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Who doesn't love Mario Batali? Pretty much nobody, and it's been that way for a long time. I first met him on a bus in, I think, northern Italy with a bunch of chefs, and knew him from the fantastically enthusiastic descriptions of his parents-in-law, Lillian and Miles Cahn, founders of Coach Farm. Fantastic enthusiasm is what defined him then (20 years ago easy) and now—as you'll see in his first post for the Food Channel, the first of many on what he's up to and what he's thinking about food and the restaurants he runs.
This one is starry—Mario's become a star, and his life is populated with them too, especially when it comes to raising money for something he cares about, the subject of today's post. But the go-ahead, see-everything, learn-everything, cook-everything guy I met on the bus is the same guy writing today. I'm really happy we'll get to go places with him.