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Batali Considers His Future; Twitter Rages

Batali Considers His Future; Twitter Rages

Shortly after Mario Batali was first accused of sexual harassment by nearly two dozen current and former employees, he stepped away from day-to-day operations at all 24 restaurants operated by Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group. Now, the disgraced chef, restaurateur, and television personality has announced that he is divesting from his company — but he is also, at least according to a new report by The New York Times, eyeing a return to the restaurant industry.

An article on Batali by Kim Severson, published April 3 online and the following day in the newspaper's print edition, considers whether it’s possible for men like Batali to make a comeback after being accused of, and sometimes admitting to, groping, rubbing, and/or making inappropriate comments to employees. The 57-year-old chef confirmed to Eater in December that “much of the behavior described [in reports of his offenses] does, in fact, match up with the ways I have acted.” Nonetheless, the chef, who is seeking counseling, is apparently keeping his options open for repairing his reputation in order to step back into a restaurant career.

Severson reports that Batali is thinking of creating a new company led by a “powerful woman chief executive,” an idea he discussed in February with former Dolce & Gabbana president Federica Marchionni. (Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group had earlier announced that Nancy Silverton, with whom they partner in the Mozza restaurants, and Lidia Bastianich, Joe's mother and also a partner in some of their enterprises, would assume leadership roles in the company.) Batali is also reportedly traveling to Rwanda and Greece to help refugees.

Severson also says that the former co-host of The Chew still has “legions” of fans and colleagues who “admire and respect his generosity, culinary knowledge and charisma.” Although she does touch upon those who don’t support him — including Anthony Bourdain, who told Severson that his message to Batali was to “retire and count yourself lucky” — some are outraged at the Times for giving the accused chef a platform.

“Upset to see America’s newspaper of record give a platform to a serial abuser like @Mariobatali for what amounts to a comeback trial balloon,” @TheGurglingCod wrote on Twitter. “And I am sure there are many folks who felt much more pain that I did seeing @nytfood spinning a redemption narrative just a few months after the Mario story emerged.”

“He doesn’t need a job. He just needs us to love him again. F--- that s---,” he added.

Upset to see America's newspaper of record give a platform to a serial abuser like @Mariobatali for what amounts to a comeback trial balloon.

— The Gurgling Cod (@TheGurglingCod) April 3, 2018

And I am sure there are many folks who felt much more pain than I did seeing @nytfood spinning a redemption narrative just a few months after the Mario story emerged.

— The Gurgling Cod (@TheGurglingCod) April 3, 2018

Subtle Cheddar also shared some not-so-happy feelings in a thread of tweets. The food blogger thought several details in the Times article were staged by a public relations team to make the chef “look better” — especially the segment claiming Batali is traveling to developing countries to work with displaced Rwandans and refugees.

2. The specifics in this article feel like test balloons orchestrated by the PR team ("let's tell them you're in Rwanda helping refugees and see if that helps your image").

— subtle cheddar (@shitfoodblogger) April 2, 2018

“It’s very difficult for me not to read the article and wonder how long it will take the reporter to regret carrying so much water for a rapist,” the food blogger wrote. “The reporter fails to mention Joe Bastianich’s abuse of women, giving him a totally free pass on shoring up his company’s reputation.”

3. It's very difficult for me not to read the article and wonder how long it will take the reporter to regret carrying so much water for a rapist.

— subtle cheddar (@shitfoodblogger) April 2, 2018

4. The reporter fails to mention Joe Bastianich's abuse of women, giving him a totally free pass on shoring up his company's reputation.

— subtle cheddar (@shitfoodblogger) April 2, 2018

Bastianich, Batali’s former B&B business partner, has also been accused of being “sleazy” and neglectful in the workplace.

Subtle Cheddar offered some suggestions for more apt headlines: “Rapist Considers His Options, and @nytfood Is Here to Help Him Figure It All Out,” or the same with the alternate beginning “Predator Who Attacked Unconscious Woman at the Spotted Pig….” (Batali allegedly groped a woman at that New York City restaurant, in which he is an investor; its primary owner is Ken Friedman, who himself faces allegations of sexual harassment.)

5. There is no news here. The article should be titled, "Rapist Considers His Options, and @nytfood Is Here to Help Him Figure It All Out."

