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Style & Living Top Chef

What Did Padma Lakshmi Think of Mario Batali's Apology to Fans?

The Top Chef host shared her reactions with Andy Cohen.

By Alesandra Dubin
What’d Padma Think of Mario Batali's Apology?

For background, a recap: After four women accused Mario Batali of sexual misconduct, he stepped down from his restaurant business in December. Subsequently, he issued a public apology letter to his fans... but that message included a link to a recipe for cinnamon rolls on his website. So the approach was widely considered a gaffe and was ridiculed rather than warmly received. 

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(In fact, blogger Geraldine DeRuiter later attempted to make the cinnamon rolls... and in so doing, gave Batali's apology the feminist response many people thought it deserved.)

So what did Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi make of it all?

"I’ve only met Mario a couple of times very briefly... so I don’t actually know him very well," she told Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen (clip above). "So I’ve not personally had any of that experience to know or even observe him."

But that said, she felt comfortable saying as an observer that his apology letter was a clunker. "I was a bit dismayed at the type of apology he gave. It seemed a little too on-brand, shall we say — and not in a good way," Padma said diplomatically." I'm sure the recipe is a great one. But it seems like he didn’t take it seriously."

Overall, she shared her thoughts on Batali's predicament: "It’s going to hurt his business, not to mention his family, his reputation."

She added, "There had been rumors for a long long time, but it didn’t know it was abusive — I thought it was consensual stuff he was doing in his kitchen."

Tom Colicchio has also spoken about his opinions on Batali, and the food industry's sexual misconduct scandals.

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