Mark Ladner, protégé of Mario Batali, began his education at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. He then worked in his native Boston, MA, cooking at the original Olives in Charlestown for acclaimed chef Todd English. Mark continued his training in New York City, working for several years with chefs Scott Bryan and Jean Georges Vongeritchen, before opening Babbo as Sous Chef. He has been the Executive Chef of Lupa, Otto and Del Posto since their openings, in partnership with Mario Batali and Joe and Lidia Bastianich. He and his family currently reside in Greenwich Village, NYC.
Currently the Chef di Cuisine of LUPA OSTERIA ROMANA, Cruz Goler began his cooking career making fresh pasta with his grandmother at home in Bristol, RI where he was born and raised. After receiving his AOS in Culinary Arts at the CIA (and picking up a BA in Psychology from Boston College along the way) Cruz went on to work in the kitchens of some of the country's best chefs. Directly after graduating, he worked for Scott Bryan at Luma, and then moved on to Union Pacific where he worked under Rocco di Spirito for two years. He was a Sous Chef for two more years before becoming Chef di Cuisine of Jean George's Mercer Kitchen. In 2005, he joined the Batali-Bastianich group as Executive Sous Chef to open Del Posto and stayed there for 2 years while they earned 2 Michelin stars and 3 stars from the NY Times.
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. Most recently, he and Joe Bastianich were awarded the 2008 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 author, reality television personality, 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 Batali 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. 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. He has co-authored two award winning books on Italian wine, and in its first week of release in May of 2012, Joe's highly anticipated memoir, Restaurant Man, became a New York Times Best Seller. In 2010, Joe, Lidia, and Mario teamed up with Italian retail pioneer Oscar Farinetti to bring Eataly, the world's largest Italian artisanal marketplace, to New York. Joe is a judge on FOX's reality TV hit MasterChef, and MasterChef Jr. as well as Sky's MasterChef Italia. Joe feels fortunate to be working within "the vernacular of the Italian table."