From the WSJ:
Wall Street may have lost its appetite for Mario Batali.
Mr. Batali, the celebrity chef famed for his orange Crocs, red pony tail and bold ragus, has long been one of the premier restaurateurs to the New York financial elite…. Speaking on a panel at a Time magazine “Person of the Year” event on Tuesday, Mr. Batali compared Wall Street bankers to Stalin and Hitler, citing their destructive impact on the world.
Asked about his choices for “Person of the Year,” Mr. Batali mentioned Steve Jobs and food writer Michael Pollan before citing his top choice: bankers.
“I would have to say that…who’s had the largest effect on the whole planet without us really paying attention across the board and everywhere is the entire banking industry and their disregard of the people they’re supposed to be working for,” according to a Time magazine video of the event.
He added that, “the way the bankers have kind of toppled the way money is distributed and taken most of it into their own hands is as…as good as Stalin or Hitler and the evil guys that you guys…have. They’re not heroes, they’re just people who have really had a huge effect on the way the world is operating.”
Ah, yes, those nasty bankers who provide loans to small businesses and comprise most of Mr. Batali’s clientele.
I’ve been eating at Babbo & Del Posto for friend’s birthday parties since I was 18 or so, and I really like Mario Batali’s food. It doesn’t surprise me that he would have bad politics. If I discriminated my tastes based on that, I’d be very hungry in Manhattan. Thankfully, in New York, there are so many people that each one is essentially evaluated by the merits of their work and not their politics.
I suspect that, if the city was infested with Stalin and Hitler-types, that wouldn’t be the case.
(Also, good luck finding a commie willing to shell out $100 for a tasting menu.)