Last night was Mario Batali‘s first ever Rock ‘N’ Wine event in support of The Mario Batali foundation, which aims to make sure that children are “well read, well fed, and well cared for.”
The party was held at The City Winery and attracted the sort of celebrity guest list that Batali has come to be associated with (sans Gwyneth Paltrow…though he did have some nice things to say about her!)
The night included silent and live auctions which boasted a signed pair of Batali’s signature orange crocs, and bigger ticket items like a golf outing with Tiger Woods ($25,000!).
There was also a performance by The Roots.
Not a bad evening.
We got the opportunity to sit down with Batali before the party started and chat with him about his new T.V. show “The Chew” which premiered today on ABC. Think The View but about food. Mostly.
There is a cast of well-known hosts lined up including Batali, Clinton Kelly, Daphne Oz, Carla Hall, and Michael Symon all of whom, Baltali says, bring something different to the table.
Each host will have their own segment and the result will be something like Martha Stewart‘s show, with the exception that everything the hosts do and make will be easier and more affordable.
But fear not non-foodies, Batali’s aim is for the show to become about more than just food and says he hopes that his co-hosts have differing opinions about food, social issues, politics, life, and everything else so that they can have meaningful discussions and debates.
Batali meanwhile is looking forward to moving to the high stakes daytime television world. His first show, “Molto Mario” which debuted in 1995, aired at noon and midnight, he says his friends used to joke that his viewers were “under the age of four or over the age of 80.”
Of course, we also wanted to know about his travels with longtime friend Gwyneth Paltrow, what was it really like to work with her.
She’s “a delight…she’s funny, and she speaks beautiful Spanish,” was all Batali would say. Alas.
The final thing we wanted to know: How can we get a table at Babbo?! The West Village hot spot is notorious for its exclusivity- it’s near impossible to get a reservation there.
He said that the trick is to go at 5:30 P.M. People call and try to make reservations for 7:30, are forced to take 5:30, and then don’t show up.
There's the auctioneer trying to get someone, anyone to buy the golf outing with Tiger Woods - it eventually went for $25,000.
The V.I.P. section- Jamie Hector on the left, The Edge from U2 in the beanie, and Michael Stipe in the fedora.
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