For about a minute there, the famous new York chief sounded choose a champion that feminism. Mario Batali praised the women in the kitchen that his "fanciest restaurant," Del Posto, in ~ the Fast agency Innovation Festival in October 2017 (via Page Six). Batali said festival attendees he and also his restaurants had evolved past the "Cro-Magnon" era the the 1960s and also 1970s when the back end of restaurants was dominated by men. The Del Posto kitchen to be an all-female operation, every the method up come the executive, management chef. "It"s not since they have actually a vagina," Batali said. "It"s since they"re the smartest civilization for the job."

Batali at the moment had couple of peers in the restaurant business. He had actually an ownership stake in part 16 restaurants, including Del Posto and also the destination Italian eatery Babbo in Greenwich Village. That and Gwyneth Paltrow were nearby friends. His own celebrity status launched after he organized the famous Food Network present Molto Mario in the 1990s.

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A moderator in ~ the innovation Festival inquiry Batali if he believed a #MeToo reckoning to be coming come the restaurant industry, which has been infamous for the sexist culture. In fact, #MeToo to be making huge headlines that month. A few weeks earlier, The new York Times reported women"s claims that movie mogul Harvey Weinstein had actually sexually harassed them. Then, just one day before Batali"s Fast Company appearance, brand-new Orleans chef john Besh left his restaurants in disgrace following more than 25 sex-related harassment accusations (via Restaurant Business). 

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Batali himself had to be feeling the heat. In that very same month, October 2017, he to be reprimanded by his own restaurant management firm after one employee filed a complain accusing him of inappropriate actions (via Eater new York). Still, Batali hardly flinched once asked around #MeToo. He stated the time had actually come because that the industry to move past its toxicity culture. "They room so far behind us, in the evolutionary phase of where we are appropriate now," Batali said, referring to the sexism, racism, and also homophobia in the restaurant workplace. "It"s unable to do for most of us, but it"s tho holding on for human being that are living in are afraid ... The their own diminished abilities room going come be well-known by someone that happens to be smarter than them." possibly for the critical time in his career, a theater complete of women and men applauded Batali.

Six weeks after ~ the Fast agency Innovation Festival, Batali"s own alleged sexual-misconduct allegations gained their exposé, in Eater new York. The celebrity cook who claimed he didn"t have actually women in his kitchen simply due to the fact that "they have actually a vagina" got a previous employee"s breasts at a party, follow to among the ladies interviewed by Eater brand-new York. "In that minute I realized, "I"m just a body ,"" she said. 4 women speak to Eater brand-new York around inappropriate touching and also comments over two decades. Batali owned up to his bad behavior and also apologized.

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Batali gotten rid of himself from his restaurants" operations immediately after the Eater story come out, simply as Besh had actually done in brand-new Orleans. The wasn"t till 15 months later on that Batali sold his financial stake in his restaurants, severing ties with them completely (via Eater new York). Alphabet fired Batali after ~ his long run ~ above the daytime food show, The Chew (via Eater).

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Authorities investigated Batali"s actions in and also around new York"s restaurants however never fee him with a crime. In Boston, Batali was charged with indecent assault and battery after ~ a woman accused him of groping her (via Eater). Batali still could face more legal trouble. In early 2020, the new York state attorney general announced one investigation right into sexual harassment in ~ Batali"s former restaurants (via Grub Street). Batali is now far removed native his previous kitchens and the outstanding women who work in them. That was stated to be maintaining a low profile in ~ a family members home in northern Michigan in 2019 (via Showbiz Cheat Sheet).