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Mario didn't travel alone—his gal pal Oscar®-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow came along for the ride. Mario says the idea for the show came up while at a dinner party. "I'm talking at this party, and Gwyneth says, 'Well, jeez, don't cut me out of that,'" he says. "And we started to put this whole plan together, and it just kind of hatched."

Although Mario is known for his Italian fare, both he and Gwyneth thought Spain was the perfect location. "I did an exchange in Spain when I was in high school, and Mario lived there in high school. We always talked about how much we love Spain and how people are more familiar with Italy and other countries," Gwyneth says. "We wanted to kind of get in there and break it open and show the world how Spanish people eat and what the life is like because it's such an incredible country."

The road trip went on for many weeks, but Gwyneth says a little film magic was involved so she could still spend time at home with her kids. "They were on a road trip, and I would fly in and do two days and then fly home," she says.
FROM: How Gwyneth Paltrow Got That Body! Plus, Chef Mario Batali
Published on September 17, 2008