The Chefs

We are proud to present our guest chefs for February New York Fashion Week, 2012. They will make your visit at GOODNESS a unique culinary experience.
Mario Batali

Mario Batali

With 19 restaurants, nine cookbooks and a host of television shows, including the ever-popular Iron Chef America, Mario Batali is one of the most recognized and respected chefs working in America today.   

Mario and his business partner, Joe Bastianich, own 17 restaurants across the country including their flagship Manhattan enoteca, Babbo. In the summer of 2010, they opened Eataly, a 50,000-square-foot marketplace in New York City. Eataly's latest dining option, a beer-centric rooftop restaurant and brewery called Birreria, opened in June 2011. In the summer of 2011, Mario and Joe opened two new outposts of their tried-and-true eateries. In July, Tarry Lodge opened in Westport, Connecticut, continuing the pair's suburban conquest. A few months later, they opened Pizzeria Mozza in Newport Beach, California.

Mario is also the author of nine cookbooks including the James Beard Award Winning, Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes (ecco 2005); New York Times Bestseller Mario Batali Italian Grill (ecco 2007); and Molto Gusto (ecco 2010). Mario's newest book, Molto Batali: Simple Family Meals from My Home to Yours (ecco 2011), was released on October 25, 2011.

The spirit of community and family that inspires Molto Batali informs Mario's other work, including the Mario Batali Foundation, the mission of which is to feed, protect, educate, and empower children. In conjunction with the launch of Molto Batali, Mario will match the first $100,000 in paid donations made to the Foundation after November 1, 2011 and Aperol Spritz will match up to $50,000 between October 25, 2011 and February 1, 2012.

As of September 2011, Mario stars in a new daytime talk show called The Chew, a daytime talk show on ABC that celebrates and explores life through food.

Mario splits his time between New York City's Greenwich Village and northern Michigan with his wife and their two sons.

To learn more about Mario Batali, visit

To learn more about the Mario Batali Foundation or to donate to the matching program, visit

Alain Allegretti

Alain Allegretti

Alain Allegretti hails from a prominent culinary background developed in kitchens across France and the United States. His cooking style pairs cultural influences from his home city of Nice with the guidance culled from famed chefs including Jacques Maximin and Alain Ducasse.

Raised in the Provence region of the South of France, surrounded by the Alps and the bountiful vegetables and livestock at his family’s farm, Allegretti learned to tend animals and gather fresh produce at a young age. While working on the farm as a boy, he realized his calling and helped his grandmother prepare homemade provisions including ragouts, fresh pasta, sauces and prosciutto, as well as olive oil pressing and wine making.

Allegretti’s career, in both France and New York City, stretches from helming the kitchen at legendary restaurants to his own eponymous restaurant. He was the executive chef at the New York Ritz-Carlton’s highly acclaimed restaurant, Atelier, where he was instrumental in aiding the restaurant to achieve multi-star reviews by prominent publications. Allegretti honed his culinary skills at several Michelin star rated restaurants including the two-star Restaurant Le Chantecler at Hotel Negresco in Nice, where Jacques Maximin served as his mentor, three-star rated Chez Chapel in Mionnay and three-star rated Restaurant Le Louis XV in Monte Carlo, under Alain Ducasse. Allegretti arrived on the New York restaurant scene in 2001 as Co-Executive Chef at Sirio Maccioni’s Le Cirque 2000. Discovering all that New York has to offer while working in highly esteemed kitchens, Allegretti enjoys sharing

his craft and culture with the city’s most discerning palates.

In 2008 Allegretti opened up his eponymous restaurant Allegretti in the Flatiron District. This Provençal restaurant, which subsequently closed during the recent recession, was critically acclaimed, earning a rave 2 star review by Frank Bruni in the New York Times, along with glowing critiques from the New York Post, Time Out New York and Insatiable Critic, among other outlets.

In December 2010 Allegretti joined the team of La Petite Maison, a Niçoise restaurant in Midtown Manhattan, as opening consulting corporate chef. La Petite Maison is the first US outpost of this 23-year-old Nice staple, owned and founded by the famed Nicole Rubi. Allegretti helped make this bustling restaurant a culinary destination, earning accolades from Sam Sifton at the New York Times, among other critical acclaim.

