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America's Test Kitchen Sues Christopher Kimball Over His New Project

The company says its former employee “literally and conceptually” ripped them off

Kimball in his ATK days
America’s Test Kitchen/Tumblr

Here comes a juicy, yet not-at-all-unexpected lawsuit: America’s Test Kitchen, the force behind the TV series of the same name as well as Cook’s Illustrated magazine and a number of other publications, is suing its bowtie-clad co-founder, Christopher Kimball, according to the Boston Globe.

The issue at hand: Kimball’s recently launched venture, Milk Street, which ATK claims is “literally and conceptually” a ripoff of his former company.

Kimball stepped down from his post at ATK in November 2015 after failed contract negotiations. Backed by millions of dollars from investors, he went on to launch Milk Street (originally called Milk Street Kitchen), a multimedia company involving a print magazine as well as a website, a cooking school, TV and radio shows, cookbooks, a live touring show, and more.

Naturally, this didn’t sit well with ATK: As the Globe reports, the lawsuit claims Kimball “breached his trust with his former employer by building a new venture while still on the ATK payroll and using the company’s databases and recipes to position the it would directly compete with America’s Test Kitchen.” It’s seeking financial compensation and also asking that Milk Street change the way it does business.

Christopher Kimball and America’s Test Kitchen did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The new lawsuit from ATK isn’t the only litigation Kimball’s facing over Milk Street: Back in July, the owner of a longstanding Boston restaurant called Milk Street Cafe filed suit against Kimball after asking him to change the name to no avail. Restaurant owner Marc Epstein said the similar name created confusion, with people coming to apply for jobs at the restaurant thinking it was the new Kimball venture.

America’s Test Kitchen Sues Former Star Christopher Kimball [Boston Globe]
Milk Street Cafe Takes Issue With Chris Kimball’s New Venture [Eater Boston]
Christopher Kimball’s Next Move Is...Another Test Kitchen [E]