Mario Batali Knows He Had a "Bad Year," But Considers Himself "Lucky"

Mario Batali Knows He Had a "Bad Year," But Considers Himself "Lucky"

Mario Batali's culinary empire crumbled this year amid sexual assault allegations.

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It was exactly one year ago today — December 11, 2017 — that allegations first emerged of sexual assault against Mario Batali, which he followed up with a botched apology letter. And it would be hard to overstate the fallout from those allegations in 2018: All traces of Batali vanished from Eataly, he was fired from The Chew (which ABC eventually canceled), his restaurants are closing, other chefs are stepping back from their associations with his name, New York state is investigating — and on and on.

For the first few months while the dominos fell, Batali remained in the public eye and was often seen around. By the summer, after 60 Minutes aired a damaging piece, Batali generally vanished from view in New York City.

These days, he’s been spending time in the summer house he’s had with his family since 2003 in Northport, Michigan. It’s located at a former trout-fishing camp where he set up an al fresco pizza oven imported from Italy, according to a lengthy GrubStreet update. GrubStreet easily located Batali there, and the chef was cordial but declined a formal interview. 

He did offer some telling insight, however. He told GrubStreet he didn’t want to be interviewed, saying, “I'm not going to live my life in public anymore."

He further said he planned to be in Northport, “at least until the end of the year,” and he feels comfortable in the location.

“I’m a lucky man,” he told GrubStreet, despite acknowledging the obvious fact: “Well, it’s been a bad year.”

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