by Mario Batali with Judith Sutton
The words "Italian" and "grilling" go together like the verse and refrain in a love song by Lennon and McCartney—they seem as if they were made for each other. —Mario Batali
Mario Batali brings together his passion for Italian food and his love of grilling in Italian Grill, the quintessential introduction to tasty, smoky simple Italian food on the grill. No one can tell you about Italian grilling better than Mario Batali.
Grilling over hot coals or embers is as timeless as cooking itself and for the purest, most unadorned, and primordial experience, it's the grill. Anyone who has spent time in Italy knows that the most evocative and fragrant moments are smelled at someone's home, in a vineyard, or at a trattoria where something mouth-watering is cooking on a grill over hot coals. The kiss of the fire and iron grate can transform even the most quotidian vegetables, meats or fish into that hauntingly elusive perfect bite where the flavor of the natural product is enhanced, not masked.
Italian Grill is about nuance and minimal interference with the flavor of the primary ingredient. There is no thick sweet barbecue sauce—in fact, there is rarely anything more to it than good olive oil, citrus, wine, herbs, garlic and hot chili flakes.
In addition to the 80 recipes, informative side-bars, and 60 four-color photographs throughout, the book is a complete reference for grilling basics and techniques. Italian Grill covers marinades, rubs, essential ingredients, and heat source options. Recipes are divided up into six categories—Appetizers, Bread & Flatbread, Seafood & Shellfish, Poultry, Meat, and Vegetables—from comforting Eggplant Rollatini with Goat Cheese & Pesto and Pizza with Hot Salami and Pecorinoto to fresh Barbecued Octopus with Beans & Limoncello and Il Galleto al Mattone (Chicken Cooked Under a Brick). Meaty Rosticiana Ribs Italian Style and juicy Spit Roasted Whole Duck with Oranges & Rosemary go together with perfectly grilled vegetables such as Asparagus with Prosciutto Vinaigrette and Thick Grilled Onions with Lemon Thyme.
Grilling has never been more popular and Mario's cultural and historical Italian approach is a must-have for home cooks everywhere.
Mario Batali believes that olive oil is as precious as gold, shorts are acceptable attire for every season, and food, like most things, is best when left to its own simple beauty. To that end, Mario, together with his business partner Joe Bastianich, create magic night after night in restauarants in New York City, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
Mario and Joe's flagship restaurant is Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca, an award-winning Greenwich Village dining establishment, where Mario has seamlessly combined traditional Italian principles with intelligent culinary adventure since June 1998.
Mario is also the chef/owner of six other restaurants in New York City: Lupa Osteria Romana, Esca, Casa Mono, Bar Jamon, Otto Enoteca Pizzeria, and Del Posto.
The duo's first west coast venture, in collaboration with Nancy Silverton is Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles. The former features a center island mozzarella bar, where fresh mozzarella is made all day, every day. Mario and Joe recently journeyed to Las Vegas to open B&B Ristorante and Enoteca San Marco in the Venetian Resort Hotel and Casino.
Among his many accolades, Mario was named "Man of the Year" in the chef category by GQ Magazine in 1999. In 2002 he won the James Beard Foundation's "Best Chef: New York City" award, and in 2005 the James Beard Foundation awarded Mario "Outstanding Chef of the Year." Mario is also one of the recipients of the 2001 D'Artagnan Cervena Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America, a prestigious lifetime achievement award.
Next Fall, his new PBS series with co-stars Mark Bittman and Gwyneth Paltrow will air. Spain...On the Road Again will follow the threesome's adventures as they travel and eat their way through Spain.
Mario has authored Simple Italian Food, Mario Batali Holiday Food; The Babbo Cookbook; Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes; and Italian Grill. His next book is a tie-in to the PBS show SPAIN...A Culinary Road Trip.
Mario splits his time between New York City's Greenwich Village and Northern Michigan with his wife Susi Cahn of Coach Dairy Goat Farm, and their two sons.
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This page created June 2008
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