe they just wanna know how to make the feast of the seven fishes
for Christmas Eve for next year.
>>Matt Bardin: So, it's gonna be a separate – separate app.
>>Mario Batali: It'll be a completely separate app. And that's a business decision.
>>Male Audience Member #4: I think it would be, personally, I think it would be cooler
if you could expand, if you could download another package that already works with this
app. It's the same format. You're already used to using it, but--
>>Mario Batali: But you understand that I would limit myself to the people that had
already bought it. Like, there would be not one new customer. Because if you didn't buy
the first one, you don't even know about the second one. 'Cause it comes up in that first
one.
>>Male Audience Member #4: Depends how you market it.
>>Mario Batali: Well, I mean, if you market it, though, and you still have to buy the
first one, some people might just say, "You know what? I don't want the first one."
>>Male Audience Member #4: Well, you buy the first one with the updates.
>>Mario Batali: Right.
>>Male Audience Member #4: But, all right.
>>Matt Bardin: It's possible something could be put in--
>>Male Audience Member #4: One kind of criticism I had was I was looking through the app and
I was looking at pan con tomate and I was looking at the ingredients and it said something
like, what was it, "Six ounces of peeled tomato." I don't know how to measure that. Like, how
many tomatoes are that? Is there a way--
>>Mario Batali: Well, they have this device called a scale.
[laughter]
>>Male Audience Member #4: OK.
>>Mario Batali: And I know they're hard to find. No, I mean, you could put it in cups,
but tomatoes don't really, I mean, like what you do when you go buy a tomato is you put
it on the little scale there at the store and that will tell you. Like that. Once you
have that, the reason I use measurement like that is because once people see what an eggplant
weighs or what an onion weighs, it's always surprising that an onion might cost a dollar.
You'd think an onion should almost be free. And then you realize that an onion weighs
between a pound, a pound and a half. And you put it on there and it's 49 cents a pound,
but it's already 75 cents when you weigh it. And understanding that is to start understanding
food and it's, it's seeing it in a different light, although if it challenges you, I'm
not happy about it because I'd rather you intuitively understand what we say. But we're
kind of stuck using the measurements. It's cups or ounces and ounces kind of throw people,
you're right. It kind of throws people off, but you can't really measure a tomato in any
other way. I mean, I can't put it, I could say, "This much."
>>Matt Bardin: Wait! Doesn't it come in a can?
>>Barry Salzman: You could buy a canned tomato.
>>Matt Bardin: I mean the tomatoes.
>>Mario Batali: We're talking about fresh tomatoes, I think.
>>Male Audience Member #4: Fresh tomatoes.
>>Mario Batali: If we're making pan con tomate, I'm grating it over like this.
>>Matt Bardin: Oh, that's a bug. We gotta fix that.
>>Mario Batali: All right.
>>Matt Bardin: I'll take a look at it.
>>Male Audience Member #4: And the party on Thursday? Where, where is that?
[Mario laughs]
>>Mario Batali: It's at Del Posto and Volkswagon's throwing it and Gavin Rossdale from Bush is
playing live at Del Posto. I think that is pretty cool. What time's it start, Pam?
>>Pam: Uhh.
>>Barry Salzman: She's not telling.
>>Mario Batali: She's kind of squishy. I'll be there at 6:30, just for the record. Yes.
>>Male Audience Member #5: Hi, I'm out here for the week and New York is awesome as far
as restaurants go. A food item I love that you have in your app is--I don't know if I'm
saying it right--is brashal or braciole.
>>Mario Batali: Braciole.
>>Male Audience Member #5: And I can't find it any, at any good Italian restaurant on
the West Coast. So what could you recommend out here as the place to get that?
>>Mario Batali: Well, there are, of course, my restaurants. And I'm pretty good at that.
