Chef Mario Batali is famous for his Italian food TV show on the Food Network, has been on Iron Chef, and now is on the daily TV show, The Chew. But a lot of people do not know that Mario Batali has ties to Yakima.

Oh yes, indeed! He was born in Seattle and spent a few years of his life growing up in Yakima.

He rocks a ponytail and wears orange crocs, and he always sprinkles his appearances with a great dose of humor. (We even have a pair of his orange crocs on display in the Yakima Valley Museum!)

When Batali was chatting with Today show host, Meredith Vieira, he told her that he "grew up cooking with his family in Yakima".

Would you like to see Mario Batali come to Yakima for a speaking engagement? If so, what would you like him to talk about?