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Mario Batali Tries to Woo LeBron James with Free Food

By Della Hasselle | June 17, 2010 5:04pm | Updated on June 18, 2010 6:59am

By Della Hasselle

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

They say the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Apparently, New York's most famous Italian chef Mario Batali is hoping LeBron James agrees.

Attempting to woo the basketball player with his Italian eats, Batali is the latest superstar to jump on the “C’mon, LeBron” New York bandwagon.

The Iron Chef master put up a YouTube video on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s online LeBron campaign site last week, offering a bribe that may be hard to refuse.

"I’m offering a dinner every two weeks," Batali said in direct competition with Cleveland chef Michael Symon, who offered to cook an Iron Chef-style dinner at LeBron's home once a month if he signed with the Cavs.

“Wherever you want, up to twenty people, I will make a dinner, not an Iron Chef dinner, a delicious dinner—in New York City, as a welcome,” Batali says in the video.

Bloomberg’s “C’mon, LeBron” crusade has been gathering momentum as the mayor hopes to recruit the superstar basketball player to the New York City Knicks, or the soon-to-be Brooklyn Nets.

The campaign message has appeared on Facebook, Twitter, NYC Taxi monitors and Times Square screens in the city in attempts to lure the lucrative asset.  According to the Economic Development Corporation, winning Game 7 of an NBA Finals in New York could yield the city as much as $57.8 million.