Chef Mario Batali Cut From Food Network TV !
I’ve always been a fan of Mario Batali’s shows on Food Network. Molto Mario has been on for many years and he is a regular on Iron Chef America. Hopefully he will get a program on another channel. Next time I’m in the city, I’m going to check out one of his restaurants.
NEW YORK POSTSeptember 5, 2007 — Chef Mario Batali has been chopped from TV’s Food Network, the influential cooking channel that made him a household name.
Sources said that network executives told the spotlight-loving chef last month his multiple shows, which includes the long-running “Molto Mario,” would not be renewed and that he would no longer be competing in the popular “Iron Chef America” series.
“He said that if his shows weren’t going to be renewed, then he wasn’t going to do ‘Iron Chef,’ ” said a network insider. “And then they essentially said ‘ciao.’ ”
“We do not comment on contractual agreements that Food Network has with talent,” said network spokeswoman Lisa Del Colle after numerous calls.
The ubiquitous chef, who runs several Italian-themed restaurants in Manhattan – with recent additions in Los Angeles and Las Vegas – has also made a fortune plugging products ranging from clogs to the NASCAR tailgate-party circuit.
He began with the Food Network in 1996 after opening Po and two years before opening Babbo with business partner Joseph Bastianich.
“Having a show on the Food Network is like gold,” said one industry analyst. In 2005, Batali received a $1 million advance for his book, “Molto Italiano.”