Celebrity chef, author and northern Michigan part-time resident Mario Batali showed up at Horizon Books in downtown Traverse City on Black Friday to sign his latest book, America Farm to Table, in an event coordinated by WKLT’s Rick Coates. Yes, there were orange Crocs. And yes it was standing room only as nearly 200 people packed into Horizon’s lower level to hear what Chef had to say.
Mario was on air with WKLT’s Omelette, set up outside under Horizon Books’ portico. It was a chilly morn, but Mario was rocking the northern spirit, braving the temps with neither hat nor coat.
Inside, nearly 200 people waited to hear Mario kick things around with WKLT’s Rick Coates. Mario was loving up the Traverse region’s food scene, encouraging people to sample up and down the menu of offerings. A key point he made is that you can only achieve great food by using great ingredients, and the Traverse region has great ingredients. That idea lies at the heart of his new book, America Farm to Table, celebrating farmers who are growing remarkable produce and meats so that chefs can create remarkable food.
As Mario topic surfed, he even touched up on some college advice. For the record, he recommends getting a liberal arts education so you can be a well-rounded person first and then figure a career. But he cautioned, there’s a big difference between being at the top and in the middle. “Be the best,” he said. Noted.
Amy Reynolds, proprietor of Horizon Books, shows off a big smile and one of 400 copies of Mario’s book that the store ordered for the holidays. We’re guessing she will have to re-order after Mario’s appearance.