Boston restaurateur Barbara Lynch is calling Mario Batali’s alleged sexual misconduct “horrifying, unacceptable, and inexcusable.”
Batali is a partner at Eataly USA (though he is stepping away from active involvement with Eataly following Monday’s report), and Lynch is a chief collaborator at Eataly Boston, the massive food emporium in the Prudential Center. Lynch curates the menus for Eataly Boston’s elegant casual seafood restaurant, Il Pesce, and its connected raw bar, Il Crudo. Most recently, she was the featured guest at Eataly’s first national truffle auction and dinner, which raised money to benefit hurricane relief efforts.
In an emailed statement to Boston.com, Lynch commended the women accusing Batali of misconduct for coming forward, and said she was glad that Batali had “accepted responsibility for his actions.”
“As I’ve expressed many times before, this is an especially tough industry for women to excel in,” Lynch said in the statement. “I have never reported directly to Mario, and have not experienced the behavior described by the media. The allegations as described are horrifying, unacceptable and inexcusable. I commend the women who’ve had the courage to come forward; their brave voices will bring change to the restaurant industry. I’m glad to see that Mario has accepted responsibility for his actions.”
Lynch has long been known as a champion of women’s causes and an advocate for the advancement of women in the culinary world. When Time named Lynch one of the 100 most influential people in the world in April, Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi lauded the South Boston native not only for creating opportunities for herself, but for “creating opportunities for others as well, particularly young women.”
In April, according to Eater, Lynch said she planned to transfer ownership of the Barbara Lynch Restaurant Group to her employees in order pursue new ventures, including building a bank for women with “free checking, no ATM fees, and an educational element that will teach women how to invest, build and grow businesses, and manage their finance.”