[laughter]
Let me, without being shameless on that, I would say that if you're looking for the classic
red sauce done in the most traditional New York style, you can walk through all of Little
Italy and never find it, but if you spend 15 minutes on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx at
a place like Mario's or Roberto's -- if you haven't been there and you're only here for
a couple of days go out there as soon as you're done with work today. Go to Randazzo's, get
a couple of clams on the half shell standing outside with a glass of cheap gavi, which
hardly exists and then go to any one of the seven, seven great Italian red sauce places
within two blocks of Randazzo's and go to the Madonia Bakery and get the prosciutto
bread. It will bring you to a place that they don't have anywhere else in America. And not
so much in Italy anymore and I know that we have braciole on Thursdays at Lupa. So, I
mean, you can go there. But don't discount Arthur Avenue as one of the great things that
we have here that we don't, that very rarely do Manhattaners and Brooklyners-- the hipsters
that I'm talking about--
[laughter]
I know where you're from, all right? I know where you all live. We rarely go to the Bronx
anymore unless we're going to the Yankee Stadium. And to go to Arthur Avenue and see the real
Italian America and tradition alive and better than the Sopranos ever was; that's where I
recommend you go. It is wild.
>>Male Audience Member #5: Cool. Thank you.
>>Mario Batali: Sure.
>>Male Audience Member #6: Thank you again. My wife actually grew up in Italy and in five
minutes, she can whip something up that takes people hours and tastes half as good. She
does a lot of this--
>>Mario Batali: Count your lucky stars.
[laughter]
>>Male Audience Member #6: Oh, I know. She's a keeper. What's your view on improvisation?
>>Mario Batali: What's my?
>>Male Audience Member #6: Your view on improvisation? I know you have the recipes and maybe switching
little things here and there. She seems to have a knack for knowing, "this is gonna go
well, this is not gonna go well." How do you view all that?
>>Mario Batali: I completely love it. And in fact, the idea of taking a recipe to the
grocery store and it says all right veal with mushrooms and escarole and you go there and
the mushrooms, they don't look so good, but you buy them because you're feeling like you
gotta get it. And the escarole, well, that looks like it's three days old, but you buy
it cause you feel you gotta get it. Once you become the master of a certain recipe, you,
to-to-to move around within that recipe starts to become intuitive when you experiment a
little at the house. I don't say experiment when you have 12 friends over and it's a big
wine geek dinner at your house. But what you do do is you understand that a shitake mushroom
certainly works for a portabella mushroom, neither of which might not be as good as a
porcini mushroom, but at 38 dollars a pound, porcini mushrooms might be a special occasion.
So, maybe just cook crimini mushrooms today. And mushrooms are obvious because that's the
natural thing, but when you start to understand kind of the genus of the different kinds of
things that you're using, like any cruciferous vegetable will work, if broccoli raab isn't
there. And you could use broccoli, but you could also use cauliflower or you could also
use the Romanesco and understanding that they come in kind of groups is where you can start
to experiment and that's when you really become the master. Like, you read a cookbook and
you make these three recipes and they're all good and understanding that if you're doing
something braising, like an osso bucco and it's traditionally got carrots and onions
and celery, that you could use celery root and put mushrooms in there as well, or dried
porcini. You start to think outside that box and that's when you start to become the master
of your own destiny. And that's when cooking becomes something that is instead of going
with a recipe to the store, you go and you buy the five best things like, "That looks
unbelievable today." And then you get home and you figure out what you're gonna make.
It's less about the recipe and more understanding the steps of the technique. If it's just a
sauté and then some stuff goes in the pan and then you finish it with wine and finish
the sauce, then it could be anything. And you're only limited by your imagination and
every now and then you have kind of a dud. But a dud isn't that bad 'cause it means you
made it anyway. The real component here is these; the human touch. The actual nature
of something being handmade is what distinguishes it from the rest of people's food. And if
we can get our hands on it or get someone that we like, or even love or don't even really
care for, but will appreciate their technique, if we can get their hands on our stuff, than
that handmade component is what really transforms something from being pretty good to really
exceptional.
