‘America’s Test Kitchen,’ Christopher Kimball resolve lawsuit

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A heated dispute between producers of popular public TV cooking shows has cooled following a settlement between America’s Test Kitchen and its former CEO and host Christopher Kimball.

The two sides announced an “amicable separation” and resolution to the nearly three-year lawsuit in a Thursday press release. A trial had been scheduled for October.

The release provided few details about the settlement agreement. The two sides “agreed to business terms” that allow ATK and Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street, Kimball’s latest production, to “coexist in the marketplace,” according to the release.

Kimball is also returning his shares in the America’s Test Kitchen media company for an undisclosed price, according to the release. Kimball declined to comment on the agreement.

Kimball co-founded and helped build America’s Test Kitchen into a multimedia company catering to home cooks. ATK produces two public TV cooking series (America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country) and publishes its recipes in magazines and cookbooks. After a 2015 contract dispute, he left the company and launched Milk Street Kitchen, which was later retitled Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street. A year later, ATK filed a lawsuit claiming that Kimball “literally and conceptually ripped off” its content and business model.

Kimball countersued, denying the claims against him and accusing ATK of using the lawsuit as a “nationwide media campaign” that defamed him. He pointed to ATK’s website whywearesuingchristopherkimball.com, which is no longer active.

Kimball told Current in 2018 that the lawsuit hadn’t distracted him from his new production. “You get through the first six months or so, then it’s just background noise,” he said. “There’s actually not much going on. So we go for a month without even thinking about it at this point.”

22 thoughts on “‘America’s Test Kitchen,’ Christopher Kimball resolve lawsuit

  1. Cannot unsubscribe from his shows,when you click to unsubscribe it takes you to another of his sites,,pretty shrewd I would say.

  2. Folks—don’t believe a word about this so-called “lawsuit” against Christopher Kimball. After David Nussbaum became the CEO and chairman of the board of ATK, there was a concerted attempt to RETAIN Kimball, not fire him. Kimball wanted to produce a different show and refused to sign a non-compete agreement. Hence, ATK filed a lawsuit which Kimball correctly called a “publicity stunt.” Chris was a minority owner of ATK and had no motives for harming his own financial investments. It has been Nussbaum who can’t keep his story straight—and here are just of few of his subsequent contradictory statements….

    “We made every effort to offer Chris a reasonable contract that reflected his significant contributions to the company and are disappointed that we could not reach agreement.”

    “It was not a contract fight, it really wasn’t,” says Nussbaum. “It was the company building, along with Chris, a long term succession plan and Chris saying that he wanted to do something a little bit different as well. We still maintain good relations (I had lunch with him last week) and work together on the radio show, so it’s really evolving — it’s not any kind of revolutionary change.”

    “Chris is an owner of the company and continues to be and wants to see this company thrive….”

    “He was asked to stay with the company and focus his talents on creativity, on-air presence and in-person appearances…Despite our interest in having him stay and after negotiating with him in good faith for many months, he ultimately rejected that approach. We are disappointed that he has chosen a new path, but we respect his choice.”

    Respect his choice? ATK “respected his choice” by filing a nuisance suit against Kimball to divert attention from their own egregious bungling of the situation. The real villain here is not Kimball, or Julia, or Bridget, or Dan, or Bryan, or Erin….etc.

  3. As a member of the public viewing audience, I’m just glad I get another cooking show. I like the fact that Milk Street focuses on cuisines from around the world.

  4. America’s test kitchen/cook’s country just isn’t the same without Christopher Kimball. Loved what his personality brought to the show. I definitely don’t follow the show like I used to. Miss you Chris!

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  6. I really liked the program and everyone else, but truly is not the same with out Christopher Kimball he had that spark that will make me want to try new things.good luck to you all.

  7. I think everyone won. Sometimes creative people want to do different things. Clearly Kimball wanted to branch out. He was able to do that with his new show and it has a following. But it is also reasonable for ATK, and it’s millions of Fans, to want keep the format they have loved for years. And they have succeeded with the new hosts. Was Kimball plus ATK a winning formula……..YES. But we fans are lucky that we now have 2 shows to watch that are just a little different from each other to make it interesting to watch both.

  8. Just watched the 20th anniversary show..it was as dull and boring as i expected. Julia and Bridget were great as sidekick personalities, but the real personality is gone. The irony of the show now is that with all its tested recipes, it now has no flavor. The whole cast now comes across the screen as awkward, insecure and just plain lost. I give it another season or so before its cancelled. Besides they’ve all but run out of recipes at this point.. How many more times can they roast a chicken anyways lol

    • I wholeheartedly agree. Honestly I had never seen this new incarnation (aren’t the old shows still rerun in certain markets?). I’m watching it and I’m like, Where’s Chris? Who are these new people? Everyone’s come out their shell trying to be stars. Some are ok. Some things I liked. But for the first 50 min there wasn’t a mention or sighting of Chris, not even a picture on the wall! Before revealing their much-anticipated #1 dish (Shrimp Scampi?) I was hoping there might be a tribute, maybe even a special appearance (although it was becoming clear it wasn’t happening). Then the “sidekick personalities” all posed for that disgraceful final shot – with big wide grins. How can you do a “20 Anniversary” show without the driving force behind its first 15? The founder who nurtured all your careers? Yes, the real personality is gone.

  9. Without Christopher it just isn’t the same. The supporting cast has always been and still is very good, but something seems to be missing. I’ll still watch but I miss Christopher.

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