This Father’s Day will be a special one for me. As my two boys are leaving the house for college (one is a junior; the other will be a freshman), I'm feeling especially sentimental. How is it that 18 years flew by so quickly? Wasn’t it just a few years ago that I was making my boys teddy bear pancakes before dropping them off at school?
As one might imagine, there have been many kitchen-teaching moments in the Batali house over the years. Benno and Leo are no novices in the kitchen. But their agendas in the kitchen are likely changing: Rather than take on pancake or burger duty for the family, they’re likely cooking for a different audience. When the day comes that college boys are dating, cooking is a damn good trick to have in your arsenal.
Take me at my word when I say that cooking dinner for a date is a power move. The average 18-year-old might think that picking a choice restaurant is the best way to impress a girl—but if you cook dinner, you mean business. And the process is foolproof if you plan and shop properly then follow one of these recipes. Here are the two I'm sending them off with, for now:
Mario Batali counts 25 restaurants, 11 cookbooks, numerous television shows and the 50,000-square-foot Eataly marketplace among his ever-expanding empire of deliciousness. His latest book is "America Farm to Table: Simple, Delicious Recipes Celebrating Local Farmers" (Grand Central Life & Style, 2014).