Christopher Kimball

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Christopher Kimball
Christopher Kimball, 2016.jpg
Christopher Kimball in 2016
Born (1951-06-05) June 5, 1951 (age 66)
Rye, New York, U.S.[1]
Education Columbia University (B.A., 1973) [1][2]
Spouse(s) Melissa Lee Baldino (m. 2013) (1 child)
Adrienne Kimball (m. 1987–2012) (4 children)[3][4][5]
Culinary career

Christopher Kimball (born June 5, 1951) is an American chef, editor, publisher, and radio/TV personality.

Early life and education[edit]

Kimball was born and raised in Westchester County, New York, the son of Mary Alice White and Edward Norris Kimball.[6] The family had a cabin in southwestern Vermont.[1]

He graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy and then Columbia University (1973) with a degree in Primitive Art.[1][2]


Early career[edit]

After graduating from Columbia, he went to work with his stepbrother in a publishing company. Soon after, he worked for The Center for Direct Marketing in Westport, Connecticut and also started taking cooking courses.[1] After securing $100,000 in angel investments from friends and family, he started Cook’s Magazine from a tiny office in Weston, Connecticut in 1980 when he was 29 years old.[1] He sold the magazine to the Bonnier Group in 1989 and moved on to other publishing ventures.[1]

America's Test Kitchen[edit]

Kimball was a co-founder and has been editor and publisher of America's Test Kitchen, which produces television and radio shows, and publishes magazines, including Cook's Illustrated,[6][7] which Kimball launched in 1993. It also publishes Cook's Country magazine, which was launched in 2004,[1] and former publisher of the now-defunct Cook's Magazine.[citation needed] The company's revenue comes from its readers, rather than advertisers, which differentiates him from his competitors.[1]

Its cookbook publisher division is Two Pigs Farm. Boston Common Press, a private partnership between Kimball, Eliot Wadsworth II, and George P. Denny III, owns Kimball’s publishing activities.[1] Kimball also hosted the syndicated Public Television cooking shows America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Country from America's Test Kitchen.

On November 16, 2015, a news release from Boston Common Press, parent company of Cooks Country/Cooks Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen, announced the departure of Christopher Kimball. The 2016 TV programs had already been filmed and Kimball will appear as host, but his direct participation in the company was ending immediately.[8] He remains a minority stockholder in the closely held company.

On October 2016 ATK sued Kimball for theft of intellectual property and its client list. According to the complaint:

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.[9]

Christopher Kimball's Milk Street[edit]

In 2016, he embarked on a new venture, Christopher Kimball's Milk Street, located on Milk Street in Boston, Massachusetts.[10][11]

On October 31, 2016, the company behind America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Illustrated Magazine filed a lawsuit against Kimball in Suffolk Superior Court, claiming that Kimball "literally and conceptually ripped off" his former employer.[12] In the lawsuit, America's Test Kitchen claims that Kimball built his new venture while still on their payroll, using company resources in the form of recipes and databases to help mold Milk Street Kitchen into a direct competitor.


He is the author of The Cook's Bible, The Yellow Farmhouse Cookbook, Dear Charlie, The Dessert Bible and Fannie's Last Supper, and is a columnist for the New York Daily News and the Boston-based Tab Communications.

Other television appearances include This Old House and the morning shows Weekend Today and The Early Show. He is a regular contributor on National Public Radio. On January 8, 2011, Kimball began hosting WGBH-FM's America's Test Kitchen Radio distributed by PRX.

Personal life[edit]

He has been married three times. He had a son and three daughters with his second wife, Adrienne. They divorced in December 2012.[3][4][5] On June 30, 2013, Kimball married Melissa Lee Baldino, executive producer of the America's Test Kitchen television show.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Frieswick, Kris, "Perfection, Inc.", The Boston Globe, August 2, 2009. (PDF version)
  2. ^ a b Lui, Claire, "Cooking 101: Chris Kimball ’73 brings recipes that work from America’s Test Kitchen to your kitchen", Columbia College Today, July/August 2010
  3. ^ a b "Country Style - Boston Magazine". Boston Magazine. 15 May 2006. 
  4. ^ a b "A Down-Home Thanksgiving on the Kimball Farm". NPR. 
  5. ^ a b "Thanksgiving Answers From Chris Kimball". WBUR. 
  6. ^ a b c Laskey, Margaux, "Melissa Baldino, Christopher Kimball: All the Ingredients Were There", The New York Times, June 30, 2013
  7. ^ Becky Krystal (November 2, 2016). "Six takeaways from America's Test Kitchen's lawsuit against Christopher Kimball". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 19, 2017. 
  8. ^ "Christopher Kimball to Leave America's Test Kitchen". Cook's Illustrated. November 16, 2015. Retrieved 2016-03-04. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ Healy, Beth; Nanos, Janelle, "Chris Kimball to launch Milk Street Kitchen cooking venture", The Boston Globe, May 31, 2016
  11. ^ "Home - 177 Milk Street". Milk Street Kitchen. 
  12. ^ "America's Test Kitchen sues Christopher Kimball over celebrity chef's new venture - The Boston Globe". Retrieved 2016-11-02. 


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]