Mario Batali’s 20-year partnership with the Bastianich family of restaurants was formally dissolved this week, ensuring that that the celebrity chef no longer profits from the restaurants “in any way, shape or form,” said Tanya Bastianich Manuali, the new head of operations at the yet-to-be-named replacement company for Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group. Batali also shares in Eataly, a worldwide chain of luxury Italian supermarkets.
The news comes just more than a year after several women accused Batali of sexual harassment. Batali had appeared regularly on popular TV cooking shows including “The Chew,” “Iron Chef America” and “Top Chef.”
But his reputation came crashing down in the wake of the #MeToo movement when Batali was first reprimanded in October 2017 by an employee for inappropriate sexual behavior. Two months later, three women who worked for Batali and one who worked at Eater, reported Batali had groped their breasts or grabbed them from behind. One woman said she had to straddle the chef to get past him because he blocked an exit.
Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group owned dozens of restaurants and food businesses in the United States, Italy, Singapore and Hong Kong. The group’s collection of restaurants suffered after allegations of Batali’s sexual harassment became public, and several of the restaurants were shuttered.
Bastianich and her brother Joe Bastianich bought out all of Batali’s shares. They will be partners in the new business with California Chef Nancy Silverton. Their new company will operate the Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group’s current 16 restaurants under new management and a new financial structure.
Source: NY Times