Mario Batali is well-known for his amenable television persona and delectable Italian food dishes, but he didn't always aspire to be a chef. Batali attended Rutgers University, majoring in Spanish theater and business management with aspirations of moving to Spain to be a banker. He got a job working as a dishwasher at the New Jersey restaurant Stuff Yer Face, and quickly moved up to pizza maker. It was during this time that he found his calling in the food world.
After attending the Cordon Bleu in London, he spent three years cooking in a small town in Italy and discovered his passion for Italian food. Batali has developed a cooking style that takes the spirit of traditional Italian recipes and adapts them to seasonal ingredients that are available locally. The success of Babbo, his Greenwich Village flagship restaurant, has led to multiple restaurant ventures as well as television appearances, cookbooks and a line of cookware. His signature uniform of shorts, orange clogs and the ever-present ponytail can be described only as Molto Mario.