HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >

Discussion

So, Mario Batali's profanity

I had not seen this come up and wondered if anyone had opinions on Mario's cursing in front of the King and Queen of Spain:

http://www.miamiherald.com/entertainm...

Personally, I would like to think I'd pick my words better, but it's not as bad as the apparent rampant table hopping happening, even to and from the King and Queen's table (where the Governor of Florida was allegedly seated, not the whole time! Caveat, I was not there.

)

I guess this plays into the idea that chefs are irrepressibly and enjoyably profane.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. to quote another queen, "we are *not* amused."

    i really like mario, but this was totally inappropriate. is he drinking too much? i thought he drank a lot on that spanish road trip series, as well.

    mario! DUDE! get a grip!!!!

    26 Replies
    1. re: alkapal

      If you read "Heat", Buford writes how Mario and Joe Bastianich would go through a case of wine between them.

      Batali's a trained professional.

      1. re: ferret

        Heat is great! I couldn't keep up with him but would love to try for a couple of hours!

        1. re: ferret

          a trained professional wine drinker? ;-).

          a disciplined professional would not get drunk, make a fool of himself, and embarrass guests with his f-bombs -- as MC, no less! it was *very* irresponsible of him, and i'd bet he ain't proud.

          1. re: alkapal

            He is a professional chef and media "personality", not a professional MC. I doubt he is embarrassed by his language.

            1. re: KTinNYC

              he was an mc *there*. he should've acted professionally.

              he probably wasn't embarrassed at the time -- because -- apparently -- he was too drunk to realize that he was making an ass of himself.

              and i'm sorry that it happened. as i said, i like him......

              1. re: alkapal

                I agree. Probably won't be asked to do something like that again - no matter how big a celeb. I love the guy but that was too much.

                1. re: alkapal

                  I can hire my plumber to cook my dinner but I wouldn't expect him to do a great job. We'll have to agree to disagree.

                2. re: KTinNYC

                  I don't see a reason to be embarrassed. It isn't like he punched someone - he just used some words that, for no rational reason have been designated as bad by some people but are a common and acceptable part of other people's vocabulary.

                  1. re: Dan G

                    "weaself**ker" is a common (well, common as in not very nice) and acceptable part of what people's vocabulary??? I can use the F-word with great aplomp I believe but I certainly pick my audience. Come on, Dan G, you don't really believe that, do you?

                    1. re: c oliver

                      Fact is if it had been Paula Deen or Rachel Ray who said such a thing in the same context, they would be called classless and no one would excuse it. It's because it's Mario Batali (who I am a fan of), some people are excusing it. I am a great believer in the f-word and use it more often than the average bear, but if I was in that situation, I would not have had more than one glass of wine before my duties were fulfilled and I would not have used the F-word in the situation.

                      1. re: Janet from Richmond

                        Really? I actually would expect that from Paula Deen and I'm sure she would grab more than Andres' butt.

                        1. re: Janet from Richmond

                          Well Paula Deen's pants fell down to mid thigh in her presentation, and RAchael ray was all over tmz.com for all the boozing she was doing there.

                          Seems like the kids haven't grown up yet.

                            1. re: Janet from Richmond

                              actually i would have found it the classiest thing i've ever seen paula deen do

                              1. re: thew

                                typically chefs and classy are two words that don't go together, unless you are talking about their service. So not sure why anyone would take offense to Batali.

                      2. re: alkapal

                        Mario not in the least bit embarrassed. "It's all over the blogs,'' Batali said of his f-bomb outburst. 'Some people are saying nasty things about me. But those people don't need me to say `f---' to go on a blog and say nasty things.''

                        King Juan Carlos is too cool to have been offended, he said.

                        ''He's heard the word before. I'm sure he didn't care,'' Batali said. ``It must have been a slow news day.''

                        http://www.miamiherald.com/living/foo...

                          1. re: KTinNYC

                            Sounds like rationalization on his part to make himself feel better. Or maybe he just doesn't care. But when others who attended the function said they visibly saw Queen Sofia recoil at what he said, it definitely offended someone.

                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              Much ado about nothing. I wonder if we can get MPW and Gordon Ramsey to MC next year?

