Celebrity chef Mario Batali is taking a leave of absence from his businesses, including a pair of area restaurants and an artisanal market, following a report from the culinary news source Eater that he was accused of inappropriate misconduct by a female chef he met at a New Orleans function 10 years ago. Batali is also accused of sexual misconduct by three women who worked for him during the past two decades.
Batali co-owns and co-operates the Tarry Lodge and the Tarry Market in Port Chester and the Tarry Lodge Westport, and in September he was a featured guest at the Greenwich Wine and Food Festival. In a statement, Batali did not deny all of the allegations, noting that they “match up” with his previous behavior.
“I apologize to the people I have mistreated and hurt,” he said in his 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. That behavior was wrong and there are no excuses. I take full responsibility and am deeply sorry for any pain, humiliation or discomfort I have caused to my peers, employees, customers, friends and family.
In addition to absenting himself from his businesses, Batali has been taken off the cast of the daily ABC talk show “The Chew.”