December 14, 2017
Eataly has pulled all of Mario Batali’s books (and sauces!) from shelves
by Taylor Sperry
No, not all men, and certainly not you, a #BelieveWomen Moby-reading non-Cat Person. But let’s be real: it sure is a lot of men.
The latest (or one of the latest, anyway) is celebrity chef, restaurant magnate, and mega-brand Mario Batali, whom four women (three are former employees) have accused of “inappropriate touching in a pattern of behavior that spans at least two decades,” according to a report by Irene Plagianos and Kitty Greenwald at Eater.
Following the accusations, Batali has “said that he is stepping away from day-to-day operations of his businesses for an unspecified period of time” and he will not appear on ABC’s The Chew while the network reviews allegations. Additionally, the Italian-market chain Eataly USA, where Batali is a minority shareholder, has “pulled products bearing Mario Batali’s likeness—including books, sauces, pastas, olive oils, and vinegars—from its shelves,” according to another Eater report, by Daniela Galarza.
Over the past twenty years, Batali’s literary output has been nearly as prodigious as his efforts to promote his brand elsewhere. His first cookbook, Mario Batali Simple Italian Food: Recipes from My Two Villages has sold more than 100,000 copies since it was published in 1998, and he’s since attached his name to books with Gwyneth Paltrow (My Father’s Daughter and Spain… A Culinary Road Trip) and cross-promotional efforts like How to Eataly, The Chew: What’s for Dinner?, The Babbo Cookbook, and Mario Tailgates NASCAR Style, among others.
Batali has not denied any of the allegations against him. He said in a statement, “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.”
While it’s refreshing, in a way, to see someone accept responsibility so unequivocally, “I don’t know what you’re talking about specifically, but, yeah sounds about right!” is no picnic either.
Taylor Sperry is a former Melville House editor.