Padma Lakshmi Was "Dismayed" by Mario Batali's Apology After Sexual Misconduct Claims
The 'Top Chef' host, who said she'd heard rumors about the celebrity chef's behavior, found the inclusion of a recipe for pizza dough cinnamon rolls "on-brand … and not in a good way."
After Mario Batali was accused of sexual harassment by multiple women in December, the celebrity chef issued an apology to his newsletter subscribers that also included a recipe for "pizza dough cinnamon rolls." According to Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi, that approach was "a little too on-brand … and not in a good way."
"I was a bit dismayed at the type of apology he gave," Lakshmi said in response to a caller's question on Wednesday's episode of Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. "It seemed a little too on-brand, shall we say, and not in a good way."
Lakshmi admitted to not knowing Batali too well — only meeting him a couple of times, once on the ABC cooking show The Chew — but she said "there had been rumors for a long, long time."
She didn't necessarily know the behavior described in the rumors was "abusive" though.
"I thought it was consensual stuff that he was just doing in his kitchen," Lakshmi said.
She added that Batali's apology didn't seem genuine with the inclusion of the "holiday-inspired breakfast" recipe.
"I'm sure the recipe is a great one, but it seemed like he didn't take it seriously," Lakshmi said. "And I think it's gonna hurt his business, not to mention his family, his reputation."
Since the allegations surfaced against Batali, he's been fired from The Chew and stepped down from his restaurant empire.