— subtle cheddar (@shitfoodblogger) April 2, 2018

5a. Alt title: "Predator Who Attacked Unconscious Woman at The Spotted Pig..."

— subtle cheddar (@shitfoodblogger) April 2, 2018

The blogger says that the “image redemption” piece is “desperate” and a “disgusting piece of journalism,” adding: “Last week, this reporter was writing about sexism and egg spoons. Today she’s helping repair the image of a predator.”

It's been less than four months since journalists published their accounts of Batali's abuse. How desperate do you have to be to publish this "image redemption" piece?

— subtle cheddar (@shitfoodblogger) April 2, 2018

Last week, this reporter was writing about sexism and egg spoons. Today, she's helping repair the image of a predator.

— subtle cheddar (@shitfoodblogger) April 2, 2018

It's a disgusting piece of journalism.

— subtle cheddar (@shitfoodblogger) April 2, 2018

Other high-profile restaurant personalities accused of misconduct include New Orleans’ John Besh, the Plaza Hotel’s Todd English, Top Chef alum Johnny Iuzzini, and D.C. restaurateur Mike Isabella, among many others. The scope of the problem makes the need for reform perhaps the most important of the 20 lessons we learned about food last year.


Mario Batali: "Twitter? No Better Place To Be Humble"

Food: a global experience that connects fashion, media, art and our own senses. FDL attended the event Pleasure and the Palate at the 34th IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals), just held in New York, which featured the chefs Mario Batali and Gabrielle Hamilton, Sam Sifton, the former restaurant critic at The New York Times, and author Peter Kaminsky. Moderating the discussion was event producer Doug Duda. Each guest explained what, for them, makes a great restaurant and how great restaurants become opportunities to gather and take part in a kind of collective enjoyment. Of course, there were also favorite New York addresses and the personal recipes that these gourmets turn to when they are cooking for loved ones in the intimacy of their own kitchens.

Ah, yes: one can hardly talk about food these days without referring to social media. Even the simplest dishes can become immediate trends, and chefs have never been so globally visible. Mario Batali, for example has 260,000 Twitter followers who gobble up his 10-15 tweets per day. “It’s an immediate tool that helps you quickly understand how many people love what you do, and how many others hate it: there’s no better place to be humble!” Not everyone is of the same opinion, of course. Gabrielle Hamilton admits to not being a huge fan of such immediate discourse, and one so limited by a restricted number of characters: “I need time and space for a good conversation, and to tell stories that are less personal and more universal especially when they’re tied to food.”

Closing the conversation about fashion and food, was Hamilton’s observation that “If we’re talking about what people wear in the kitchen, all right,” she said. “But one should never think about a specific dish as if it could go out of style, like a dress.” Batali added his thoughts: “The main characteristic of great restaurants is that they make great food every day, and they don’t do it for a season, but for years. Being a good chef doesn’t mean being at the mercy of a creative whim on Wednesday, and then losing it on Friday.”

The work of a chef, he explained, “requires consistency, dedication and commitment. This has nothing to do with fashion.” And then expert eater Sam Sifton offered a bit of advice: “Personally? I only go to restaurants whose menus don’t change for years, and where I’m sure I’ll be eating the same, excellent food.”


Mario Batali: "Twitter? No Better Place To Be Humble"

Food: a global experience that connects fashion, media, art and our own senses. FDL attended the event Pleasure and the Palate at the 34th IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals), just held in New York, which featured the chefs Mario Batali and Gabrielle Hamilton, Sam Sifton, the former restaurant critic at The New York Times, and author Peter Kaminsky. Moderating the discussion was event producer Doug Duda. Each guest explained what, for them, makes a great restaurant and how great restaurants become opportunities to gather and take part in a kind of collective enjoyment. Of course, there were also favorite New York addresses and the personal recipes that these gourmets turn to when they are cooking for loved ones in the intimacy of their own kitchens.

Ah, yes: one can hardly talk about food these days without referring to social media. Even the simplest dishes can become immediate trends, and chefs have never been so globally visible. Mario Batali, for example has 260,000 Twitter followers who gobble up his 10-15 tweets per day. “It’s an immediate tool that helps you quickly understand how many people love what you do, and how many others hate it: there’s no better place to be humble!” Not everyone is of the same opinion, of course. Gabrielle Hamilton admits to not being a huge fan of such immediate discourse, and one so limited by a restricted number of characters: “I need time and space for a good conversation, and to tell stories that are less personal and more universal especially when they’re tied to food.”

