Mario Batali Pisses Off Wall Street

Perhaps not the best idea, considering bankers give him a lot of business
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2011 12:14 PM CST
Mario Batali Pisses Off Wall Street
Chef Mario Batali watches an NBA basketball game between the Utah Jazz and the New Orleans Hornets in New Orleans, Friday, April 9, 2010.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

(Newser) – Wall Street bankers may be a little reluctant to shell out $145 for Mario Batali’s seven-course "tradizionale" dinners after they hear he compared them to, say, the architect of the Holocaust. “The way the bankers have kind of toppled the way money is distributed and taken most of it into their own hands is … as good as Stalin or Hitler and the evil guys,” he said while participating in a panel for Time magazine’s Person of the Year. Response from one Wall Street trader: “What an insult! I must have spent more than $5,000 on his stupid black truffles over the years, and now he says I'm Hitler?!”

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Batali was explaining why bankers were his top choice for “Person of the Year,” the Wall Street Journal explains. “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,” he added. The comments quickly reached Wall Street, where at least two bankers said they canceled Batali restaurant reservations after hearing about them and others said they would never dine at one of his establishments again. Batali apologized yesterday, claiming, “It was never my intention to equate our banking industry with Hitler and Stalin.” (Read more Mario Batali stories.)

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