Back in December, four women accused the celebrity chef of "inappropriate touching" -- three of them former employees. Batali subsequently issued an apology for his "past behavior" and took "full responsibility" for his actions, but immediately following the apology was a recipe for his "fan-favorite" pizza dough cinnamon rolls.
"I was a bit dismayed at the type of apology he gave," Lakshmi said when asked about it on "Watch What Happens Live" Wednesday night. "It seemed a little too on-brand, shall we say, and not in a good way."
"I'm sure the recipe is a great one, but it seemed like he didn't take it seriously," she added. "And I think it's gonna hurt his business, not to mention his family, his reputation."
Admittedly, the "Top Chef" star has only met Mario a few times, "very briefly," and has never experienced any questionable behavior from him firsthand.
Having been in the food industry for almost two decades, Lakshmi said she had heard "rumors for a long, long time," but that she had no idea Batali's alleged behavior was "abusive."
"I thought it was consensual stuff that he was just doing in his kitchen," she said.
As many of you know, this week there has been some news coverage about some of my past behavior.
I have made many mistakes and I am so very sorry that I have disappointed my friends, my family, my fans and my team. My behavior was wrong and there are no excuses. I take full responsibility.
Sharing the joys of Italian food, tradition and hospitality with all of you, each week, is an honor and privilege. Without the support of all of you -- my fans -- I would never have a forum in which to expound on this.
I will work every day to regain your respect and trust.
P.S. In case you're searching for a holiday-inspired breakfast, these Pizza Dough Cinnamon Rolls are a fan favorite.