Closing the conversation about fashion and food, was Hamilton’s observation that “If we’re talking about what people wear in the kitchen, all right,” she said. “But one should never think about a specific dish as if it could go out of style, like a dress.” Batali added his thoughts: “The main characteristic of great restaurants is that they make great food every day, and they don’t do it for a season, but for years. Being a good chef doesn’t mean being at the mercy of a creative whim on Wednesday, and then losing it on Friday.”

The work of a chef, he explained, “requires consistency, dedication and commitment. This has nothing to do with fashion.” And then expert eater Sam Sifton offered a bit of advice: “Personally? I only go to restaurants whose menus don’t change for years, and where I’m sure I’ll be eating the same, excellent food.”


Mario Batali: "Twitter? No Better Place To Be Humble"

Food: a global experience that connects fashion, media, art and our own senses. FDL attended the event Pleasure and the Palate at the 34th IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals), just held in New York, which featured the chefs Mario Batali and Gabrielle Hamilton, Sam Sifton, the former restaurant critic at The New York Times, and author Peter Kaminsky. Moderating the discussion was event producer Doug Duda. Each guest explained what, for them, makes a great restaurant and how great restaurants become opportunities to gather and take part in a kind of collective enjoyment. Of course, there were also favorite New York addresses and the personal recipes that these gourmets turn to when they are cooking for loved ones in the intimacy of their own kitchens.

Ah, yes: one can hardly talk about food these days without referring to social media. Even the simplest dishes can become immediate trends, and chefs have never been so globally visible. Mario Batali, for example has 260,000 Twitter followers who gobble up his 10-15 tweets per day. “It’s an immediate tool that helps you quickly understand how many people love what you do, and how many others hate it: there’s no better place to be humble!” Not everyone is of the same opinion, of course. Gabrielle Hamilton admits to not being a huge fan of such immediate discourse, and one so limited by a restricted number of characters: “I need time and space for a good conversation, and to tell stories that are less personal and more universal especially when they’re tied to food.”

Closing the conversation about fashion and food, was Hamilton’s observation that “If we’re talking about what people wear in the kitchen, all right,” she said. “But one should never think about a specific dish as if it could go out of style, like a dress.” Batali added his thoughts: “The main characteristic of great restaurants is that they make great food every day, and they don’t do it for a season, but for years. Being a good chef doesn’t mean being at the mercy of a creative whim on Wednesday, and then losing it on Friday.”

The work of a chef, he explained, “requires consistency, dedication and commitment. This has nothing to do with fashion.” And then expert eater Sam Sifton offered a bit of advice: “Personally? I only go to restaurants whose menus don’t change for years, and where I’m sure I’ll be eating the same, excellent food.”


Mario Batali: "Twitter? No Better Place To Be Humble"

Food: a global experience that connects fashion, media, art and our own senses. FDL attended the event Pleasure and the Palate at the 34th IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals), just held in New York, which featured the chefs Mario Batali and Gabrielle Hamilton, Sam Sifton, the former restaurant critic at The New York Times, and author Peter Kaminsky. Moderating the discussion was event producer Doug Duda. Each guest explained what, for them, makes a great restaurant and how great restaurants become opportunities to gather and take part in a kind of collective enjoyment. Of course, there were also favorite New York addresses and the personal recipes that these gourmets turn to when they are cooking for loved ones in the intimacy of their own kitchens.

Ah, yes: one can hardly talk about food these days without referring to social media. Even the simplest dishes can become immediate trends, and chefs have never been so globally visible. Mario Batali, for example has 260,000 Twitter followers who gobble up his 10-15 tweets per day. “It’s an immediate tool that helps you quickly understand how many people love what you do, and how many others hate it: there’s no better place to be humble!” Not everyone is of the same opinion, of course. Gabrielle Hamilton admits to not being a huge fan of such immediate discourse, and one so limited by a restricted number of characters: “I need time and space for a good conversation, and to tell stories that are less personal and more universal especially when they’re tied to food.”

