REINEKE FORD   ||   NEWS UPDATES

Food Fight: Mario Batali Versus City of Denver

Comment: Off

Not one to shy away from some light-hearted controversy, celebrity chef and The Chew cohost Mario Batali has landed himself a bit of a food fight with the city of Denver after his comments in last weekend’s Parade cover story.

Batali, along with longtime pal and cohost Michael Symon, offered up his Super Bowl traditions and recipes for this weekend’s big event. In an offhanded comment, Batali inadvertently dissed the Mile High City: “Every Super Bowl, I do different food each quarter from each of the hometowns of the teams competing. So I’m always hoping for cities with a gastronomic soul–not so much Indianapolis or Denver, right?”

While all is quiet in Indianapolis, Denver Life magazine food editor, Kimberly Lord Stewart, has spoken up to defend her roots. In an eloquent rebuttal published on the Denver Post’s website, Stewart responds to Batali’s thoughts on her city’s lack of “gastronomic soul”:

It is no secret you and many others are sour on the fact that none of the New York teams made it to your backyard stadium this year. And it’s no secret that as a Seattle native, your Super Bowl table will be set for the Seahawks.

But that is no reason to throw our city under the proverbial food truck. Ask any chef in Denver and they will tell you they get a constant stream of job applications from New York City chefs who want to move west. Why? Just as the Denver Broncos are “America’s Football Team,” Denver’s food players are talented, intelligent and unpretentious. The latter attribute may be why you haven’t heard about our food scene.

While hot dogs from Papaya King will be your halftime fare, they’ve got nothing on Biker Jim’s bison, elk-jalapeño-cheddar or rattlesnake and pheasant dogs with Coca-Cola marinated grilled onions and a cream-cheese-squeeze from a caulking gun. And of course, a cold craft beer from any one of our state’s 140-plus breweries will be on tap to wash it down. Even our governorgot his start as a craft beer maker. How can that be soulless food, Batali?

In Google Hangout on Air with Parade food editor Sarah DiGregorio this morning, Batali apologized and further clarified the comment in question:

Denver, being a relatively modern city has a less of a tradition than say, Boston or New Orleans to look back on. That isn’t to say there isn’t delicious food in Denver. I love Denver and I love its food.

Michael Symon, also on Air with us this morning added, “Although they are delicious and we both love them, whisky and beer are not technically food!”

Batali also issued an apology on this afternoon’s episode of The Chew.

Watch the Google Hangout with Batali and Symon below:

Comments

comments

About the Author