Chef Mario Batali is leading (RED)'s new food movement campaign, EAT (RED). DRINK (RED). SAVE LIVES., helping to raise money and awareness for the fight against AIDS. And now Batali has earned a major promotional plug from U2 frontman Bono, who serenades the chef in a gregarious Instagram post.
"Mario, Mario, Mario!" Bono sings in a brief video to the tune of West Side Story's "Maria." "I once met a chef called Mario - ahh, the cheapest of dates. Ten bucks, a ginger, a redhead. I'm in."
Partnering with charity auction site Omaze, the campaign has started a sweepstakes with a mouth-watering prize: The winner and a guest will receive flight and hotel accomodations to New York for a one-on-one meal/private cooking class with Batali and a behind-the-scenes tour of the Eataly Italian marketplace. The cost of entry is a $10 donation, which will directly benefit (RED)'s efforts.
The (RED) campaign has spread to over 500 restaurants, bars and food trucks across 120 cities. For the first 10 days in June, participating locations are selling special (RED) food items or cocktails as part of the fundraiser. (These globe-spanning establishments include Batali's own Babbo and Casa Mono, New York nightclub Queen of the Night, Brooklyn's Smorgasburg and locations of Sass Café in Dubain and Monaco).
In his own video, Batali breaks down the sumptuous food voyage that awaits the lucky sweepstakes winner, calling the experience "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create the greatest meal in the history of food." He also explains the decadent ingredients by using a series of goofy animations, noting, for example, that "preparation [for the salmon] began four years ago in the frigid waters of Alaska").