Introducing Food & Wine Chefs-in-Residence. In honor of our 2014 redesign, we enlisted star chefs Grant Achatz (above), Mario Batali, Eric Ripert, David Chang, Andrew Zimmern and Hugh Acheson to consult on monthly features, recipes and travel tips. They have brilliant ideas, but don’t always make great office mates. For full videos visit

Here is a sneak peek of 8 Lessons For Innovation And Success From Chef Mario Batali

Famed restaurateur and chef Mario Batali took the stage with Fast Company Editorial Director Tyler Gray at our Innovation Uncensored event last week in New York.

Batali shares some of the business lessons he’s learned over the years, especially now as expands his restaurant Babbo in the east, his Mozza Restaurant Group in the west, and his Italian market Eataly in Chicago, London, and other cities.

Here are a few snippets from the conversation:

On Nurturing Talent: "We don’t hire executive chefs ever. We hire line cooks and prep cooks and wine waiters and busboys and waiters–and they become chefs and sous chefs and sommeliers and general managers and service directors.“

On What His Approach To Italian Cooking & Taco Bell’s Doritos Locos Taco Have In Common: "Sometimes renovation is innovation.”

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On Success: "If I were going to whisper something into my younger self, I would just say, ‘Keep your head down, work hard, and listen to whosever is ahead of you because you’re going to learn something from them.’ And that’s kinda what I did.’“

You can find all 8 tips here or listen to the audio of the full interview here.

[Photos by Nicky Digital]


Michelle Obama: State Dinner fashionista through the years

The first lady kicked off the Obamas’ final state dinner decked in gold.

Michelle Obama donned a stunning rose gold off-the-shoulder Atelier Versace gown to welcome Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his wife, Agnese Landini, Tuesday night.

The Italian state dinner included a helping hand from celebrity chef Mario Batali (likely wearing his signature Crocs). Batali pitched in with the White House kitchen crew to prepare a menu that included sweet potato ravioli with browned butter and sage, warm butternut squash salad, beef pinwheels and broccoli rabe.

Read more:

(Photo credit: AFP/Getty Images, EPA, AP)
Please consider supporting Autistic people via organizations other than Autism Speaks : An open letter to Iron Chef America's Michael Symon, Mario Batali and Masaharu Morimoto

Dear Iron Chefs Symon, Batali and Morimoto, I would like to ask you to consider expanding your charity work in support of Autistic people to include organizations other than Autism Speaks. I’m writ…


Nic Jammet has jet lag, and for good reason - he just got back from a trip to Milan with Michelle Obama and other thought leaders in the food space. Michelle Obama recently selected our co-CEO and co-founder Nic to be one of the 8 members of the Presidential Delegation to join her in Milan and represent the U.S.’s commitment to a healthier nation and world.

Nic joined urban farmer Will Allen, chefs Mario Batali and Carla Hall, NBA All-Star and member of the President’s Council, Alonzo Mourning, President of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, and of course, Michelle Obama on the trip, where the USA Pavilion presented our nation’s idea: “American Food 2.0: United to Feed the Planet.”

At the pavilion, the First Lady said: “I know that I, for one, long after I leave the office of First Lady, I’m going to continue to work on these issues because our children deserve better. And we can do better, we can - we have seen it here.”

We are so proud that sweetgreen is not only part of the world’s food revolution, but also recognized by POTUS and FLOTUS, who regularly eat sweetgreen food. Thank you to Michelle Obama for bringing us along - it was an awesome experience. Stay tuned for Nic’s learnings from his trip.

© Quentin Bacon

Wine Wednesday: Star chef Mario Batali developed this recipe for pollo casero, a luscious chicken in rich white wine and pepper sauce, from an elderly home cook who lives in Asturias. Try this hearty chicken dish with a lively Spanish rosé.

Recipe: Chicken with Piquillos

The @FoodNetwork needs to hear from ‪#‎BoycottAutismSpeaks‬! As we shared yesterday, Sonnolenta: A Neurodivergent Journey wrote a heartfelt letter to several network chefs involved in raising funds for $peaks. We are asking you to reach out to the Food Network on Twitter:

and Facebook: Food Network

You can read about the chefs’ recent event raising $1.6 million for A$ here:

And read the original plea from Sonnolenta titled

“Please consider supporting Autistic people via organizations other than Autism Speaks : An open letter to Iron Chef America’s Michael Symon, Mario Batali and Masaharu Morimoto”


Image Description: White background with a black Food Network logo at the top left. Text reads: If you truly care about Autistic people and the larger Autism community, then you will learn why we #BoycottAutismSpeaks

Please support legitimately helpful Autism organizations instead such as: AWN Autism Women’s Network (logo with three pink butterflies) ASAN Autistic Self Advocacy Network (logo with rainbow design)