Douglas and Batali.jpg
Tom Douglas (L) and Mario Batali (R) express outrage over how dumb the audience at their Q&A session was. (Photo credit: Carrie Ferran)
Last night


Mario Batali Doesn't Care What Stupid People Think About His Stupid Shoes

Douglas and Batali.jpg
Tom Douglas (L) and Mario Batali (R) express outrage over how dumb the audience at their Q&A session was. (Photo credit: Carrie Ferran)
Last night I attended a Kim Ricketts Book Event, where Tom Douglas interviewed Mario Batali at the Palace Ballroom. I really must thank Mrs. Ricketts for getting me into this event. She is in fact the only mom in the world exempt from any of my "your mom" jokes. Kim Ricketts rules your face. I defy you to claim otherwise.

I can't say anything about Mario Batali that hasn't already been said. "Ha, ha," laughs a hypothetical Mario Batali detractor, "look how dumb his shoes are! He wears those stupid foam shoes! That's because he, like his shoes, is stupid!" But guess what, you shoe-mocking detractor? Mario Batali doesn't give a fuck what you think about his shoes, especially since he's going to have to buy a new pair after he buries them in your ass anyway.

Tom Douglas, I suppose, needs no introduction, since he practically codified "Pacific Northwestern" cuisine. If you've ever been served a plate with a piece of salmon drizzled in something and a pile of white rice scattered with black caraway seeds, you can thank Tom Douglas.

After a brief cocktail hour, Douglas and Batali sat down to discuss shit. Douglas praised Batali's constant use of the f-bomb. Batali confirmed that he has plans to eventually open a trattoria in Rome, but not until his kids die, or his in-laws, or something. They paused in the discussion to open the floor to questions. Some grumpy lady expressed outrage about Chicago restaurateur Grant Achatz's plan to sell tickets to get into his new restaurant, instead of a prix-fixe or an a la carte menu. Luckily Batali was able to explain to these goofballs that the MEAL IS INCLUDED WITH THE TICKET PRICE, and successfully disarmed those who thought the ticket price was to merely enter the door, and that food would then cost additional money.

But the dumbasses could not be soothed: They then accused Achatz of participating in some Byzantine plot, probably hatched by the Illuminati and/or Rosicrucians, to save some magical "extra seats" in the dining room at Alinea.

"There ARE no extra seats," Batali explained. "If there are 17 seats and 20 people want to eat, three people don't get to." This seemed to satisfy the naive, angry old lady in the front row, but her fellow travelers in the audience weren't convinced; they continued to issue a tragic disgruntled "Rubble rubble," the likes of which I haven't heard since the Hamburglar was convicted of first-degree hamburglary and sentenced to eight years in the ADX Florence Federal Supermax Prison.

Someone asked Douglas and Batali how they got their kids to eat different foods. Douglas, ever resourceful, merely modified the existing methodology for getting your dog to go down on you, and advised the questioner to put peanut butter on the radicchio. Batali's manly kids never needed such prodding--apparently his kids eat duck testicles like other children eat M&M's.

The Q&A session ended and Batali signed autographed copies of his new book, Molto Gusto. When he was done I was able to ask him about his experiences shooting the PBS documentary Spain: On the Road Again.

"It might have been a mistake to send me through Spain with a woman who doesn't eat ham," Batali told me. "But watching Gwenyth Paltrow climb the cathedral stairs in such a short skirt made it all worth it."

Rating: 8 Marios out of 10

For more Kim Ricketts Book Events, click here.

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