                              1. re: Fritter

                                "Much ado about nothing."
                                ~~~~~~~~~~
                                Your opinion. I think the setting warranted a good bit more respect for the attendees.

                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                  frankly i think the setting would've warranted more respect for the attendees even had they just been me. don't know if that makes me a prude or not but it just seems ridiculously inappropriate and part of the general decreasing of class in society. and i do curse. and i think if you met me you'd quickly notice i'm not a prude. personally i never loved him but i never held anything against him either. this is way worse in my book than saying dude or money. while cooking is great, class is even more important in my book.

                                  1. re: AMFM

                                    Why do people who just had the good luck to be born in the right family deserve any more respect than anyone else? Geez, didn't we fight a revolution over this a few centuries back? Down with royalty in all its forms--especially the Bush dynasty!

                                    1. re: newhavener07

                                      I treat everyone (almost) with respect whether they are royalty or not. Would be a nicer world if we all did the same.

                                      1. re: newhavener07

                                        It's not MORE respect. It's respect in general. And Mario didn't give any. To anyone in the room.

                          2. re: ferret

                            I read that, and wondered at the time if he was a bit over the top. Not that I wouldn't be given his circimstances and exposure.

                            That said, come on Mario, why you gota curse i ront of the queen? It's just so rude...

                        1. I would love to get drunk together with Mario. It would be a hoot!!!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: billieboy

                            Ditto that! Just as long as the queen isn't there...

                          2. Mario is a star chef. No one has ever commented upon his decorum, that I know of.

                            I'd say that was not a great occasion to tie one on, especially since he was the MC. I'm guessing, whatever he has or has not said about the incident, his face is as red as his hair right about now.

                            1. People seem to be taking this way too seriously. Jose Andres IS a motherf*ing great chef, and I have little doubt that the people in the room who wouldn't shut up were "weasel f*wads". Somehow I suspect that the King and Queen's delicate sensibilities have recovered by now.

                              www.foodforthoughtmiami.com

                              1. I, myself, do think his behavior was innappropriate...BUT I also think it's very funny!
                                He must've had a few drinks to loosen up, but had one or two too many!

                                Innappropriate but not inexcusable

                                1. Well, he's not a well behaved drunk.

                                  inexcusable; that's what happen when stars a made by others.

                                  1. Well, now that we've gotten a round in, I would like to point out from the article that this was a $1,000 a person dinner. The King and Queen of Spain were there, as was the Governor of Florida. Mario Batali acted innapropriately.

                                    If it were Rachel Ray I would have been shocked as hell. His intentions, however were quite correct. If I were paying $2000, I would like to hear Mario, and Jose Andres afterwards speak unhindered. I wish he would have belittled the people who apparently did not have the class to sit a $1000 a person affair properly in a more subtle and piercing way. Still, hooray and a little shame to Mario.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Icantread

                                      I don't think it's surprising that he would let the word out. I'm a little surprised that with his having lived in Spain and following his PBS special where his love for the food, people and culture was apparent, didn't have a little more forethought considering who the guests were.

                                    2. Hey, waddya expect from a guy who used to cook stromboli at a place called Stuff Yer Face in New Brunswick, NJ. Fuggetaboutit.

                                      12 Replies
                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                        Maybe it's the fact his father was an engineer at Boeing. You KNOW how engineers are! Or that he went to college at Rutgers. Oooh, that Yankee influence! Bad boy.

                                        1. re: c oliver

                                          You can take the boy out of Jersey...

                                          1. re: KTinNYC

                                            Actually I think he grew up in Seattle.

                                            1. re: c oliver

                                              Yes, mostly Seattle, 3 years in Spain and then college in NJ. But 3 years in Jersey is like 15 years in other regions.

                                              1. re: KTinNYC

                                                Ah, I see. Good think to know :)

                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                    Easy, bud. I was there almost 28!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

                                                1. re: KTinNYC

                                                  Yo KT, don't MAKE me have to come over there and kneecap you!! ;) Former Jerseyite, but been in CA for 24 years so I've lost some (but not all) of my East Coastiness. I met Mario decades ago when he was a room-mate of a dear friend (also a Rutgers alum) in SF on Haight St. Used to eat his "bolis" @ stuff yer face, but didn't know him in NJ. He worked for Bon Appetit catering in SF and I was lucky enough to be invited to a Christmas dinner that he, his girlfriend, and the other room-mate who worked for BA cooked and orchestrated. Even in 1985, he had it going on- still, he shouldn't have dropped the f-bomb in front of the King and Queen. A little decorum would've been nice. Someone who was actually born and raised in Jersey would never fu*?ing say that in front of a Queen. adam

                                              2. re: c oliver

                                                Watch it!, Me mum's a Rutgers Alum!
                                                Google Fat Trucks.

