In re: Del Posto

A while back I watched with great interest a show about Mario Batali on the Food Network, about the creation of his and his partners’ new restaurant in NY. The show was a bit over the top at stressing how busy Mario was, (flying to book signings in Chicago and all over, making a line of frozen pizzas, cookware and sausages). Mario with this kept on asking if he has bitten off more then he could chew, all the while trying to make a four star restaurant (Italian). I guess I have mixed feelings about the chef who goes everyone (the likes of Wolfgang Puck, now Emeril etc.) Whose faces adorn products all over the supermarket shelves now, including with Emeril fresh vegetables (I saw some roma tomatos (from Mexico no less)) and wondered if Emeril would ever be caught using such what I assume are low in flavor tomatos (tomatos don’t travel well and are picked early and gased to make turn red)

I digress, but getting back to Del Posto it was interesting seeing how it was started, the huge cost of building the space, but also it seemed to contrived, a 4 star Italian (Frank Bruni has since given it a very respectable 3 stars in the NYTimes) One of the chefs would ask Mario how the justified charging twice the price for a specific dish, and its a valid question, as it would seem to me at some point the whole idea of the celebrity chef plays into it, how much are you paying for the Mario name, and is he really as creative after being pampered in the world of being a celebrity, as he was as an upstart? I don’t know, as I ‘ve never eaten at one of his restaraunts.

On a side note I thought it was funny to see Frank Bruni review Hooters the chicken wing restaraunt/sports bar. Reading it shows how out of touch with most Americans he is. See here

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2 Responses

  1. If you are questioning Mario’s current level of creativity, you obviously didn’t tune into many episodes of Iron Chef America. Mario was far and away the most fun and creative of the iron chefs. (Note: this is not in comparison to the chefs of the original series in Japan – who were for the most part, far more creative than any of the America chefs)

  2. Okay, I actually would agree with you on that, when I saw him in ‘battle’ Tilapia (worst secret ingredient ever…) he came up with some good stuff.

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