Closing the conversation about fashion and food, was Hamilton’s observation that “If we’re talking about what people wear in the kitchen, all right,” she said. “But one should never think about a specific dish as if it could go out of style, like a dress.” Batali added his thoughts: “The main characteristic of great restaurants is that they make great food every day, and they don’t do it for a season, but for years. Being a good chef doesn’t mean being at the mercy of a creative whim on Wednesday, and then losing it on Friday.”

The work of a chef, he explained, “requires consistency, dedication and commitment. This has nothing to do with fashion.” And then expert eater Sam Sifton offered a bit of advice: “Personally? I only go to restaurants whose menus don’t change for years, and where I’m sure I’ll be eating the same, excellent food.”


Mario Batali: "Twitter? No Better Place To Be Humble"

Food: a global experience that connects fashion, media, art and our own senses. FDL attended the event Pleasure and the Palate at the 34th IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals), just held in New York, which featured the chefs Mario Batali and Gabrielle Hamilton, Sam Sifton, the former restaurant critic at The New York Times, and author Peter Kaminsky. Moderating the discussion was event producer Doug Duda. Each guest explained what, for them, makes a great restaurant and how great restaurants become opportunities to gather and take part in a kind of collective enjoyment. Of course, there were also favorite New York addresses and the personal recipes that these gourmets turn to when they are cooking for loved ones in the intimacy of their own kitchens.

Ah, yes: one can hardly talk about food these days without referring to social media. Even the simplest dishes can become immediate trends, and chefs have never been so globally visible. Mario Batali, for example has 260,000 Twitter followers who gobble up his 10-15 tweets per day. “It’s an immediate tool that helps you quickly understand how many people love what you do, and how many others hate it: there’s no better place to be humble!” Not everyone is of the same opinion, of course. Gabrielle Hamilton admits to not being a huge fan of such immediate discourse, and one so limited by a restricted number of characters: “I need time and space for a good conversation, and to tell stories that are less personal and more universal especially when they’re tied to food.”

Closing the conversation about fashion and food, was Hamilton’s observation that “If we’re talking about what people wear in the kitchen, all right,” she said. “But one should never think about a specific dish as if it could go out of style, like a dress.” Batali added his thoughts: “The main characteristic of great restaurants is that they make great food every day, and they don’t do it for a season, but for years. Being a good chef doesn’t mean being at the mercy of a creative whim on Wednesday, and then losing it on Friday.”

The work of a chef, he explained, “requires consistency, dedication and commitment. This has nothing to do with fashion.” And then expert eater Sam Sifton offered a bit of advice: “Personally? I only go to restaurants whose menus don’t change for years, and where I’m sure I’ll be eating the same, excellent food.”


Mario Batali: "Twitter? No Better Place To Be Humble"

Food: a global experience that connects fashion, media, art and our own senses. FDL attended the event Pleasure and the Palate at the 34th IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals), just held in New York, which featured the chefs Mario Batali and Gabrielle Hamilton, Sam Sifton, the former restaurant critic at The New York Times, and author Peter Kaminsky. Moderating the discussion was event producer Doug Duda. Each guest explained what, for them, makes a great restaurant and how great restaurants become opportunities to gather and take part in a kind of collective enjoyment. Of course, there were also favorite New York addresses and the personal recipes that these gourmets turn to when they are cooking for loved ones in the intimacy of their own kitchens.

Ah, yes: one can hardly talk about food these days without referring to social media. Even the simplest dishes can become immediate trends, and chefs have never been so globally visible. Mario Batali, for example has 260,000 Twitter followers who gobble up his 10-15 tweets per day. “It’s an immediate tool that helps you quickly understand how many people love what you do, and how many others hate it: there’s no better place to be humble!” Not everyone is of the same opinion, of course. Gabrielle Hamilton admits to not being a huge fan of such immediate discourse, and one so limited by a restricted number of characters: “I need time and space for a good conversation, and to tell stories that are less personal and more universal especially when they’re tied to food.”