Allegretti’s most recent project is La Promenade des Anglais, a relaxed neighborhood restaurant that opened in Chelsea in September 2011, that has allowed him to strip away the high-end white tablecloths and have fun with his cooking. The restaurant might be named for the famous boulevard in Nice, France, which also happens to be Allegretti’s hometown, but the space exudes its own style and flare as prompted by Allegretti’s identifiable signature cuisine. The flavors are derived from the French Riviera, of which Allegretti digs deep into inspirations ranging from Italy, Spain, and North Africa.

Julian Medina

Julian Medina

Julian Medina, chef-owner of Toloache, both Yerba Buenas, Toloache Taqueria, Coppelia and Toloache 82, has been creating refined Latin cuisine for nearly 15 years. As a young boy in Mexico City, Julian was inspired by his father’s and grandfather’s authentic home cooking, which led him to become a chef. Julian trained professionally at Hacienda de Los Morales and Les Celebrites, in Mexico City’s Hotel Nikko, where he quickly advanced through the line, learning the basics of French cuisine and fine dining. Each new kitchen position presented Julian with a unique challenge, elevating his work ethic and eventually promoting him to the hotel’s highest ranks.

Julian was lured to New York City in 1996 with the prospect of a demanding dining scene and a larger ladder to climb. He earned his culinary stripes at New York City’s French Culinary Institute where he received the "Best Final Project" award. Shortly thereafter, fellow Mexican chef Richard Sandoval invited Julian to join him at Savann, where his talent was recognized and rewarded with an impressive position as chef de cuisine at Maya restaurant. Julian continued to open new restaurants across the country with Sandoval, first SushiSamba in Miami and then Zocalo back in Manhattan. Under Julian’s reign, Zocalo evolved into a chef-driven restaurant, proving that Mexican cuisine in New York City can be both inventive and innovative.

Julian truly came into his own with the opening of Toloache in August 2007. His Bistro Mexicano forges a meeting between authentic dishes and contemporary discourse, and has quickly become

a Theater District favorite amongst locals and tourists alike. Julian followed up the success of Toloache with the opening of Yerba Buena, in Manhattan’s East Village, in June 2008. Yerba Buena’s menu traverses Peru, Cuba, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and Spain, showcasing the chef’s well-traveled and seasoned career. Yerba Buena has garnered critical acclaim and a loyal following: New York Magazine named it one of 2008’s best restaurants, and Time Out New York honored the restaurant with a 2009 Reader’s Choice Award for “Best Reason to Brush Up on Your Spanish.” A second location of Yerba Buena, Yerba Buena Perry, opened in August 2009 and has received similar attention, with Time Out New York awarding it 4/5 stars.

Most recently, Julian opened the second location of his highly acclaimed, refined Mexican restaurant, Toloache 82, on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Sixth months prior, in April 2011, Julian opened his first 24-hour restaurant, Coppelia, in Chelsea, featuring Cuban-inspired contemporary cuisine that draws influence from South America. This was following his December 2010 opening of Toloache Taqueria, a fast-casual concept in Manhattan’s Financial District.

Julian and his recipes have been featured in, among many publications, the New York Times, New York Post, Nation's Restaurant News, and on television shows such as The Early Show, Good Morning America, Extra, WNBC, and others. Julian resides on Manhattan’s Upper East Side with his wife and daughter.

Mario Batali

Leo Forneas

Chef Leo Forneas developed his keen palette from his grandmother who owned fishing boats in the Northern Philippines. She would always make sure to keep the best fish for the family. From these humble beginnings, Chef Leo expanded his love for fresh flavors and turned that passion into a love for cooking.

Chef Leo graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and trained at notable establishments such as Jean-Georges and Aquavit. He would go on to become the Chef-de-Cuisine at Buddakan and Executive Chef at Izakaya (Atlantic City) and Sampan (Philadelphia).

Today, Executive Chef Leo brings his worldwide, culinary talents to Robert. He continues his grandmother’s traditions and teachings by combining green-market produce, off-the-boat catches-of-the-day and artisanal ingredients into mouthwatering dishes served fresh to your table.