>>Male Audience Member #6: Thank you.
>>Mario Batali: Sure. Yes.
>>Female Audience Member #7: Hi. My name is Dahila.
>>Mario Batali: Hi, Dahlia.
>>Female Audience Member #7: Thank you for coming in. So, correct me if I'm wrong, but
the goal of your app is to provide original information to users in a unique way and to
engage them. How has the response been and do you think you're achieving that goal?
>>Mario Batali: I don't, original is an odd thing when you're talking about a cuisine
that's three thousand years old. It's kinda my take on a lot of the dishes. It certainly,
my take is slightly original, but not so much. I'm much more of an adherent to the tradition
world than the experimentation or, for lack of a better word, the molecular gastronomy
world. So, the content is my kinda take on traditional stuff, but it's, I think it's
been successful in that people are cooking more. I think when people walk in to Eataly,
they say the same thing, "I wanna eat something." And what we want them to understand is, "Yes,
come in and eat something, but eat something in support of understanding that you can make
this at your house." And I think that people are starting to use it. Certainly, the larger
you can see it, the more you feel like I'm in your kitchen. I haven't had very many complaints,
but again, I don't read complaint mail very often.
[laughter]
>>Matt Bardin: You can look at the reviews on that other store.
>>Mario Batali: Okay. So the reviews are good.
>>Matt Bardin: They're very positive.
>>Matt Bardin: People love the app.
>>Female Audience Member #7: Thanks.
>>Mario Batali: So, I guess we're good.
>>Matt Bardin: I just wanna chime in with one other thing about the other, your question.
You know that it was a choice to-- Mario, how many recipes do you have in your device?
Like, 800,000 or something?
>>Mario Batali: No, like 120,000.
>>Matt Bardin: No, but literally he has thousands and in terms of making this app, we discussed
doing something that wouldn't have the video content and the images, but it seemed like
you kind of wanna put this guy in your device and not just have a bunch of text. So, that's
why there were 63 recipes and not 800.
>>Mario Batali: Like Mark Bittman.
>>Matt Bardin: Right.
>>Mario Batali: whose book is brilliant, but he doesn't really show you how to do it like
I show you how to do it. So, if there's ever a question on technique, not that ours is
that complicated, but this should remove any doubt if there's ever a question on how far
it brown is brown. Or how deep, dark, golden brown something needs to get before you turn
it over before you braise. Or how to deal with pesto or whatever. It's very visual;
it's very obvious; it's very clear, I think, I hope.
>>Male Audience Member #7: Thank you.
>>Mario Batali: Sure.
>>Barry Salzman: So, Mario, can we just take those last four questions?
>>Mario Batali: Sure, sure.
>>Barry Salzman: OK, so we'll cut it off after the fourth.
>>Mario Batali: All right.
>>Male Audience Member #8: So, I was introduced to OTTO in my first week in New York, seven
years ago, and I still go regularly and over the years I got a few questions. So, first
can you tell us something about the pizza recipe there because it looks kind of unique?
>>Mario Batali: At OTTO?
>>Male Audience Member #8: Yeah.
>>Mario Batali: I decided that I wanted to put a restaurant in One Fifth Avenue, which
is very near my house, directly across the street. I love the building, I love the look
of it, I love the location and I love the fact that it was very much featured in "Ghostbusters",
if you remember when the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man was coming down the path to crush Bill
Murray. Although, the large shot showed him on Central Park. It's, in fact, in that building.
[laughter]
So, I was very excited about that.
