Bankers are promising to cease occupying Mario Batali's restaurants after the chef and restaurateur compared them to Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. The celebrity chef drew the comparison at a Time event about who should be the magazine's person of the year, saying, "So the ways the bankers have kind of toppled the way money is distributed and taken most of it into their hands is as good as Stalin or Hitler and the evil guys…They’re not heroes, but they are people that had a really huge effect on the way the world is operating."
Financial workers who heard about the remarks stormed the comments section at Bloomberg's internal restaurant review pages, and bankers have reportedly already begun voting with their wallets, canceling reservations at New York's Babbo and Del Posto. The resulting conflagration on Twitter and on Bloomberg's internal comments speaks to what we already knew were delicate sensibilities on the part of Batali's financial-world customers.
"Used to frequent this place but Mario will never see a dime of my money again. I’d rather eat at a hot dog cart," one wrote about Del Posto, according to Bloomberg critic Ryan Sutton. "Screw this jerk. Plenty of great Italian places in NYC. No need to support him. Ecco on Chambers Street blows his food out of the water anyway," said another. Sutton also tweeted this one: "Credit derivatives trader calls me: 'I spent $4,000 on a white truffle dinner on Monday at Babbo. This is sh!tty. I feel used.' " Another trader from ICE futures told Sutton (per his Twitter), "Occupy Babbo ... I'm calling for a Wall St.-Wide Boycott." Eater reports that "one large bank has canceled all Batali restaurant reservations while another bank sent out a memo today to all staffers saying they wouldn't reimburse receipts from Babbo and others in the group."