Mario Batali Talks Plans for a Food Theme Park and How Meditation Helped Calm His Temper

Renowned chef spoke with ABC News' Dan Harris on his "10% Happier" podcast.

“We’re working on a green gastronomic theme park in Bologna, [Italy],” Batali told ABC News’ Dan Harris during an interview on his podcast, “10% Happier.” “It’ll be about food decisions but it will all be interactive. I’m not sure if we’re having rides yet but we’re trying to figure them out.”

The world-renowned chef and restaurateur sat down with Harris to talk about how he got into cooking, what he thinks about veganism, his prediction for the next food trend and how meditation has helped change him for the better.

Watch the full interview in the video player and download the "10% Happier" podcast on iTunes, Google Play Music and TuneIn.

“I just wasn’t able to rid myself of little bits of anger about stupid s--- like waiting in line for a long time in traffic and someone not turning, or someone on my team not doing exactly what I told them to do,” Batali said. “After about a month of doing TM ... it allowed me to more carefully or more slowly react to something that was offending me, bothering me.”

Batali had a near-death experience when a rare cerebral aneurysm ruptured as he was about to open a new restaurant.

“Five out of 10 [people] die immediately,” Batali said. “Four of the remaining five have permanent damage ... [I’m] the one out of 10.”

Today, he is one of the world’s most respected chefs. He even has a trademark outside of the kitchen -- his orange Crocs. He loves the foam clogs so much he became a part-time spokesman for the company.

“I take a lot of heat on the fashion blogs, but none in the comfort blogs,” he joked.

In fact, when Crocs told him they were discontinuing his signature color, Batali asked the company to make him a microbatch, which worked out to be 200 orange pairs.

“I quickly did the math, ‘I use two and a half pairs a year. Yeah, that’s a lifetime supply. I’ll take them,’” he said, laughing. “They’re hanging in my office across these little strings, and when I need a new pair, I go get them, like for a big fancy event. If I was going to have dinner with [President] Obama, I’d get a new pair out because they’re shinier.”

“Jealousy is when someone does something really good and you’re just proud of them, but you’re also like, ‘Man, that’s so great. I wish I thought of it first,’” he said. “But you can’t possibly think of everything first.”

“I’m omnivorous and proudly so,” Batali said. “But I must say, compared to my diet 20 years ago, I’m eating a lot more plant-based stuff then I used to.”

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