Will Mario Batali Allegations Impact Family’s Hudson Valley Farm?
A local farm's future may be at stake now that Mario Batali is facing serious accusations of drugging and raping an employee.
The allegations come five months after Batali was fired from his job hosting The Chew. The chef lost his TV gig after being accused of sexual harassment at his restaurants. At the time, Batali admitted to the accusations, apologizing for his bad behavior.
Batali is now denying new accusations which claim the celebrity chef drugged and raped one of his workers in 2005. 60 Minutes aired an interview with the accuser, as well as several other workers who detailed stories that allege Batali physically assaulted them.
In an email to 60 minutes Batali denied the new allegations. There has been no word, however, from Batali's wife since the original stories of sexual harassment were revealed in December. Batali is married to Susi Cahn, the daughter of Miles and Lillian Cahn who founded Coach leather. The family eventually sold the high-end handbag company and opened Coach Farms in Pine Plains.
The Hudson Valley farm is known for their gourmet goat cheese, primarily because of Mario Batali's connection to Coach Farms. The celebrity chef made an effort to promote his wife's family farm on television and at all of his restaurants. The farm's website still touts their connection to Batali. citing him as one of their "top customers."
Coach Farms has also been a favorite of other celebrity chefs such as Bobby Flay, Martha Stewart and Sara Moulton. The farm has been showcased on The Today Show, Martha Stewart Living and several Food Network programs.
It's unclear if the farm will now attempt to distance itself from Batali as these new, serious accusations against the chef continue to make headlines across the world. It's possible that high end restaurants and celebrity chefs could shy away from doing business with a company that continues to use Batali as an unofficial spokesperson.
Coach farms is located at 105 Mill Hill Road in Pine Plains.