[laughter]
The problem with that building is that there is no gas lines. There is no open flame. It
is all electric, so we had to create a pizza recipe that would work on a flat-top griddle
and an under hood broiler. So we did, which has a slightly, a little bit more yeast; a
lot less manipulation with it. And it's relatively crisp and not so elastic like some of the
Neapolitan pizzas that are enjoying fame right now. I think it's a delicious pizza. It is
-- in Italy, every different region has its own different kind of pizza. The pizza in
the rage right now is the Neapolitan, which is considered the mother of all pizzas. And
it's got a little bit more pull to it; it's very light and has this kind of spongy not
so crisp top and a lot of it is very wet in the center. I like it a little less wet in
the center, so we put less stuff on it, but I think the fundamental similarities that
we share with all good pizzas is that there's not too much stuff on it ever. And it's really
about the balance between the dough and the condiment, which is very much like in pasta.
>>Male Audience Member #8: And my other question is a--
[coughs]
sorry. I tried all your other Italian restaurants, and the Spanish ones. It seems like you-you-you
have the range of like, very expensive ones and less expensive ones and then there's OTTO.
It's really cheap.
>>Mario Batali: Cheap is a bad word--
[laughter]
>>Matt Bardin: Inexpensive.
>>Male Audience Member #8: Frugal. Yeah, in a very good way.
>>Mario Batali: Right.
>>Male Audience Member #8: [clears throat] So, I often sit there and eat pasta alla norma
or something, and I wonder how can you actually sell it for nine dollars? It's cheaper than
really bad pastas I ate elsewhere, and it's great. [clears throat twice] Like, do you
lose money when I, when I eat there?
[laughter]
>>Mario Batali: I appreciate your concern. Thank you.
[laughter]
And one day we're gonna turn a profit there. As long as you stop ordering so much of the
pasta alla norma. No, what, what, what, our trademark, and particularly in our less expensive
restaurants, is to make it even a little bit more like real food in Italy. And when you
eat really great food in Italy, often enough what surprises you, even though maybe you're
not so cognizant of it, what surprises you is the lack of white noise. There's, when
you order spaghetti with peas and prosciutto in Italy, it's literally only spaghetti with
peas and prosciutto. Like, the prosciutto's the fat, the peas are in it; maybe a dusting
of parmesan origiano. But what the fundamental difference is, is there's not a lot of extra
chef ego on there. And in that same sense, when you eat pasta alla norma there, it's
basic tomato sauce, it's the eggplant that we've baked in the oven and then a little
bit of that creamy ricotto over the top. There's not a lot of other stuff, so it's easy for
me to make. It's inexpensive because I'm not adding all of this ornate, technical components,
which means I need a lot more hands to cook it. And then people eat it and they order
-, and it's not like a giant portion. Like Americans have come to expect that the one
pound bag is a unique serving size.
[laughter]
And in Italy, between 70 and 90 grams is the normal size of a portion. So, you get six
portions out of one bag of spaghetti because they expected to eat something else, whether
it's just a salad or two slices of prosciutto or a small main course. So, you're getting
the right portion and what you're doing is because it's nine and you're having another
couple of things, so that maybe you get to 20 dollars or 15 dollars or wherever the normal
is, but you can find a satisfying experience on that. So, thank you and thanks for coming
in and thanks for your concern. OTTO is my most profitable restaurant.
[Barry laughs]
Because we sell a lot of wine, too. I mean, the whole experience is a very fair deal.
And it works out really well, but I mean also keep in mind profit is based on volume and
OTTO this last Saturday did 1273 people. Woohoo!
[laughter and clapping]
>>Male Audience Member #8: Any chance of any cheaper restaurant? Any more less expensive--
>>Mario Batali: Less expensive?
>>Male Audience Member #8: less expensive restaurant, which you would make more money
on?
[laughter]
>>Mario Batali: I'm always working on them. Have you been to Eataly yet?
>>Male Audience Member #8: I tried.
>>Mario Batali: Go! Just go on and don't go on a Saturday and don't go when there's a
velvet rope and some guy talking into his wrist in the afternoon. I'm sorry about that.
>>audience #7: I tried going--
>>Mario Batali: I open up this great thing that I was so excited about and basically,
I walk into my building and I get in the elevator and the guy looks at me and says, "Nice line,
asshole."
