3/21/2013 09:55:00 AM

Mario Batali on Guest Editing Food & Wine Magazine, Expanding in Vegas and More

Photo by Ken Goodman
Food TV OG Mario Batali is up to his usual million projects lately, between hosting The Chew, expanding Eataly and running his dozens of other restaurants, the orange clog-wearing toque also guest edited the April issue of Food & Wine magazine. We caught up with Mario recently to ask about how it went and get the lowdown on a few of his other current projects. Check out our chat with him below.

Zagat: What was it like to be a guest editor at Food & Wine - were there any unexpected challenges?

MB: It was actually a really fun experience. I do well under pressure and I love writing so it was a nice blend of things.

Zagat: What type of piece was more fun to work on - a hands-on cooking tutorial with Jimmy Fallon or interviewing Jim Harrison?

MB: Both were great in different ways. Jim Harrison is hilarious and even more so in an interview. That interview could have went on for 10 pages! But I love to teach so I had a lot of fun with Jimmy. We didn't go past more than two minutes without cracking up laughing. It was the best. 

Zagat: If you had a chance to do any article you wanted for F&W (or any magazine) what would it be? (You have no limitations whatsoever.) 

MB: Good question! I love the idea of interviewing interesting people and uncovering things I didn't know. I love that food connects us all, no matter our backgrounds or personality. My dream interviewee...President and Mr. Obama! 

Zagat: There's rumors that you're opening new restaurants in Vegas - any truth behind those? 

MB: We are looking to open another restaurant in Vegas but can't spill the details just yet. 

Zagat: Do you have other expansion plans in the works? 

MB: We're looking at expanding the Eataly brand to Chicago and LA. We're opening a pizzeria in Boston soon, too. 

Zagat: What new projects are you excited about?  

MB: I'm really excited about Earth Day this year. Each of our restaurants is coming up with a celebratory Earth Day dish and we're giving out fun seed packets again. More to come on that!

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