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Juan-Carlos Cruz, Ex-Food Network Chef, Cooks Up Murder-for-Hire Plot

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Juan-Carlos Cruz, the former host of Calorie Commando on the Food Network, pastry chef and cookbook author, was arrested in Santa Monica Thursday for allegedly trying to hire homeless people to carry out a murder, reports the AP. The plan fell apart, however, when the homeless people Cruz attempted to recruit ratted him out and told the police. Cruz is being held on a $5 million bail, charged with solicitation to commit murder.

Update: TMZ reports (with video interviews) that Cruz allegedly tried to hire homeless men to kill his wife with instructions to "cut [a] woman's throat."

Cruz was the host of the Food Network shows Calorie Commando (that ran from 2004 through 2006) and Weighing In (a reality/lifestyle weight-loss show that ran for thirteen episodes). His shows, relegated to random early-morning slots, have been off the air for a while and are notably absent from Food Network's website, but his recipes remain.

And the internet has a lot to offer, including his website where he bizarrely volunteers to do a video chat with your weight loss group for "an online discussion" of his cookbook. There's also a five minute demo reel of his television appearances, below.

Cruz was also author of the 2007 cookbook The Juan-Carlos Cruz Calorie Countdown Cookbook: A 5-Week Eating Strategy for Sustainable Weight Loss (currently at a bargain price at Amazon) in which he recounted his own weight loss story after he eventually topped 280 pounds while being pastry chef at the Hotel Bel Air in Los Angeles. He was also the host of Discovery Health Network’s Body Challenge 2 and Body Challenge 3 and appeared on an episode of The Biggest Loser back in 2004. He's also operated a wedding cake business called Pastrydude in Los Angeles.

Juan-Carlos Cruz Demo Reel

· Police: TV chef solicited homeless in murder plot [AP]
· Juan-Carlos Cruz [Official Site]

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