In a new interview, the celebrity chef talks about his new favorite shoes, unappreciated cities, and what he always packs in his carry-on luggage.

Elisabeth Sherman
September 18, 2017

Recently, Mario Batali sat down with GQ to talk about all things travel: What cities he thinks are underappreciated, his favorite vacation spots, what he brings in his carry-on luggage, and why he ignores his email when he’s not working. 

First off, the chef says that the Alabama Gulf Coast is a “really cool place to go.” The “food is unbelievable, it’s inexpensive, the beaches are baby-powder white sand for hundreds of miles.” He also calls Traverse City, Michigan his personal “heaven.” When he’s away on a vacation—no matter where he is—he ignores his emails. In fact, if you try to email him while he’s away, “I will not see your e-mail ever, and if you know my assistant’s number you can call her, but if you don’t, I’m not giving it to you.” Okay, message received; don’t try to contact Batali while he’s trying to get some personal time.

He’s also got some advice on what to pack for a ten-day vacation that may surprise you.

“I don’t check luggage—never,” the chef says, revealing that he thinks a checked bag is a “rookie move.” Instead, he brings three of everything—three shirts, three pairs of underwear, three shorts—but only one pair of shoes. When the interviewer, Marian Bull, asks if he brings his signature Crocs with him—because let’s be honest, while Batali is one of the most accomplished chefs in the world, he’s also notoriously obsessed with the outlandish orange footwear—he dropped a bombshell.

“I’m away from Crocs now. I’m onto the Yeezys… And I will wear them everywhere. One pair of shoes is what I travel with,” he reveals.

Probably still reeling from the revelation (as Batali owns a lifetime supply of Crocs, and once even wore them to the White House), Bull tried to get more information from the chef.

“I’ve ended the Crocs relationship, and I’ve moved on to Yeezys. Crocs are very comfortable—there’s nothing wrong with Crocs—it’s just that I’m moving on,” Batali elaborated.

Take a moment to recover from the shock, and then admit that the change was inevitable. Yeezys, created by Kanye West, are the shoe of the moment, the trendiest sneaker out there right now. It’s about time Batali ditched the foam clogs—even if they are, reportedly, super comfortable—for something a little cooler.

Batali leaves readers with one last drop of wisdom: His airport drink of choice is the Bloody Mary (if made with the pre-made mix he calls the drink “a little salt bomb") and if he can’t get that, a “good beer.”

So now you know: Crocs are over, Yeezys are (still) in, stop checking your luggage, and when you get to the airport, order a Bloody Mary. That’s the right way to fly, according to Mario Batali.

Check out the entire interview over on GQ.