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Mario Batali, owner of Babbo et al and the man whose ample physicality has filled Food Network television kitchens for years, has been dropped from the network, the Post's Braden Keil reports today with ill-concealed schadenfreude. That means no more Jake Gyllenhaal just stopping by to sample the culatello! Perhaps the more tragic loss is that Batali will no longer appear on the rigged cooking show Iron Chef America. So what of Batali now?

Batali, who could not be reached for comments, has since signed on to co-host a PBS cooking "on the road" show about Spanish cuisine with non-meat-eating actress Gwyneth Paltrow.

Batali, it seems, is having his own Nicholas Roeg Walkabout moment. He's given up the trappings of his fame to roam about the wilderness of public television with only a wispy and pretentious blonde on his arm.—one who won't even touch the pork.