America’s Test Kitchen offers home cooks a novel proposition: the relentless testing of recipes by a kitchen of cooks will ultimately deliver the best recipes and in-depth writing about the recipe development process teaches readers the fundamentals of cooking. Home cooks throughout the United States trust America’s Test Kitchen recipes, cooking techniques and product reviews for the perfect meatloaf, chocolate chip cookie, Thanksgiving turkey, and much more. These recipes, techniques and reviews are showcased on America’s Test Kitchen’s public television and radio programs, magazines, books, websites and cooking school. Christopher Kimball, a former executive and a current owner of America’s Test Kitchen, made a handsome living as the public face and voice of this concept. He purveyed a brand that became synonymous with trust. But America’s Test Kitchen has recently discovered that the trust it placed with Mr. Kimball was misplaced.
Mr. Kimball spent the last year of his employment with America’s Test Kitchen creating a new venture which literally and conceptually ripped off America’s Test Kitchen. To quickly break into the marketplace with a viable and recognizable company, Mr. Kimball stole confidential information from America’s Test Kitchen, solicited America’s Test Kitchen’s employees and outside relationships and misappropriated corporate opportunities belonging to America’s Test Kitchen. He has carefully made “Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street” in the image of “America’s Test Kitchen” to convince potential customers that his new venture is a revamped and enhanced version of America’s Test Kitchen. Along the way he has received substantial assistance from former America’s Test Kitchen contributors, including employees Melissa Baldino and Christine Gordon; and consultant Deborah Broide.
This case is not about legitimate competition — it is about a profoundly disloyal fiduciary. America’s Test Kitchen seeks damages for Mr. Kimball’s various acts of disloyalty as aided and abetted by others; and permanent injunctive relief to prevent Mr. Kimball and his new company from exploiting information, assets, and opportunities stolen from America’s Test Kitchen.