[laughter]
What? He said, "Yeah, there's a line 300 people long to get here, fucking grocery store, asshole."
[laughter]
I'm sorry. I'm very sorry. Thank you.
>>Male Audience Member #9: Hi, Mario, my name is Frederick. I am, I would to talk a little
bit about Eataly and I think it was the opening was the 31st of August and I know the concept
from Europe. I know you briefly talked about the beginning, but do you think this is a,
like, a sustainable business? Like, sort of a melting pot for Italian culture and so on?
My own experience was I obviously loved the variety of products and foods. It felt seeing
there a little bit like a supreme in McDonalds, in terms of efficiency and so on, and the
coffee is, I didn't find it particular good, but I like the place in terms of--
>>Mario Batali: Did you drink your coffee at the Lavazza bar or at the Vergnano?
>>Male Audience Member #9: The very, at the entrance and that fits like a Starbucks more--
>>Mario Batali: Yeah, it does.
>>Male Audience Member #9: than anything else.
>>Mario Batali: Come in another 30 feet and there's a big silver machine and all they
sell is espresso and espresso macchiato. There are no milk drinks. There is no other things
other than those two things and it's two and a quarter. Go in and have that coffee and
I assure you your coffee faith will be restored. As for the rest, efficiency is what Americans
bring to the table. The passion, the excitement and the product are what the Italians bring
to the table. It's definitely sustainable. Last Saturday, 14700 people went grocery shopping
there. Which is a number that I have no idea how it happens. But what it is, unfortunately,
like any great thing in New York, it's over-crowded during peak hours and it's just right during
non-peak hours. So, the best way to understand a place like that is to go at 9:30 at night,
or go at 10 o'clock in the morning on the weekends, but on Saturday and Sunday, between
like one and eight, it is, it's like a Beatle's concert. It's crazy.
>>Male Audience Member #9: So, I guess this has been a success then so far. Do you think
they're gonna expand it to other cities as well?
>>Mario Batali: Yes, and we love the expansion idea. I am a partner in Eataly in North Central
and South America. I would say probably our next location will be Toronto and probably
our third location will be Mexico City. And then I'll try to find one in America. You
need the sophisticated clientele that you get in an inner city as well as the resulting
high-rolling suburbs, but they need to be, they need to. It can't feel like it's gonna
be in Pasadena. It can't, to me, look like it's in a mall. It needs to be in a place
that kind of embodies the, like we're in the toy building in Manhattan, which is a beautiful
building right across from the Flatiron. And it needs to feel a part of that vibrant part
of that live city culture. It wouldn't feel good in, in Culver City in Los Angeles. It
wouldn't feel good outside of Chicago; it would have to be down in the middle of town.
So, the real issue is finding that kind of real estate. It's 50 thousand square feet
in a place that makes sense. So we're looking into it. But Toronto is like a homerun. It's
easy. We can get downtown location. It's the largest population of Italian North Americans
outside of New York and a great place to be. So, that's where we're going. Thanks. Vergnano.
Caffe Vergnano. Yes.
>>Female Audience Member #10: Hi.
>>Mario Batali: Hi.
>>Female Audience Member #10: So, I wanted to just ask, so you deliver very traditional
Italian dishes to sort of the American market. Do you find that sometimes you have to compromise
on certain things to suit the American palate? So, say – like if you go to Rome and you
get a pasta and it's very al dente; there's like maybe two, three ingredients in it. It's
not very heavily seasoned. Do you find that dishes like that maybe aren't so popular here
and you don't try and sell them, or do you try and adjust it to suit a palate? Like,
how do you struggle between staying very traditional and sort of suiting to the American taste?
