Afterward, we got to meet him, and my friend Marc was able to tell him that he's made his "Brains Ravioli" before (which impresses even ME) and Mario was particularly excited to hear about it. He even let us give him a shoulder squeeze (see last pictures).
It was a fabulous event put on by Kim Ricketts. I finally got to meet her as well, and I already think she's the bees' knees. Great event, fun people, and Mario is a hoot! He gave us his not-so-conservative opinions on today's trends in cooking, television, and superstar chefs. It was a pretty entertaining talk, to be sure (and he's a bit of a potty-mouth)!
And yes, he wore his signature orange crocs! They matched the equally loud wall behind him.