For $500,000, Mario Batali will chop off his ginger ponytail


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Don’t you wish you were famous enough to raise half a million dollars simply by telling the world you’ll get a new ’do? That’s exactly what famous chef and restaurateur Mario Batali hopes to do — and he’s not alone in his fundraising attempts.

Batali is one of 10 famous American chefs partnering with Food & Wine magazine’s nationwide campaign Chefs Make Change (CMC), which launched Tuesday, to raise $1 million for charity. Batali’s promise is this: If CMC can raise $500,000 for the Mario Batali Foundation by Feb. 7, the ponytail is history. (It makes you wonder how much Donald Trump could raise to get rid of that comb-over, huh?)

The February issue of Food & Wine magazine spotlights each of the chefs’ philanthropic organizations, which they either founded on their own or heavily identify with, and reveals two of their recipes. Check out the story here.

The 10 participating chefs and their corresponding charities are:

  • Alice Waters: Edible Schoolyard Project, which aims to provide hands-on food experience in school kitchens, gardens and lunchrooms
  • Rick Bayless: Frontera Farmer Foundation, which promotes small, sustainable Midwestern producers through capital development grants
  • Cat Cora: Chefs For Humanity, which offers nutrition education, hunger relief, and emergency and humanitarian aid around the world through culinary professionals and educators
  • Bill Telepan: Wellness in Schools, which aims to educate public school kids on healthy eating habits
  • Emeril Lagasse: Emeril Lagasse Foundation, which was founded to inspire, mentor and enable children
  • Jose Andres: World Central Kitchen, which builds kitchens and cooks for hungry people using local ingredients to help them establish their own long-term solutions
  • Michel Nischan: Wholesome Wave, which aims to make locally grown produce more accessible and affordable for those in underserved areas
  • Art Smith: Common Threads, which educates low-income children on health and cultural diversity through cooking and sharing a healthy meal
  • Mario Batali: Mario Batali Foundation, which aims to feed, protect, educate and empower children
  • Dan Barber: Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture, which aims to improve healthy eating and farming through programs at its Pocantico Hills, N.Y., property


To donate, check out the Chefs Make Change Facebook page.