Mario Batali was not the first man in the food world to be accused of sexual harassment, nor has he been the last. But, as blogger Geraldine DeRuiter of The Everywhereist pointed out, “he is the only one who included a recipe” in his apology.
In a hilarious, viral post on her blog, DeReuiter questioned why Batali (and, presumably, his PR team) decided to include a cinnamon roll recipe in his apology email. So as an experienced baker, she did the only thing she could to solve this ridiculous query: She made the dang cinnamon rolls.
In the process of making Batali’s recipe, which include pizza dough as their base, she found out that the recipe isn’t particularly complete. “I find myself fluctuating between apathy and anger as I try to follow Batali’s recipe, which is sparse on details,” she wrote. “The base of the rolls is pizza dough — Batali notes that you can either buy it, or use his recipe to make your own. I make my own, because I’m a woman, and for us there are no f---ing shortcuts.”
Throughout the blog post (which is a must-read), DeRuiter chronicles her own experiences with sexual harassment in the workplace, all while angrily following Batali’s half-written, untested recipe, which uses a savory pizza dough for a sweet dish and lacks specifics, like how to roll out the dough and how tightly to make the rolls.
Her conclusion? The rolls were not good. “The pizza dough does not mix well with the sweetness. The icing is sickly sweet, the rolls themselves oddly savory. I was right about the texture — the dough is too tough. I hate them, but I keep eating them. Like I’m somehow destroying Batali’s sh---y sexist horcrux in every bite,” she declared. As for Batali? “Another drop in the bucket. He’s not the first, he certainly won’t be the last (he already isn’t).”
Sexual harassment in the food and restaurant industries was a huge news story in 2017. The need for change in the food world is one of the biggest lessons we’ve learned about food in the last 12 months.