Apr 242013

In this episode of the Wait Wait… Mark Bittman isn’t a celebrity chef, and he doesn’t own a famous restaurant, and he doesn’t have a cooking show. But he wrote the book on how to cook everything, aptly titled, How to Cook Everything.

We’ve invited him to play a game called “Holy, Bittman, Batman!” We guessing Bittman gets mistaken for the Caped Crusader all the time, so we’re going to ask him three questions about Batman … specifically, Batman & Robin, widely regarded as the very worst of all the modern Batman films.

Listen to the Story


And now the game where we ask somebody who knows a lot to answer questions about something else. Mark Bittman isn’t a celebrity chef. He doesn’t own a famous restaurant. He doesn’t even have a cooking show, but he wrote what must be the most popular cookbook in America right now called “How to Cook Everything.” Almost everybody has it, and when they take out their copy, it falls open to the page that explains how to boil water.


SAGAL: Mark Bittman, welcome to WAIT, WAIT…DON’T TELL ME!


SAGAL: It is true. You probably are the most popular cookbook author in America right now just by the ubiquity of “How to Cook Everything” and its related books. But you didn’t even start out being a chef, right?

MARK BITTMAN: No, I started out being a writer.

SAGAL: Right. And the story was that you started in the food industry as a restaurant critic?

BITTMAN: Well, I actually started in the food industry as a cab driver, but I talked my way into…


BITTMAN: …being a restaurant critic, yes.

SAGAL: How did you do that?

BITTMAN: I got some advice from a guy. And I went into an editor, and I said, I want to be your restaurant critic. And he said, I already have a restaurant critic, and I said, I’m better. That’s sort of the story.


SAGAL: What do you mean, sort of the story?

BITTMAN: Well, there were some words that might not be best used on your show exchanged during that conversation.

SAGAL: You mean you said something profane about their current restaurant critic?

BITTMAN: Exactly.



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