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The New York Times this morning reports that “the 20-year partnership between the celebrity chef Mario Batali and the Bastianich family of restaurateurs was formally dissolved on Wednesday, more than a year after several women accused Mr. Batali of sexual harassment and assault.”

Batali also is reported to be selling his minority interest in the Eataly chain of gourmet markets/restaurants.

According to the story, “Mr. Batali ‘will no longer profit from the restaurants in any way, shape or form,’ said Tanya Bastianich Manuali, who will head day-to-day operations at a new company, as yet unnamed, created to replace the Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group.

“The new company will operate the group’s remaining 16 restaurants under a new management and financial structure. Mrs. Bastianich Manuali and her brother, Joe Bastianich, have bought Mr. Batali’s shares in all the restaurants. They would not discuss the terms of the buyout.”

The Times writes that “several famous chefs and restaurateurs have recently been accused of sexual harassment, but Mr. Batali is the first to surrender all his restaurants … In December 2017, news accounts of Mr. Batali’s history of sexual aggression touched off police investigations, torpedoed his career and cast a shadow over all the restaurants he was involved in.” A number of those restaurants were closed, and most of those that remained open saw their business shrink considerably.
KC's View:
First of all, it is a good thing when people like Batali are made to be culpable for their behavior. If all that happens is that he loses his business, he’s lucky … because he could’ve (and maybe should’ve) gone to jail.

This is an important move for the company. I know that there is a Tarry Lodge, which it owns, up in Westport, Connecticut, where I liked to go occasionally for the black fettuccine served with rock shrimp, fennel and chilis … but I haven’t been since the Batali sexual harassment charges broke. Just couldn’t do it. But now, I feel like I can go back.