Chef Mario Batali Writes a Love Letter to Traverse City

World-famous chef Mario Batali, and part-time Leelanau Peninsula resident, recently wrote a love letter to Traverse City for the Huffington Post. Here’s what makes the Iron Chef’s heart pitter-patter …

Dear Traverse City,

I first laid eyes on you over a decade ago. My wife, Susi, and I rented a house on a little beach for a week. The next year it was two weeks, the next year three, then four. I couldn’t resist. I was hooked.

I am madly in love with the Leelanau Peninsula and everything about it.

Somehow you’ve remained unknown, a relative secret. With Caribbean-blue waters and Sahara Desert dunes, you’re a gem hidden in the Midwest, far from the gaze of East Coasters.

Your summers boast a roster of festivals celebrating the bounty of your surroundings: cherries and filmmakers, local trout and whitefish, winemakers, craft ale brewers and even a couple of cider pubs. Joyfully you have become a modern gastro-paradise.

For long I’ve thought New York City was my one true love. But you’ve proven to be the perfect antidote to the bustle of the city; and she the perfect antidote to the stillness of Lake Michigan. I will spend all of my holidays with you but ssshhhhh … no one needs to know but us.

Until next summer.

-Mario Batali

Click here to see this letter at

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Article Comments

  • Anonymous

    Please bring a restaurant here!!!!! Pleassse? Sorry Stella’s does not get it, and is far far far from being authentic Italian. Boat house is awesome, but the ONLY true fine dining restaurant we have. No one gets it!! Please open a place here. We would welcome it….then a grocery that does not gouge you would be a nice second. We have one with their 15.00 for an ounce of logatelli. We need you. You love us so much….prove it. Start some businesses here!