How The Food Industry Is Reacting To Mario Batali's Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Photo: Abel Fermin/WWD/REX/Shutterstock.
Mario Batali is the latest celebrity chef to be accused of sexual misconduct. This morning, Eater published an investigative piece in which four women, all of whom asked to remain anonymous, alleged that they had been touched inappropriately by the chef. The accounts, which were detailed in the Eater piece, span over two decades.
Following the allegations, Batali announced that he is taking an indefinite leave of absence from his business, Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group. In part, he told Eater in a statement, "I apologize to the people I have mistreated and hurt. Although the identities of most of the individuals mentioned in these stories have not been revealed to me, much of the behavior described does, in fact, match up with ways I have acted... I have work to do to try to regain the trust of those I have hurt and disappointed."
Not long after Eater's piece broke, fellow famous chefs and prominent figures in the food world took to Twitter to share their reactions. Unsurprisingly, one of the first to comment on the news was Anthony Bourdain. Early this morning Bourdain simply tweeted, "It's Batali. And It's bad."
Bourdain has been outspoken throughout the recent string of sexual misconduct allegations both in Hollywood and in food circles. In November Bourdain told Refinery29 that he thought the restaurant industry would have a reckoning, mirroring events in Hollywood. "I think there are going to be some very ugly scandals. I think some major figures are going to go down," he said.
Tom Colicchio, another chef and television star who has recently called for male chefs to alter their behaviors and attitudes, retweeted Anthony Bourdain's tweet, adding, "And no one should be surprised." He also retweeted Eater's article.
In addition to Bourdain and Colicchio, a number of food writers, editors, and restaurant critics have also tweeted responses.
So far, we have not seen a response from Batali's fellow Food Network stars or his co-stars on ABC's The Chew. However, Alex Guarnaschelli, a Food Network personality and chef, did share a tweet this morning that read, "It’s time for 2017 to be over and for us all to start fresh with some renewed hope. #2017sucks." It's unclear if Guarnaschelli is referencing the Batali accusations in this tweet, but the timing seems to suggest that. We have reached out to Guarnaschelli's team for comment.
Check back for updates on this breaking news story.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

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