Mario Batali by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage.com
According to a report in the New York Post, Food Network has informed the colorful Mario Batali that his numerous shows would not be getting renewed. In response to the rebuff, Batali allegedly refused to compete any longer on Iron Chef, "and then [the network] essentially said ciao," shares an insider.

The move, says industry buzz, is indicative of Food Network's progression away from "real" chefs and more toward celebrity/TV-created spatula-wielders.

UPDATE: Food Network Is Still Hot for Mario Batali