I’d heard about the Mario Batali windup toy that shows the redheaded chef flipping a pan filled with spaghetti and meatballs, but still I could scarcely believe my eyes when I saw the video footage. As Food Wishes Video Recipes site author Chef John says, “You know you are a true celebrity chef when you have your own wind-up action figure!”
Real celebrity treatment has been called into play though: The doll doesn’t look much like Batali. Sure, there’s red hair in a ponytail. Sure, there’s a bit of a beard and mustache. But, as Chef John points out, “Somehow the metal, wind-up Mario lost about 80 pounds.” He’s surprisingly barrel-chested and svelte—but yes, there are orange Crocs on the feet.
Chef John is thinking of the future of these chef dolls. “I can see a whole line of these wind-up celebrity chef toys; An Anthony Bourdain version that smokes a cigarette and eats a kidney, a Bobby Flay version that, once wound, rubs Chipotle pepper on something.” A commenter on the original Slashfood post is looking for a bit more action, however. “Make sure [the Bourdain doll] comes with the optional action pack of him holding Emeril’s severed head.”