When you're ready to take Italian food to the next level, you can learn how to cook a meal like Mario Batali. While you may not want to go so far as to wear shorts and put your hair in a ponytail like the great chef is known for, there are some basic elements to his cooking that have gotten him to where he is today. Luckily for you, chefs have become celebrities in our culture. Where visiting a chef's restaurant used to be the only way to learn about their style, the increase in fame has also led to more and more ways to find out how chefs like Batali go about their business.
Ignore your family recipes for the time being. We don't always like what tastes best as much as we like what we're used to. When you're learning how to cook like Batali, don't throw zucchini into every recipe just because your grandma puts zucchini into every recipe. Once you've built up the techniques of a great chef, then you can begin to branch out and mesh it with different styles.
Check out one of Mario Batali's cookbooks from your local library. You can watch Food Network all you want, but they won't usually give you the specifics that a recipe does to try things out for yourself. Mario Batali has multiple books that are set up for untrained cooks to try their hands at his recipes. A great way to approach these recipes is with the help of someone else, doubling the input on the more confusing techniques.
Honor Mario Batali's work by using products that live up to the concept of the recipe. You wouldn't cover a Springsteen song without a guitar, and you shouldn't try your hand at a Batali recipe without the finest ingredients. According to him, beans and peas are the only two goods that you should even consider that aren't fresh. Local farmer's markets are a great place to start, and organic is always a plus.
Incorporate simple techniques that you can carry into all of your dishes. Consistency is the key. For example, Mario Batali determines his favorite wines, olive oils, and homemade bread crumb recipes so that when a recipe calls for one of them, you already know what that ingredient will bring to the final product. For pasta, he recommends taking it out of the water a minute ahead of when the brand tells you to, always leaning on the side of caution.
Take a trip to one of Mario Batali's restaurants and find out what quality truly is. Unlike school, where a teacher can grade your performance, cooking is often a matter of preference. Therefore, the more examples of how a final product should be, the farther along your own judgment of your recipes will become. Once your palate is more refined, you can even order a meal you've never had while trying to determine all of the ingredients involved.