Mario Batali is one of the world's most admired and respected chefs. With 25 restaurants, 10 cookbooks, 3 "Eataly" markets and multiple television shows, the chef has continued to grow his authority in every facet of the food scene.
In 2008 he decided to add "philanthropist"' to his resume by founding the Mario Batali Foundation, which works to feed, protect, educate and empower children. Now, Batali is teaming up with U2's Bono for the (RED) campaign in an effort to help even more people.
Bono recruited the chef two years ago by simply saying "Let's go save a bunch of lives," Batali said Friday on "CBS This Morning." The campaign kicks things off May 31 on Pier 26 in New York City with a dinner for 1,000 people they are calling "The Red Supper." For the month of June each of the event's participating food trucks, restaurants and bars will offer one (RED) item on the menu and the proceeds will go to the global funds.
For Batali, getting involved with the (RED) campaign was a no-brainer, because his "fundamental charitable move" is to help children become the best they can be.
When Batali isn't working to help the world, he is doing what he does best: cooking. As a veteran of the industry, Batali was dedicated to the food scene before the time of celebrity chefs, at a time when cooking was not necessarily very cool. But after college, he realized he couldn't see a career for himself in anything else.
"The cooking I did growing up was something that I loved," Batali said.
Despite his worldwide fame and success, Batali still cooks often-- especially his favorite thing, breakfast for his children. The only difference is now he never has to clean up.
Looking forward, Batali says the trend to focus on is authenticity.
"As Americans become more well-traveled and savvy about the interesting things going on around the world, authenticity becomes something we are looking for," Batali said. "Food becomes as intellectually satisfying as it is physically and nutritionally--and that is why the food industry is cool right now."
As Batali puts it, the food business has become the entertainment.