"And 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! "
"Mr. White gravitates toward superlatives, in a manner more exuberant and exhortatory than grandiose. He measures himself against everyone and everything else in town, making especially frequent references to Mr. Batali and his restaurants.
He said, for instance, that the fanciest of them, Del Posto, deploys a few too many non-Italian tricks. He also said that because he isn’t Italian, he doesn’t take Italian cuisine for granted; he expressed pride at how much time he spends in his kitchens and how little on TV.
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.”
“Seriously,” he wrote, “I love and respect the guy.” He added that Mr. White “deserves more press than he gets and he can back it up on the plate too.”