                                            2. I brought it up on the thread about his tour in Spain with Gwyneth Paltrow. I like Batali, but you need to wonder about his need to call attention to himself.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: PattiCakes

                                                PattiCakes, I couldn't agree more. Love the man, but...gosh, is there room for another ego the size of his in any given room?

                                              2. i honestly could not give less of a sh*t.

                                                there is no bad language. only tightly wound people

                                                12 Replies
                                                1. re: thew

                                                  really? would you want your kids to talk like that? because i have a 6 and a 2 year old and it has nothing to do with tightly wound. it has to do with appropriate. it's not.

                                                  1. re: AMFM

                                                    i have a kid. he's 4. my opinion is unchanged.

                                                    edit to add:
                                                    - not that it is necessarily relevant - how many kids do you think there were at $1000 a plate dinner?

                                                    1. re: thew

                                                      thew, would you cuss like a sailor at a job interview? (for which you were the hiree) Now I love me a good f-bomb, dickhe@d, sh!tbrain, etc, but there is a time and place. This was not the time or place. Just sayin' adam

                                                      1. re: adamshoe

                                                        Mario, wasn't at a job interview. He was, for the most part, amongst friends.

                                                        1. re: adamshoe

                                                          not the time or place?
                                                          why? because there was (gasp) people deemed superior because of their bloodline? now THAT i find offensive.

                                                          and at a job interview, i would act exactly like myself.

                                                          1. re: thew

                                                            They are not superior because of their bloodline. Yes, centuries of heritage and culture do factor in, something us Americans cannot always grasp in our young nation, but the real issue here is relevance. The vulgarity was unnecessary. The king and queen of Spain are still two very important figureheads of the free world and should be treated with respect.

                                                            1. re: Icantread

                                                              why should the be treated with any more respect than anyone else? why do they deserve more respect than the guy who is going to clear the plates when that $1000 a plate dinner is over?

                                                              It is not that i cannot grasp these feelings about nobility and aristocracy, it is that I grasp them all too well, and find them, especially as an american, to be completely offensive concepts. That is exactly the idea this "young nation" was founded to counter - that bloodlines or divine right are nonsense, and do not bestow any special rights or respect to anyone.

                                                              everyone deserves to be treated with respect.

                                                              and again to be clear- throwing children into the argument was a red herring, as this was not a children's event.

                                                              1. re: thew

                                                                I wouldn't say weaselfu**er in front of my bus boy either

                                                                1. re: thew

                                                                  You said it thew..."everyone deserves to be treated with respect"
                                                                  Hence the OP

                                                          2. re: thew

                                                            i don't think there were likely many but... i don't want to explain to my curious 6 year old what f--- means yet. i don't think that makes me tightly wound. because believe me she would ask. now my 2 year old would just say it over and over and over - in fact his current favorite phrase is "poopy dummy" - nice, i know. but she'd want to know what it means. and really it's not that respectful or kind to her to either lie to her OR to tell her. so sometimes grownups just need to control themselves.
                                                            why is it so difficult or demeaning just to be respectful of other people? why must the problem be with them?
                                                            by the way i laughed at many lines on top chef this year and don't get up in arms about much but some things are over the top. and i think the people who wouldn't quiet down (to whom he was talking) were rude too.

                                                            1. re: AMFM

                                                              My daughter teaches 5th grade in a very upscale school district. Try teaching a class of 28 kids when you have 4 or 5 whose parents have taught them to "act exactly as themselves" and not understand that there is a time and place for certain behaviors -- for that matter, try being the other 24 kids who are trying to learn.

                                                              If someone used the F bomb when I were interviewing them for a job, they wouldn't get the job. I need to know that they understand how to work respectfully with others and put our company's best foot forward when dealing with clients. I'm not saying that they can't EVER drop the bomb, but I need to know that THEY know there is a time and a place. Either the wine or Mario's ego erased his understanding of that concept, and the timing was unfortunate.

