A Seattle-bred, New York-based restaurateur, cookbook author, and television personality, Mario Batali is known for his signature style–brazen meets sophisticated, forward meets enduring. He was named Man of the Year in the chef category by GQ Magazine in 1999. In 2002, he won the James Beard Foundation's Best Chef: New York City award and in 2005 the James Beard Foundation awarded Mario Outstanding Chef of the Year. Mario is also one of the recipients of the 2001 D'Artagnan Cervena Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America, a prestigious lifetime achievement award. In 2008, he and Joe Bastianich were awarded the James Beard Foundation's Outstanding Restaurateur Award. Mario splits his time between New York City's Greenwich Village and northern Michigan with his wife Susan Cahn of Coach Dairy Goat Farm, and their two sons.
Beginning with almost Dickensian roots, working in his parents Italian restaurant in Queens, washing dishes, cleaning the sidewalk, and touring the jungle-like meat markets of the Bronx, Joe Bastianich's life charts a culinary adventure that ends with this nice Italian boy becoming one of America's premier restaurateurs - as well as a noted winemaker, author, and eventually, a triathlete. After studying finance and spending a year on Wall Street, Joe bought a one-way ticket to Italy and explored the country's small corners, keeping food and wine a top priority. He came back to New York and opened Becco with his mother, Lidia Bastianich, and then partnered with Mario to open Babbo, which garnered three coveted stars from The New York Times and the prestigious Best New Restaurant in America award from the James Beard Foundation-indeed, the prophetic beginning of their thriving collection of restaurants. Joe has co-authored two award winning books on Italian wine, and his third book, Grandi Vini, an opinionated tour of Italy's 89 finest wines, was released in the fall of 2010 to much critical acclaim. In 2005 he was recognized as an Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional by both the James Beard Foundation and Bon Appétit, and in 2008 both he and Mario were awarded the 2008 James Beard Foundation's Outstanding Restaurateur Award. Most recently Joe joined the cast of FOX's reality TV hit MasterChef, as well as Cielo's MasterChef Italia. Joe feels fortunate to be "working within the vernacular of the Italian table."
Mario's protégé since 2000, Executive Chef Zach Allen is responsible for creating magic in the kitchen night after night. After beginning his career at Lupa Osteria Romana, Zach was named executive chef at OTTO Enoteca & Pizzeria in New York in 2003. Having studied cured meat under the tutelage of Mario and his father Armandino Batali, Zach helped launch OTTO's renowned artisanal salumi program, curing over fifteen varieties of salami and meats. As the consulting salumist to all of Mario and Joe's restaurants, Zach educates servers and staff about the complexities of curing meat. After six years as Culinary Director of B & B Ristorante, Carnevino Italian Steakhouse and OTTO Pizzeria Las Vegas, Zach has now become Culinary Director – Hong Kong. Zach executes his vision for Italian flavors and techniques in Hong Kong's ever-growing gourmet scene.