FREAK-Quently Asked Questions: Mario Batali

INSERT DESCRIPTIONMario Batali (Photo: Melanie Dunea)

Mario Batali is one of the best-known chefs/entrepreneurs in the world. During college, at Rutgers, he double majored: Spanish theater (who knew?) and economics. He was good enough to submit to our FREAK-Quently Asked Questions (past entries here).

An FAQ with Mario Batali:

Q: On my deathbed, I will wish that I had spent more time _________.

A: Learning and playing the banjo.

Q: On my deathbed, I will wish I had spent more money on __________.

A: I feel I will have spent my money well.

Q: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far? What was your best accomplishment by the time you turned 16?

A: My relationships with my wife and children.

Having read and learned to love Faulkner‘s The Sound and the Fury.

Q: What’s one goal you’d still like to accomplish?

A: Spend every moment with my wife and children.

Q: What is your net worth as a ratio of your parents’ net worth at the time you were 16 (adjusted for inflation if possible)?

A: 350

Q: What is the best investment you made in getting to where you are today?

A: Opening 15 restaurants with my business partner Joe Bastianich.

Q: What’s the best financial investment you’ve ever made?

A: Fattoria la Mozza winery in Tuscany.

Q: The worst?

A: Buying Stuff Yer Face pizzeria stock in 1982.

Q: What talent have you always wished you had more of?

A: Patience and musical ability.

Q: What’s the last book you read cover to cover?

A: Fahrenheit 451.

Q: What do you most often lie about?

A: My ability.

Q: Fill in the blanks: I ___________ too much or too often; to avoid this, I tend to ___________.

A: talk, try and listen more carefully

Q: What is your biggest regret in life?

A: It is early.

Q: If you could have any job in the world for one day, what would it be?

A: Jimmie Johnson‘s.

Q: If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

A: Flight.

Q: How much would you sell one of your kidneys for?

A: I would not.

Q: What’s the most expensive piece of clothing you’ve ever bought, and why did you buy it?

A: I am not such a fashion dude, so it would be a tuxedo with short pants I had made for the James Beard awards in 2000 for about $2,100.

Q: Would you rather win a Nobel Prize, an Olympic gold medal, or the Megabucks Lottery?

A: I would love to be smart enough to win the Nobel Prize and be able to ski fast enough for downhill gold, but then I would not be me, so give me the lottery.

Q: How much is too much to spend on a cup of coffee?

A: Five bucks.

Q: What do you collect, and why?

A: Cookbooks for their constant variation.

Q: What is one item you own that you should probably throw out but never will?

A: Old chef coats with logos on them.

Q: New York or California?


Q: What will eventually lead to humankind’s demise, and when will it happen?

A: Hubris. Not for a very long time.

Q: What’s the best possible future discovery or invention?

A: Something to guarantee every child’s health and ability to thrive.

Q: Happiness is ____________.

A: A healthy, thriving family.

Final comment: You can choose happiness.

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  1. Mitch says:

    Q: If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

    A: Flight.

    NO! The answer is always time travel.

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  2. Paul says:

    I love molto. Do you think we can get him to submit to readers’ questions?

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  3. donn says:

    NO! Surely the answer is always teleportation.

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  4. Mitch says:

    But Don, if I can time travel, I still get there before you.

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  5. KG11215 says:

    “An FAQ with Mario Batali?” This article would be better with proper grammar. ZING!

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  6. Ari says:

    Time travel is a super power?

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  7. Mike says:

    “An FAQ…” is correct if you spell it: “An Eff-A-Cue.”

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  8. KG11215 says:

    OK. I guess that can go both ways. Good job, Mike.

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