                                                        2. re: thew

                                                          So respect means nothing to you? Because that's what Mario didn't do - he didn't bother to give respect to anyone in the room. How hard would it have been?

                                                        3. It's the f#cking f-word? Who f#cking cares. Is royalty allergic to it? Why does everyone feel the need to protect these kinds of people. It was funny and just words. I'm way more upset that Hsea won Top Chef...that is actual BULLSH!T

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: rockandrollbbq

                                                            I'm not sure where you got the idea that people were trying to protect them. It was a matter of respect and knowing when it is or isn't appropriate to say fuck. The word is part of my vocabulary, but I'm not going to use it in front of the CEO of my company, his wife, a client, my elderly aunt. Not because they haven't heard the word before or need to be protected from it, but because to do so would be highly disrespectful. .

                                                            First Scenario: The queen [or the President, or a priest, or my mother] walks into a busy restaurant kitchen unexpectedly, and the F bomb is flying around like crazy. No disrespect; you come into a working environment at your own risk. You come into an environment where *F* is a part of the culture, so you need to understand/adapt even it grates on your sensibilities

                                                            Second Scenario: Same individual, but a formal banquet when honors are being bestowed. Different rules of etiquette apply. The guests are in an environment where a certain decorum is expected. Are those rule silly or old-fashioned or stilted? Yes, perhaps they are, but that doesn't give someone leave to violate them without risking disrespect.

                                                            I think part of the problem is that Mario ain't no chooch. He's not the sous chef from the kitchen who may not know any better. He's a well traveled, seasoned media professional.

                                                            1. re: rockandrollbbq

                                                              I've vowed to never eat in his restaurants again and burned his cook books. :)

                                                              I agree with rockandrollbbq 100%

                                                            2. Brings to mind the1985 formal Washington DC dinner when the then, Washington Redskins running back, John Riggins got totaled and told Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor who was sitting at his table to "Loosen up, Sandy Baby" right before he passed out.

                                                              1. Funny how this puts Fanta Pants right in the same league as Gordon Ramsay, though the two are apprently feuding.

                                                                6 Replies
                                                                    1. re: gloriousfood

                                                                      I have always liked Mario Batali ...a lot. But his halo is getting tarnished. I may have to switch my affection to Nigella Lawson (if she'll have me) :-)

                                                                      1. re: gloriousfood

                                                                        OK, it was the last comment to that article that finally explained it to me. :-D And if it's TRUE, what does it matter? LOL

                                                                    2. re: gloriousfood

                                                                      heh... fanta pants still makes me laugh.
                                                                      Is Ramsey still banned from Fanta pants restaurants?

                                                                      1. re: Firegoat

                                                                        Yes, last I heard, though El Gordo extended an invitation to make up over drinks or something like that. Can you imagine El Gordo and Fanta Pants in the same room? I think it's funny how Fanta Pants can curse like a sailor in front of others yet takes offense at being called "Fanta Pants." Methinks he can dish it but can't take it. Then again, who knows, maybe this whole thing was contrived. Wouldn't shock me.

                                                                    3. because certain people seem to have misunderstood me let me be clear. i don't think this was inappropriate because of royalty present i think it was inappropriate because of the formality of the scenario. i'm not a big fan of cursing in general because to me it is a sign of either a complete loss of control or of poor vocabulary (neither of which particulary impress me). that said i have been known to do it, but in VERY informal comfortable environments with people i know well. to do so in other scenarios i just find rather immature. i certainly did it a lot more when i was younger.
                                                                      i brought up children not because i felt it was relevant to this audience (it likely was not) but in response to the comment that "there are no bad words only tightly wound people" because i actually think there are bad words. if they are words you wouldn't want to explain to your children or have them hear/use then i think they are "bad". so that was why i brought it up.

