Happy Birthday, Mario Batali! Five Ways to Emulate the Chef's Success

Categories: Food News
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"I like my veggies with a side of hair."
Today, celebrity chef and restauranteur Mario Batali turns 52. Born on Sept. 19, 1960 in Seattle, Washington to parents of Italian and French Canadian descent, Batali is one of the most successful chefs in the culinary industry. He built his empire on the concept of cooking up simple yet delicious Italian dishes.

By the age of 27, Batali had quickly worked his way from dishwasher up the food chain, scoring a spot as the highest-paid young chef at the Four Seasons hotel empire. His laid-back, charming personality and atrocious fashion wear scored him a nice television and international fame. With his current operation of 16 restaurants in cities from New York City to Singapore, to penning cooking books, and giving back to the community through charitable efforts, the ginger-haired New York City resident and father of two boasts a serious fortune found through his love of food.

For foodies with an ambitious appetite for a prospering culinary career like Batali, we provide you with a guide to celebrity-chef-super stardom.

5. Drop Out of Culinary School
Batali earned his bachelor degree in useful subjects that really guarantee a job, like Spanish Language, Theater, and Economics. He later attended culinary school, only to eventually drop out. Yes, that's right. The man knew early on that what is taught in the classroom doesn't always equate to landing a job. Before shelling out precious cash on tuition, scour restaurant job openings on Craigslist.

4. Choose Function over Fashion
Batali is known for his interesting fashion choices, most notably for sporting orange Crocs, Those bright, orange-juice colored sandals are comfortable and breathable -- handy for standing up behind a stove all day. His goofy yet functional Crocs allow for his feet to stay cool while he's busy cooking up his Italian grandma's secret sauce. Proving that it pays to follow the beat of your own hideously orange drum, Batali was even made a spokesperson for Crocs in 2007. And if it's too darn hot in the kitchen, do what Batali does and ditch the pants and opt for shorts. You'll thank us later -- perhaps when you reach the echelons of fame and get hired to wear pink Dockers.

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