Mario Batali has done pretty well for himself. He had an eleven year run on The Food Network, a stint on Iron Chef, and has more than a hand full of cookbooks in print, partnership in several restaurants, a James Beard Award, and a PBS show. His restaurant partner, Joe Bastianich, is also a successful guy. He has a a gig on FOX’s Master Chef, a few books out, and a successful winery. The two recently teamed with two others to open Eataly, the worlds largest artisanal food and wine market. So why are these two allegedly skimming off top off their employee’s tip pool? The case was settled out of court, so we will never know why they deducted up to 5% of wine sales from the tip pool. We may also never know what became of the other allegations: that they did not pay minimum wage or overtime. Batali was quoted in November as saying “The way the bankers have 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.” Batali and Bastianich are not accused of taking “most of it into their own hands,” just 5% of wine sales. Where does that put them on the Batali scale of evil?
Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples, is widely respected for his views on college sports. I’ve read his column for a while now. I may not always agree with him, but he makes sound, defensible arguments. Occasionally he’s a smart ass. I like that. What I didn’t know is that Andy Staples is also a food blogger. I give you Andy Staples giving you Chicken Fried Bacon. Note the side of gravy. Follow that blog. He’s got vision.
Some quick hits: I’m envisioning a 2am line of late nineties cars around the block, last years university parking stickers on the windshields, smoke and Widespread Panic emanating from cracked windows, and cupcakes… James Beard nominees share recipes… Just because it’s the end of days doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a gourmet experience… If you are the mischievous sort, you may land yourself in serious grown up trouble which may land you in the clink. Be prepared and learn a skill to survive the harsh realities of the supermax.