Mario Batali Asks Times Readers to Imagine Him Having Sex

Today Frank Bruni returns briefly to the restaurant beat with a profile of chef Michael White, whose new restaurant—Osteria Morini—will be opening this fall. White was a real live wire, Bruni writes:

He was caroming from one bold proclamation to the next: If his surname were Italian, the city’s food establishment would have rallied around him sooner! He spent twice the time in Italy that Mario Batali did, and never takes the liberties with Italian cuisine that Andrew Carmellini does at Locanda Verde! Neither of them has quite his combination of knowledge, authenticity and commitment!

“I eat, sleep, live and die Italian food,” said Mr. White.

This could sound like a prelude to BEEF. But Batali, when Bruni contacts him, makes like it’s no big deal:

Mr. Batali, in an e-mail that mixed full words with abbreviations, wrote, “He definitely spent more time in Italy than I did, he married a real Italian and probably makes love like an Italian too, defo better than me.”

Aw. But… ew.