Last night, Top Chef star Padma Lakshmi was a guest on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, and talked about the sexual harassment and inappropriate touching charges against chef Mario Batali among other topics. Padma Lakshmi questions the sincerity of a sexual harassment apology that includes a recipe for cinnamon rolls.
Padma Lakshmi Talked About Mario Batali On WWHL With Andy Cohen
Mario Batali was part of a group of men that included celebrity pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini, a judge of The Great American Baking Show, in the restaurant industry that has been accused of sexually inappropriate behavior in their restaurants and kitchens. Padma Lakshmi says that Mario Batali’s apology started out on the right note, but the inclusion of a holiday recipe took the whole event astray.
Mario Batali was fired from the ABC show The Chew as well as removed from his various restaurants, says Deadline. After his termination, Batali published a statement that started with a mea culpa and ended with the suggestion that one should get to baking.
“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. – mb”
Then Batali added a post script.
“ps. in case you’re searching for a holiday-inspired breakfast, these Pizza Dough Cinnamon Rolls are a fan favorite.”
Padma Lakshmi Says She Was ‘Dismayed’ To See Mario Batali Including A Cinnamon Roll Recipe With His Apology
Padma Lakshmi says that Mario Batali’s apology and cinnamon roll recipe combo had her “dismayed,” says TooFab. On WWHL, Lakshmi told Andy Cohen that adding the postscript with the cinnamon roll recipe seemed insincere.
“I’m sure the recipe is a great one, but it seemed like he didn’t take it seriously.”
Padma Lakshmi said that over the years she had heard rumors of the behavior of Mario Batali, but she wasn’t aware that it wasn’t consensual. Padma Lakshmi believes that the manner in which Batali added the recipe to his apology made it all disingenuous.
“I was a bit dismayed at the type of apology he gave. It seemed a little too on-brand, shall we say, and not in a good way. I’m sure the recipe is a great one, but it seemed like he didn’t take it seriously,” she added. “And I think it’s gonna hurt his business, not to mention his family, his reputation.”
Padma Lakshmi admits she doesn’t know Batali well, but she says that she has never experienced any inappropriate behavior from Mario Batali first hand.
Padma Lakshmi Wasn’t The Only One Puzzled By The Mario Batali Cinnamon Roll Apology
Padma Lakshmi wasn’t the only one who was perplexed by the inclusion of a cinnamon roll recipe with his sexual harassment apology, says Delish. It’s unclear what Mario Batali was thinking by adding the cinnamon roll recipe along with a photo of the finished product alongside a sexual misconduct apology, but people on Twitter weren’t having it.
“Dear @Mariobatali I tried your pizza dough cinnamon rolls. They tasted extra ‘rapey.’ What other recipes should I try while you are apologizing for sexual assault?”
Mario Batali is no longer involved in the day to day business of his restaurants but has not divested in its interests.