Yesterday, Eater NY broke the news that Mario Batali stepped away from operations at his restaurants as four women have accused him of sexual misconduct — allegations he has not entirely denied.
A titan of the restaurant world, with dozens of restaurants as well as television shows and cookbooks to his name, Batali is also a familiar figure in LA’s restaurant scene. He and his longtime business partner Joe Bastianich collaborated with legendary chef Nancy Silverton on her restaurants Osteria Mozza, Pizzeria Mozza, and Chi Spacca, under the Mozza Restaurant Group umbrella. (Batali and Bastianich are also key players in Eataly, which opened in Westfield Century City in early November.)
Eater reached out to Silverton in light of this news. Here’s what she had to say:
It is a sad day in the restaurant industry. Mario has been a mentor, partner, and friend. We share a vision of hospitality and a love of life in the Italian tradition which we have endeavored to share with the people of Los Angeles for a decade. Mario is also a man with boundless bravado and a man with flaws.
Sexual misconduct of any kind is unacceptable in our workplaces, on any level and I simply do not stand for it. All of the restaurants we own together are led by women. From me and Dahlia Narvaez, to Liz Hong and Sarah Clarke.
For 10 years we have trained our staffs on sexual harassment and created procedures for filing complaints. As of today, Mario has stepped aside from our restaurants. I will continue to lead the restaurants as usual and remain focused on doing what we love — bringing people great food.