Mario Batali protege opening white-tablecloth Italian restaurant in downtown Portland

Jul 27, 2017 540

BY: Michael Russell

Celebrity chef Mario Batali gave Mark Barrett one of the greatest gifts a young chef can receive: a connection.

This was after culinary school, after working his way up to sous chef at flagship Greenwich Village restaurant Babbo, where Batali had a standing offer -- stay for a year, and he would set you up with the family he lived with and trained under in Italy. Barrett stayed in Italy for two years, working in restaurants from Emilia-Romagna to Sicily, then returned to New York to open a place of his own.

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