Mario Batali
Mario Batali. Photo by Eva Kis

A slew of celebrities, entrepreneurs and influencers are coming to Boston's Seaport next week for Inbound 2017.

The annual marketing and sales conference will once again take over the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center Sept. 25 through 28 for four days of networking, inspirational speeches and more. This year's lineup of guest speakers includes notable names like former First Lady Michelle Obama, WWE superstar and Bay State native John Cena, as well as celebrity chef Mario Batali.

For the culinary star, who launched Eataly Boston last year, he's excited to be back in the Hub for the event and can't wait to chat with TV host Andy Cohen about the venture and his approach to business.

"I'm thinking we're going to talk a little bit about the Eataly model," Batali says. "We're going to talk about, generally, how my business grew from a 34-seat trattoria to a $220 million company with 4,000 employees."


During his onstage chat, which is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon following Obama’s keynote address, Batali plans to also talk about the importance of human resources in his field.

One topic that attendees shouldn’t expect to be uplifting if it comes up is Donald Trump’s proposed immigration ban. “The Chew” co-host has previously spoken out against the president’s views towards immigrants, which has once again been making headlines thanks to Trump’s recent comments on the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Since immigrants are a vital component to the culinary world’s workforce, Batali believes that a possible ban would have “an explosive and very dangerous effect, not only on our food scene, but on the whole ideology of what America is.”

“If we close the borders and decide that we’re a single soup, at any given point, we will become the trash heap of history,” Batali says. “It’s the most short-minded and irresponsible way to look at dealing with the world’s problems.”