NEW YORK, NY :: MARIO BATALI & MICHAEL WHITE // private charity fundraiser dinner, james beard house


Chefs Mario Batali (left) and Michael White (right) are really big deals in the culinary world.

Michael White is a renown restaurateur; he owns multiple restaurants under the Alta Marea Group… and Mario Batali is an international food celebrity, writer and restaurateur.

Together they probably run a majority of the best restaurants in NYC…

So when I was called to assist them for a private charity event, for 50 people at the James Beard House, I literally cancelled all of my plans so I could be in the kitchen.


  • Hors D’oeuvres: Fig, Robiola, Lambrusco Gelée, Arancini (Risotto Balls), Tigelle with Lardo Pesto, Chicken Liver Crostini, Salumi e Formaggi
  • Dinner: Parmigiano Sformato (Savory Custard) with Radicchio Salad; Goat Cheese Agnolotti (Pasta); Beef Short Ribs & Aged Strip in Red Wine Sauce with a Fried Squash Cake
  • Dessert: Tartaletta della Nonna with Huckleberries & Cinnamon Gelato


When there was a few minutes of down time between the first and second course, Chef White brought over a beverage to Chef Batali…

Mario Batali choked and said, “What is this?” Michael White replied, “It’s water!”

Then Batali said, “I prefer all of my water to have passed through a grape vine!” Then the entire kitchen exploded with laughter, Chef got his glass of vino and service continued!

(Photo By: Michael White @ChefBianco)


Chef Batali cooked one of his signature pasta dishes; when a Chef in the kitchen inquired about the pasta, he told us he has his own pasta factory that distributes his pasta to all of his restaurants; making him more consistent than McDonalds :)

OVERALL: This was the best night in the house. So welcoming, and so much fun.

When you work in a kitchen with Mario Batali, be prepared to laugh, a lot. Most kitchens are quiet and work driven, however Batali said to me, “you know… it’s okay to laugh!” I loved the fact that we could get all of our work done while holding a conversation (and that definitely helped calm my nerves).

  • So fortunate I got the chance to work with so much talent;
  • Opportunities like these confirm that my career change from certified principal to culinarian was the right decision;
  • This night alone completely exceeded any goal I could’ve imagined in 2012. #surreal

(Photo By: Mario Batali @MarioBatali)

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  • this is super cool!  what a great experience.

    • littlemisslocal

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