On Friday evening, disgraced TV chef/restauranteur Mario Batali thought he might put some frosting on the Mario Batali sexual abuse apology tour by sending out his apology to newsletter subscribers with a PS: a link to mariobatali.com at the end disguised as a “holiday-themed” pizza dough-cinnamon bun recipe of contrition. It is as patently awful as shorts and crocs on a sweaty man. As far as Bad Man apologies go–bungled PR attempts to polish the turd and return the Bad Man back to the public eye as a Good Man–it is a masterpiece.
On Monday, Eater reported allegations by four women (and rumors of harassing many, many female waitstaff), including rubbing a chef’s breasts in the middle of a wine auction after-party and habitually groping another woman at work for two years. Batali was allegedly so awful to women at his co-owned West Village restaurant Pó that, when chef Lee McGrath came in a few years after he left, co-owner Steve Crane warned him: “Don’t even think about messing with the waitresses—they’ve been through hell with Mario.”
Batali did not deny the behavior, he has stepped away from his show and businesses, and he apologized. Here is Apology One:
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. 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.
I have work to do to try to regain the trust of those I have hurt and disappointed. For this reason, I am going to step away from day-to-day operations of my businesses. We built these restaurants so that our guests could have fun and indulge, but I took that too far in my own behavior. I won’t make that mistake again. I want any place I am associated with to feel comfortable and safe for the people who work or dine there.
I know my actions have disappointed many people. The successes I have enjoyed are owned by everyone on my team. The failures are mine alone. To the people who have been at my side during this time — my family, my partners, my employees, my friends, my fans — I am grateful for your support and hopeful that I can regain your respect and trust. I will spend the next period of time trying to do that.
And then on Friday he used the newsletter to send out Apology Two, which riffs back into schilling an unholy breakfast pastry:
As many of you know, this week there has been some news coverage about some of my past behavior.
I have made many mistakes and I am so very sorry that I have disappointed my friends, my family, my fans and my team. My behavior was wrong and there are no excuses. I take full responsibility.
Sharing the joys of Italian food, tradition and hospitality with all of you, each week, is an honor and privilege. Without the support of all of you — my fans — I would never have a forum in which to expound on this.
I will work every day to regain your respect and trust.
ps. in case you’re searching for a holiday-inspired breakfast, these Pizza Dough Cinnamon Rolls are a fan favorite.
Click through to the recipe, and you get this pop-up:
“WANT MORE MARIO?”