You might want to avoid hitting a Mario Batali restaurant tonight, as the chef is predicting an absentee, hung-over staff. “Let me tell you the problem with Cinco de Mayo,” he told us last night at a Cinema Society screening of Management. “In all of my Italian restaurants, Cinco de Mayo is not a problem. It’s the Seis de Mayo, where my staff doesn’t show up. That’s where the problem and the beauty of Mexican independence lies. And God bless them all for going out and celebrating. If half of them show up tomorrow, I’ll be happy.” Batali was, of course, at the Beard Awards on Monday night (busy week), and he fessed up to eating seven servings of April Bloomfield’s seviche, “served on a little spoon on a bed of ice spectacular.” But the clog-shod chef was a little disappointed with the actual awards. “I may point out that of all the national awards, only one woman won while it was the year of the woman: Gina DePalma.” Duly noted, unfortunately.
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