>>Mario Batali: That's a very good question. I would say that the one compromise that we
might make would be that there's probably ten percent more sauce on our pastas here
than there would be in Italy. Anywhere. Anywhere in Italy. And that's because they look at
the dish as the noodle and the condiment, or the sauce, as like, salad dressing. Like,
the idea of having extra dressing at the bottom of a salad is repugnant to all of us. The
idea of having a little extra sauce to drag up with our bread is kind of what the Americans
feel their right is. It's rare that we'll send out, if someone says, "Can I have extra
sauce?" We have to actually say no. But we put a little bit more on just to kind of stem
that tide. Al dente is a concept that Americans only think about.
[laughter]
Many of them love saying it and many of them actually like to say "al Dante."
[laughter]
Dante was a Tuscan poet from the 1400's.
[laughter]
If we had anything al Dante it would certainly be rather disgusting and buried, so--
[laughter]
Al dente in Italy is one thing. It is almost crunchy and Americans just don't love it and
the Italians absolutely do. So when we recognize the low-tip potential of a six top of Italians,
we definitely undercook their pasta to the level that we think they want. If Americans
say al dente, I mean we serve it in the realm, but if you want it, if someone says they want
it like Italy, we will make it literally 30 seconds less in the water.
>>Female Audience Member #10: So, we can actually request that?
>>Mario Batali: Oh, absolutely.
>>Female Audience Member #10: When we visit your restaurant?
>>Mario Batali: Say I want it just like Mario says and if you go to Eataly, that's the only
way we serve it. And we piss off 20 customers a day, but if they want it more cooked we
just put it back in the pan, no problem.
>>Female Audience Member #10: OK, thank you.
>>Mario Batali: So ask for it Italian al dente.
>>Female Audience Member #10: Fantastic, thanks.
>>Mario Batali: Sure. Yes.
>>Female Audience Member #11: So as the last question, thank you again for coming.
>>Mario Batali: Oh great.
>>Female Audience Member #11: I think that your most well-known for your Italian dishes
and your Italian cooking and most of the conversation today has been about Italian cooking, but
you also have this little place called Casa Mono, which I think is one of my favorite
restaurants. It's fantastic. And now that you've opened Eataly and we have the perfect
place to go buy all of our Italian products, where can I go buy my Spanish products, or
where should I go?
>>Mario Batali: Despania on Broome has just about anything you'd ever need. Also, latienda.com
is where they get all their stuff.
[laughter]
So, when you wanna buy morcilla and you don't wanna pay their markup, latienda delivers
overnight just like everyone else does. The real winners in the, in the Internet trade
business are the customers and UPS and FedEx.
[laughter]
So, as long as we understand that, then it's great 'cause we can get products delivered,
I mean, let's put it this way. If you go on peck.eat.it and you wanna get a culatello,
which is illegal to bring in, and you tell them to mark it with "book" label on the outside,
they will ship that to your house and no one will stop it.
[Female Audience Member #11 laughs]
So, there's a thousand ways to get around the pesky rules of the USDA.
[laughter]
But that said, that said, the Spanish products outside of the really hoof on Iberico, we
can get just about everything cause the Spanish guys kind of paid attention a little bit more
quickly and didn't kind of isolate some of their products. So, go to Despania on Broome
and maybe Green--
>>Barry Salzman: Lafayette.
>>Mario Batali: Lafayette? Great store. And they have tortilla espanola perfectly made.
Almost as good as the one we make at Bar Jamon.
>>Female Audience Member #11: Perfect. And I was one of only ten people in Eataly almost
locked in there for the night on Sunday. So, that's a totally different experience.
>>Mario Batali: You got the luck of being locked in there?
>>Female Audience Member #11: I did. Almost.
>>Mario Batali: You know people will pay for that.
>>Female Audience Member #11: I know.
[laughter]
>>Mario Batali: Well, thank you.
>>Barry Salzman: So our, in appreciation, our commitment as a team is to download enough
of these apps to get it to number one on the Android store so we stop hearing about the
other people and how they do a better job of promoting. So, help me out with that, folks.