Taking the 'Heat' in Mario Batali's KitchenBill Buford worked for a year as a low-level "kitchen slave" for chef Mario Batali in one of New York's most famous restaurants, Babbo. His book is a fascinating look at Italian food, restaurants and kitchen magic.
Web Extra: Hear Author Bill Buford Read an Excerpt from 'Heat' Detailing a Dinner Party with Mario Batali
New Yorker writer Bill Buford worked in celebrity chef Mario Batali's restaurant for a year.
It seems like an unlikely career move: Bill Buford left a dream job at New Yorker magazine to work as a low-level "kitchen slave" in one of New York's most famous restaurants, Babbo.
It all happened one night when he invited Babbo's celebrity chef Mario Batali over for dinner. After a lot of wine and grappa, the insatiable Batali -- a rotund, red-haired dynamo who has a number of restaurants and a hit cooking show on the Food Network -- convinced Buford that he would be a great subject for a magazine profile.
Batali allowed Buford to work in Babbo's kitchen, and soon Buford realized there was enough material for a book. The result is Heat, Buford's new book about his year in the Babbo kitchen and his search for the origins of Italian cooking with grandmotherly pasta makers and a Dante-quoting butcher in Italy.