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Hearth & Hound’s April Bloomfield to Sever Ties With Partner Ken Friedman

A new 60 Minutes expose talks Friedman, Batali, and Bloomfield

April Bloomfield
Daniel Krieger
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Chef April Bloomfield is done with Ken Friedman, her longtime business partner and restaurant collaborator. In a new 60 Minutes exposé that aired on Sunday night, Bloomfield forwarded a statement saying that she is “in the final stages” of severing her partnership, financial and otherwise, with Friedman, who has been accused of a litany of misconduct, including inappropriate touching and unwanted advances. Multiple women have also accused Friedman of retaliatory practices against anyone who spoke up about their experiences with him while at his New York City restaurant The Spotted Pig.

Bloomfield currently runs the kitchen at Hollywood restaurant The Hearth & Hound, where Friedman remains financially tied as a partner, earning money from the restaurant. She had decided to move full-time to Los Angeles even before the restaurant opened late last year, but still keeps a collection of restaurants in New York and San Francisco, all of which remain tied to Friedman. Eater has reached out in the past to discuss her plans to disassemble her business dealings with him, even as Friedman announced he would step away from the day-to-day operations of his restaurants, but Bloomfield so far has declined to speak further on the matter.

The damning 60 Minutes piece spent most of its time on Friedman and longtime friend Mario Batali, who has also taken leave of his role within the B&B Hospitality group he co-owns, which includes the restaurants Pizzeria Mozza, Osteria Mozza, and Chi Spacca in Los Angeles. Multiple women across both companies came forward to heroically give statements to CBS outlining lewd, unwanted, and potentially illegal behavior over many years at restaurants like The Spotted Pig and Babbo in New York City.

The 60 Minutes story also discusses April Bloomfield and her involvement with the alleged misconduct. One of the women on camera says openly that Bloomfield did not address her harassment with the chef, saying she “didn’t trust her” to do anything with the information. She adds:

I know other people went to April, and she did nothing to make them feel safe.

For now, both Friedman and Batali still benefit financially from business at their restaurants. Batali is in the process of divesting from his company, while Friedman and Bloomfield’s status is still not yet finalized. LA Times critic Jonathan Gold wrote about Bloomfield, Friedman, and the #MeToo movement when reviewing The Hearth & Hound back in January, saying that he has chosen not to boycott the restaurant because he did not want to silence Bloomfield’s voice as a prominent female chef.