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Grand Theft Sausage
Friday, November 10, 2006 | posted by Mike

Mario BataliThe past couple of weeks are shaping up to be one big rollercoaster ride for Mario Batali.

On one hand you have the HUGE Rutgers football win over Louisville and the charity roast, which I’m sure is a blast even if they are tearing you to shreds.

But, on the other hand, we get word of an incident that has probably left the chef wanting to put his clog to good use on the backside of the perpetrator.

The LA Times has a report about a theft at Mozza, Batali’s soon-to-open pizzeria, of $700 worth of hand-crafted meats that were made by Mario’s father Armandino, who owns the meat shop Salumi in Seattle. And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, a 13-pound mortadella was also stolen a few days later.

There is a lead:
The case of the missing mortadella is still a mystery, but the pilferer of the salumi was caught on tape.

"We checked out our security cameras and at 11:27 that Saturday night, you see this guy ride up on his bicycle," [co-owner Nancy] Silverton says. "He looks like some yuppie: He's got a receding hairline and he's wearing khakis. He's carrying a cellphone."
Our guess is that Mario is taking it in stride, as the restaurant is still all-systems-go to open next week. His father is certainly seeing the humor in the situation:
"He thought it was hilarious," she says. "In fact, it seemed like maybe he was even a little honored."
Anyone in the food service industry (or who read Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential) knows that food disappears from kitchens all the time. And, frankly, it probably cost Mario $700 to gas up his Vespa during the summer months, so it’s no more than a minor inconvenience.

But, if Batali is serious about getting his meat back, he’ll need a professional. Perhaps I can help.
“Mario Batali, meet Chris Cognac. Chris Cognac, meet Mario Batali.”



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