Closing the conversation about fashion and food, was Hamilton’s observation that “If we’re talking about what people wear in the kitchen, all right,” she said. “But one should never think about a specific dish as if it could go out of style, like a dress.” Batali added his thoughts: “The main characteristic of great restaurants is that they make great food every day, and they don’t do it for a season, but for years. Being a good chef doesn’t mean being at the mercy of a creative whim on Wednesday, and then losing it on Friday.”

The work of a chef, he explained, “requires consistency, dedication and commitment. This has nothing to do with fashion.” And then expert eater Sam Sifton offered a bit of advice: “Personally? I only go to restaurants whose menus don’t change for years, and where I’m sure I’ll be eating the same, excellent food.”


Mario Batali: "Twitter? No Better Place To Be Humble"

Food: a global experience that connects fashion, media, art and our own senses. FDL attended the event Pleasure and the Palate at the 34th IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals), just held in New York, which featured the chefs Mario Batali and Gabrielle Hamilton, Sam Sifton, the former restaurant critic at The New York Times, and author Peter Kaminsky. Moderating the discussion was event producer Doug Duda. Each guest explained what, for them, makes a great restaurant and how great restaurants become opportunities to gather and take part in a kind of collective enjoyment. Of course, there were also favorite New York addresses and the personal recipes that these gourmets turn to when they are cooking for loved ones in the intimacy of their own kitchens.

Ah, yes: one can hardly talk about food these days without referring to social media. Even the simplest dishes can become immediate trends, and chefs have never been so globally visible. Mario Batali, for example has 260,000 Twitter followers who gobble up his 10-15 tweets per day. “It’s an immediate tool that helps you quickly understand how many people love what you do, and how many others hate it: there’s no better place to be humble!” Not everyone is of the same opinion, of course. Gabrielle Hamilton admits to not being a huge fan of such immediate discourse, and one so limited by a restricted number of characters: “I need time and space for a good conversation, and to tell stories that are less personal and more universal especially when they’re tied to food.”

Closing the conversation about fashion and food, was Hamilton’s observation that “If we’re talking about what people wear in the kitchen, all right,” she said. “But one should never think about a specific dish as if it could go out of style, like a dress.” Batali added his thoughts: “The main characteristic of great restaurants is that they make great food every day, and they don’t do it for a season, but for years. Being a good chef doesn’t mean being at the mercy of a creative whim on Wednesday, and then losing it on Friday.”

The work of a chef, he explained, “requires consistency, dedication and commitment. This has nothing to do with fashion.” And then expert eater Sam Sifton offered a bit of advice: “Personally? I only go to restaurants whose menus don’t change for years, and where I’m sure I’ll be eating the same, excellent food.”


Mario Batali: "Twitter? No Better Place To Be Humble"

Food: a global experience that connects fashion, media, art and our own senses. FDL attended the event Pleasure and the Palate at the 34th IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals), just held in New York, which featured the chefs Mario Batali and Gabrielle Hamilton, Sam Sifton, the former restaurant critic at The New York Times, and author Peter Kaminsky. Moderating the discussion was event producer Doug Duda. Each guest explained what, for them, makes a great restaurant and how great restaurants become opportunities to gather and take part in a kind of collective enjoyment. Of course, there were also favorite New York addresses and the personal recipes that these gourmets turn to when they are cooking for loved ones in the intimacy of their own kitchens.

Ah, yes: one can hardly talk about food these days without referring to social media. Even the simplest dishes can become immediate trends, and chefs have never been so globally visible. Mario Batali, for example has 260,000 Twitter followers who gobble up his 10-15 tweets per day. “It’s an immediate tool that helps you quickly understand how many people love what you do, and how many others hate it: there’s no better place to be humble!” Not everyone is of the same opinion, of course. Gabrielle Hamilton admits to not being a huge fan of such immediate discourse, and one so limited by a restricted number of characters: “I need time and space for a good conversation, and to tell stories that are less personal and more universal especially when they’re tied to food.”

Closing the conversation about fashion and food, was Hamilton’s observation that “If we’re talking about what people wear in the kitchen, all right,” she said. “But one should never think about a specific dish as if it could go out of style, like a dress.” Batali added his thoughts: “The main characteristic of great restaurants is that they make great food every day, and they don’t do it for a season, but for years. Being a good chef doesn’t mean being at the mercy of a creative whim on Wednesday, and then losing it on Friday.”

