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Mario Batali didn’t become a chef for the money.
In an interview with Wealthsimple, the celebrity chef explained how he got to where he is today: co-host of cooking show “The Chew,” owner of Eataly markets and dozens of restaurants with business partner Joe Bastianich, author of numerous books, and with a net worth estimated by Forbes at $13 million.
“Happiness is so much more important than money,” he told Wealthsimple. “I know a bunch of stoned-out bus drivers in San Francisco who are happier than many of my friends in New York who make more than $1 million a year.”
He said he’s made sure his his college-aged kids “know the value of money and appreciate what it can buy” but worries about their career paths, and that “they’ll become obsessed with making money.”
“The last thing I want is for them to pursue a job solely because it will make them rich. Several of their friends’ dads are hedge fund guys or Wall Street guys. It’s huge money, but I tell my kids, ‘If you love that, then do that. But if you’re doing it just for cash, you’re going to be real bitter at 40.'”
He expects his kids to treat their education like a trade, he told Wealthsimple. “You should go to college to learn to be fascinating – and fascinated – which makes you invaluable for every single company,” he said. “If you’re solution-oriented, with a vocabulary, and can speak and behave in a way that makes people feel good, you can work at any multinational, doing something, for a lot of money.”
Batali said, “I like to ask my kids, ‘Who’s the happiest dad you know? Me! Because I love what I do.'”