Wherever Mario Batali goes, his trademark orange Crocs go with him.
On television, on red carpets, on the cover of his newest book, the jovial celebrity chef and restaurateur rarely — if ever — appears without the gaudy footwear.
Tuesday morning, as he wandered the new Eataly Boston marketplace in a pair of the sensible clogs, he revealed just how deep his devotion to the shoes runs.
“I have 200 pairs,” he explained, prior to Eataly’s grand opening at the Prudential Center.
Turns out, when Batali heard that Crocs was going to discontinue the style he favors in the bright orange color, he reached out to the company.
“I said, ‘Listen, on your last run of this color, can you make me 200 pairs of size 12½, 13?’ ” he says. “And they said, ‘Sure.’ ”
Today, he keeps them in his New York office, where they hang from the ceiling by fishing wire and are therefore never too far from reach.
When he needs a fresh pair, he simply plucks one from above.
“For a fancy event, like when I went to the Oval Office to hang out with the president and do a dinner at the White House, I break out a new one,” he says.
And despite the not-so-sturdy nature of the slip-ons, he insists he can get a lot of mileage out of them.
“If I’m real gentle on them, I can go through two a year,” he said Tuesday. “So with 200 pairs, I have enough to live my life — provided I make it to 155.”