Mario Batali is cooking up something new for Vice Media.
On Tuesday, the celebrity chef and restaurateur will launch a new cooking show on Vice's food-themed channel, Munchies, in which he will cook a personalized meal for celebrity guests. Called Moltissimo, the series is being shot in the Munchies kitchen at Vice's Brooklyn headquarters and will feature ingredients that Batali has sourced from Vice's rooftop garden.
Batali, who rose to fame as the host of Food Network show Molto Mario and has appeared on everything from Iron Chef to The Chew, is no stranger to food shows. But he began watching the Munchies online channel a few years ago after his children told him about it. He has since appeared on an episode of Action Bronson's F - That's Delicious as well as the special Masters of Lunch with Master of None writers Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang. "It was food and it was culture," Batali says of what first attracted him to Munchies. "The shows were interesting and funny and irreverent and shot with a relatively high-level of production value."
For Moltissimo, didn't want to go too high concept. "I don't want to travel around the world like Action Bronson. I don't want to be the crazy Canadian guy. What people liked about my original show is that I cooked."
Most of what Batali will do on Moltissimo is cook. In every episode of the seven-part series, he will invite friends, celebrities and renowned chefs to eat a meal that he prepares especially for them. The show kicks off Tuesday with Batali preparing stuffed squash with lamb and mint for his guests, actress Rosie Perez and Vice News journalist Ben Anderson, who will discuss their careers, their shared neighborhood and how they met. As Batali cooks the meal, inspired by Anderson's work in northern Africa and Perez's Puerto Rican heritage, he will explain how he's preparing the food with the intention of helping viewers at home someday replicate the dish.
"Some people are interested in a slightly deeper dive," says Batali. Each episode is about 20 minutes long and will be accompanied by a recipe available on the Munchies website. "It's real recipes cooked in real time with real techniques and real traditional food. My message is that if you want to make real pesto, you don't make it in the food processor. You make it in the mortar and pestle."
Additional episodes of Moltissimo, which is being sponsored by Microsoft Surface, will feature guests such as Rohan Marley and Saturday Night Live's Beck Bennett and Kyle Mooney, as well as chefs including Lila's Missy Robbins, Morgenstern's Nicholas Morgenstern and Guerilla Tacos' Wes Avila.
New episodes of Moltissimo will be released biweekly on Munchies.