The New York Culinary Scene

Question: Does Mario Batali dominate the conversation?

Scott Conant: I mean Mario, I think he’s- he’s really kind of blazed the trail. I think people like Tony May and Pete Longo blazed the trail in the beginning, and then Mario- guys like Mario, and Joe and Lydia Bastianich as well, one of the pioneers. I- you know, I’ve- I’ve never really thought about trying to be that person. I just wanna do what I love, which is- that’s my- that’s the approach. It’s about-- you know, for me it’s about goodness, and whatever- if it resonates with people, that’s- obviously, I wanna make customers happy. So that’s what- that’s what it’s meant to be about. It’s not- I’m not trying to become an iconic personality. I don’t think I- I-- it’s too much responsibility. <laugh>.

Question: What’s your next project?

Scott Conant: Well, I just had a book come out called “Bold Italian,” and I’m kind of launching it at the same time as a restaurant that I’m doing on 14th and 9th, which is on the meat-packing strip.  It’s on the historical Gansevoort Market area.  It’s gonna be called Scarpetta.  Scarpetta in Italian is- you know when food is so good and it’s not even- it’s not even an- an Italian thing-- all cultures.  You grab a piece of bread and you kind of sop up what’s on the plate.  The word for that in Italian is “scarpetta;” it means little shoes.  It’s kind of the- the- the- the- you know, the- your fingers kind- your hand looks like a little shoe, I guess, when you’re picking-- you know Italians are so clever <laugh>.  But Scarpetta- hopefully the food is good enough everybody grabs a piece of- piece of bread and makes a scarpetta.  That’s the intention.

Question: Are we experiencing an Italian food renaissance?

Scott Conant:  Probably over the last-- you know I’ve lived in New York for 20 years now, and I feel like it’s always-- you know there’s more people doing Italian food now than ever- absolutely.  It’s really- it’s fascinating, and I think it’s wonderful.  I mean there’s all good things.  Joe- Jason Denton [ph?] and his brother Joe just opened up Bar Milano on 24th and 3rd.  Like, who would’ve thought there’s a fine-dining restaurant on 24th and 3rd, and it’s- and it’s fantastic; it’s fantastic.  So it’s all good.

Recorded on: 03/24/2008

 

Batali blazed the trail and Italian food is more popular than ever.

Meet the Bajau sea nomads — they can reportedly hold their breath for 13 minutes

The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.

Wikimedia Commons
Culture & Religion
  • The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
  • Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
  • Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
Keep reading Show less

Life is hard: Jordan Peterson and the nature of suffering

The Canadian professor's old-school message is why many started listening to him.

Jordan Peterson addresses students at The Cambridge Union on November 02, 2018 in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire. (Photo by Chris Williamson/Getty Images)
Personal Growth
  • The simplicity of Peterson's message on suffering echoes Buddha and Rabbi Hillel.
  • By bearing your suffering, you learn how to become a better person.
  • Our suffering is often the result of our own actions, so learn to pinpoint the reasons behind it.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists create a "lifelike" material that has metabolism and can self-reproduce

An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.

Shogo Hamada/Cornell University
Surprising Science
  • Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
  • The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
  • The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
Keep reading Show less