So where has he been all this time? Haven’t we seen him in the kitchen in the past several years? I know I have been watching him on TV cooking this whole time!

The matter of going back to the kitchen for Chef Mario Batali is as real as can be, though. He means actually cooking – for real – and not for a TV audience. As you may have heard from other chefs, TV cooking is not the same as actually making your own food in the kitchens of your restaurants. We’ve already heard so many critics lambasting celebrity chefs. They’re too busy cooking on air. They’re too busy running their restaurant empires. They’re not in touch with the real chef in them.

Well, Batali is not content to do that anymore. He wants to go back to his roots and is undertaking a gigantic project. Some time this year, he is set to launch six new restaurants for Eataly. Nice name, huh? But not as nice as what Batali is supposed to be cooking up. Time reports:

There will be a meat restaurant, a fish one, a pasta and pizza operation, a vegetable restaurant, a panino bar and a brewery-gastropub on the roof deck. It’s a giant undertaking, but Batali is a force of nature. He is creating all of the restaurants himself, after having spent years away from cooking. Whether he can pull it off remains to be seen. But he’s psyched to be even trying.

Well I am psyched for him, my favorite American Iron Chef!

Michelin stars are not easy to come by, and we all look at restaurants in a different light once they get these stars. IF they have 3 Michelin stars, that ups the game to a whole new level, doesn’t it? There isn’t any restaurateur in the entire world that would not want to earn those three stars, but chef Ferran Adria is one of the fortunate ones (and deserving as well) to have earned them.

His restaurant El Bulli has been hailed by many – professional and amateur foodies alike – to be the best in the world. I haven’t had the honor of dining there myself, but I would give an arm and a leg to do so. Unfortunately, the rumor is that the chef is closing El Bulli for good. Last month, he announced that he would be closing the restaurant for two years – 2012 and 2013. He did so at Madrid Fusion, a conference for Spanish chefs. Why he would want to do that, who knows.

More recently, chef Adria announced that the closure of El Bulli is going to be for good. He said that instead of running the restaurant, he would be running a culinary school – an advanced one at that. Apparently, he and his partner have been losing money (large amounts of it) steadily on the restaurant. Again, how this could have happened, I haven’t the slightest idea!

In any case, this closure is going to be a sad one for the hordes of foodies around the world – especially for those like me who have never had the chance to sample their fare.