The work of a chef, he explained, “requires consistency, dedication and commitment. This has nothing to do with fashion.” And then expert eater Sam Sifton offered a bit of advice: “Personally? I only go to restaurants whose menus don’t change for years, and where I’m sure I’ll be eating the same, excellent food.”


Mario Batali: "Twitter? No Better Place To Be Humble"

Food: a global experience that connects fashion, media, art and our own senses. FDL attended the event Pleasure and the Palate at the 34th IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals), just held in New York, which featured the chefs Mario Batali and Gabrielle Hamilton, Sam Sifton, the former restaurant critic at The New York Times, and author Peter Kaminsky. Moderating the discussion was event producer Doug Duda. Each guest explained what, for them, makes a great restaurant and how great restaurants become opportunities to gather and take part in a kind of collective enjoyment. Of course, there were also favorite New York addresses and the personal recipes that these gourmets turn to when they are cooking for loved ones in the intimacy of their own kitchens.

Ah, yes: one can hardly talk about food these days without referring to social media. Even the simplest dishes can become immediate trends, and chefs have never been so globally visible. Mario Batali, for example has 260,000 Twitter followers who gobble up his 10-15 tweets per day. “It’s an immediate tool that helps you quickly understand how many people love what you do, and how many others hate it: there’s no better place to be humble!” Not everyone is of the same opinion, of course. Gabrielle Hamilton admits to not being a huge fan of such immediate discourse, and one so limited by a restricted number of characters: “I need time and space for a good conversation, and to tell stories that are less personal and more universal especially when they’re tied to food.”

Closing the conversation about fashion and food, was Hamilton’s observation that “If we’re talking about what people wear in the kitchen, all right,” she said. “But one should never think about a specific dish as if it could go out of style, like a dress.” Batali added his thoughts: “The main characteristic of great restaurants is that they make great food every day, and they don’t do it for a season, but for years. Being a good chef doesn’t mean being at the mercy of a creative whim on Wednesday, and then losing it on Friday.”

The work of a chef, he explained, “requires consistency, dedication and commitment. This has nothing to do with fashion.” And then expert eater Sam Sifton offered a bit of advice: “Personally? I only go to restaurants whose menus don’t change for years, and where I’m sure I’ll be eating the same, excellent food.”


Mario Batali: "Twitter? No Better Place To Be Humble"

Food: a global experience that connects fashion, media, art and our own senses. FDL attended the event Pleasure and the Palate at the 34th IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals), just held in New York, which featured the chefs Mario Batali and Gabrielle Hamilton, Sam Sifton, the former restaurant critic at The New York Times, and author Peter Kaminsky. Moderating the discussion was event producer Doug Duda. Each guest explained what, for them, makes a great restaurant and how great restaurants become opportunities to gather and take part in a kind of collective enjoyment. Of course, there were also favorite New York addresses and the personal recipes that these gourmets turn to when they are cooking for loved ones in the intimacy of their own kitchens.

Ah, yes: one can hardly talk about food these days without referring to social media. Even the simplest dishes can become immediate trends, and chefs have never been so globally visible. Mario Batali, for example has 260,000 Twitter followers who gobble up his 10-15 tweets per day. “It’s an immediate tool that helps you quickly understand how many people love what you do, and how many others hate it: there’s no better place to be humble!” Not everyone is of the same opinion, of course. Gabrielle Hamilton admits to not being a huge fan of such immediate discourse, and one so limited by a restricted number of characters: “I need time and space for a good conversation, and to tell stories that are less personal and more universal especially when they’re tied to food.”

Closing the conversation about fashion and food, was Hamilton’s observation that “If we’re talking about what people wear in the kitchen, all right,” she said. “But one should never think about a specific dish as if it could go out of style, like a dress.” Batali added his thoughts: “The main characteristic of great restaurants is that they make great food every day, and they don’t do it for a season, but for years. Being a good chef doesn’t mean being at the mercy of a creative whim on Wednesday, and then losing it on Friday.”

The work of a chef, he explained, “requires consistency, dedication and commitment. This has nothing to do with fashion.” And then expert eater Sam Sifton offered a bit of advice: “Personally? I only go to restaurants whose menus don’t change for years, and where I’m sure I’ll be eating the same, excellent food.”


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