                                                                      9 Replies
                                                                      1. re: AMFM

                                                                        i understand all your points. and i disagree with them, respectfully. I'm a writer, i have a fairly good vocabulary, and i often "curse" even when i'm in complete control. I don't see age as an issue as i'm rapidly approaching 50, and "curse words" remain in my vocabulary. There is pretty much nothing i wouldn't care to explain to my son, and the main reason i don't want him to use "curse" words is the reactions of others that share your attitude, not because of any fault in the words themselves. I agree not all language is appropriate for every situation, but that has far more to do with, what i see as, outmoded social constructs than anything inherently wrong with the words themselves. Again - one of my main self definitions is "poet" - as such i think words are to be embraced, and used, when they are the right word for the moment.

                                                                        Moving from the general to the specific - i do not see the situation mario was in as one where it was inappropriate or shocking in any way to use them.

                                                                        and just because i mention it, for anyone interested this is the blog where i've been posting poetry as of late:
                                                                        http://neuronautic.blogspot.com/

                                                                        1. re: thew

                                                                          as such i think words are to be embraced, and used, when they are the right word for the moment.

                                                                          Moving from the general to the specific - i do not see the situation mario was in as one where it was inappropriate or shocking in any way to use them.
                                                                          ~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                          I agree with you, thew, on the first part - words are to be embraced and used when they are right for the moment. But this was not the right moment. And it seems many in the crowd didn't think it was either. You see it differently, as did Mario, obviously.

                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                            There once was a chef named Batali.
                                                                            Around him, I think we should rally.
                                                                            He was shit out of luck
                                                                            When he said the word "fuck",
                                                                            "cause that word wasn't up the queen's alley.

                                                                            1. re: PattiCakes

                                                                              why does the last line make that sound much much "dirtier?"

                                                                                1. re: thew

                                                                                  see now i think that t shirt is fabulous! :)

                                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                    No, but my husband's from Mass. he he

                                                                              1. re: thew

                                                                                fair enough. i agree with words being embraced and i'll just leave it at that or i'll go back and forth forever!

                                                                            2. The Spanish monarchy is a joke. Why would anyone need to watch his/her language around them? Certainly no more than one would when speaking to any other aged strangers. He wasn't alone in a private audience, and I'm sure they've heard the word before.

                                                                              This dinner wasn't any formal state dinner--it was a food and wine festival. Festival as in festive, ya know?

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: Ideefixed

                                                                                Why would anyone need to watch his/her language around them? Certainly no more than one would when speaking to any other aged strangers
                                                                                ~~~~~~~
                                                                                It's been said throughout this thread - how about watching your language out of respect for EVERYONE in attendance, not just the King and Queen of Spain - regardless of whether everyone's heard the word before. "Festive" doesn't mean that inappropriate language should be used.

                                                                              2. according to the miami paper, when the king was apologized to for mario's foul language he replied "what foul language?"

                                                                                so i guess he didn't have an issue with it, either

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: thew

                                                                                  The King seems to have taken the idea behind "Noblesse oblige" to heart, and seems to be practicing it in this case (of Mario's mouth and blood alcohol content running amok on the same track).

                                                                                  1. re: Servorg

                                                                                    i agree that it was noblesse oblige to overlook mario's bad behavior -- or simply "good manners," for all the non-monarchy people.

                                                                                    1. re: Servorg

                                                                                      or perhaps he really just didn't mind.
                                                                                      (my post with a quote from the miami herald was cut, so search it out yourself)

                                                                                  2. There are so many things that are wrong and offensive about royalty, that I could care less if he offended them.

                                                                                    1. The cult of celebrity in this country makes it very easy for people to get to the point at which they can do anything and get away with it. At any given time, a famous person is loved by some people and hated by others, while many remain indifferent. When that person does something controversial, the allegiances may shift around a bit, but in the end, there are still some who love him, some who hate him, and some who are indifferent. If Mario had groped the queen and urinated in the potted plants, there would still be some people here excusing him and some condemning him, so why should he care what he does or what the press says about him?

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: Vladimir Estragon

                                                                                        but he did not grope or urinate. he said something which seemed to not offend the people being "protected" here

                                                                                      2. The profanity was inappropriate.

                                                                                        But there were tremendous violations of protocol throughout the entire evening, even by other dignitaries. It was pandemonium. Batali cut loose. From all the reports I read, he said the f-bomb twice, and the first time he uttered it was merely to get everyone's attention to introduce Andres.

                                                                                        But take a look at how many violations of protocol there were before Batali mouthed off.