Money & Power

What You Need to Know About Mario Batali Following Sexual Misconduct Allegations

The chef has stepped down from his restaurant empire after several women came forward.

Mario Batali is the latest high-profile figure to fall in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations. The chef announced that he was stepping down from his restaurant empire after Eater published a story in which four women alleged that Batali "them inappropriately in a pattern of behavior that appears to span at least two decades." Here are 11 things to know about the chef.

Batali grew up in Seattle and attended high school in Madrid and college at Rutgers University, where he studied Spanish theater.

After college, he enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu in London but withdrew after only a few months to apprentice with London chef Marco Pierre White. He then went through three years of "intense culinary training in the Northern Italian village of Borgo Capanne, population 200." There, "Mario learned the essential skills to return to his native US eager to plant his orange-clad foot firmly on the checkered-tablecloth Italian restaurant establishment," according to his official biography.

He opened his first restaurant, Pó, in New York City in 1993.

Eight years later he teamed up with Joe Bastianich (left, with Batali) to found Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca in Greenwich Village; the James Beard Foundation named it best new American restaurant of 1998.

From 1996 to 2004, he hosted a television show called Molto Mario.

He had reportedly been working on a reboot to air in 2018. Since 2011, he has co-hosted the daytime show The Chew on ABC. The network asked the chef to step away from the show "while we review the allegations that have just recently come to our attention," a spokesperson told Eater.

He's the author of 11 cookbooks.

They include the James Beard Award-winning Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes and the New York Times bestseller Mario Batali Italian Grill.


He owns 22 restaurants and three Italian markets.

Among them are the Eataly markets (pictured) and Del Posto, a Michelin-starred fine-dining restaurant in New York City with a coveted four-star review from the New York Times (it was the first Italian restaurant in more than 36 years to receive such an accolade). He remains an owner of his individual restaurants, Eater reports.

He's been named the best chef in America and the best restaurateur of the year.

The James Beard Foundation bestowed the honors in 2005 and 2008, respectively.

He's known for his footwear and his mode of transportation.

Batali once ordered 200 orange Crocs when he learned his signature color was being discontinued. He's been photographed wearing them while traveling around the city on his Vespa.

He's earned a lot of money in the food world. reports his net worth is approximately $25 million.

He's been married to Susi Cahn since 1994.

Their two sons, Benno and Leo Batali, have a cookbook of their own.

He did not deny the allegations.

Batali issued a statement to Eater that read, in part, "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."

Other prominent chefs have commented on the situation.

Anthony Bourdain tweeted Sunday night, "No. Trust me. Monday is really gonna suck." and "It’s Batali. And it’s bad." on Monday morning. Tom Colicchio responded to that tweet, "And no one should be surprised." He later tweeted, "It was well documented in Bill Buford's book Heat."


This story originally appeared on
* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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