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Mario Batali on Iron Chef's 'Skinny Little' Actress Judges: 'Who the Fuck Are You?'

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Miss seeing Mario Batali's face on Iron Chef America? The New York chef told the Atlantic's Corby Kummer he's out of the Iron Cheffing business after they stopped getting qualified judges and started getting actresses who "don't like raw fish." Quote Batali:

When they had judges like you [Corby Kummer] and Jeff Steingarten and Dana Cowin and Ed Levine, people whose opinion I felt merited the ability to criticize my food, that's one thing. But when all of a sudden you get these skinny little actresses from a show called The OC and they're saying they don't like raw fish, I'm like, 'Fuck you, why are you talking about my food? Who let you in this room?' 'Oh, I really don't like that.' Well who the fuck are you? So that's when I got out of it. All of a sudden, the judges weren't in the food industry, they were entertainment people.

He seems to be referring to the Spiny Lobster battle between Batali and Masaharu Morimoto, for which The OC actress Melinda Clarke was a judge. However, that episode was part of the 2004 mini-series Battle of the Masters that began the series. So perhaps the show was flawed from the start? Below, the video of Batali talking to Kummer, and, as a bonus, the 2004 clip of Iron Chef with Melinda Clarke explaining how she doesn't care for sea urchin:

Video: Mario Batali on Why He Doesn't Battle on Iron Chef America Anymore

Video: Melinda Clarke on Iron Chef America

· Mario Batali on 'Sadistic' TV [Atlantic]
· All Mario Batali Coverage on Eater [-E-]