|Born||January 30, 1962|
|Education||California Culinary Academy|
Juan-Carlos Cruz (born 30 January 1962) is a celebrity chef and the former host of Calorie Commando and Weighing In (formerly titled Take It Off) on the Food Network. Cruz lost 43 pounds on the Discovery Health Channel show Discovery Health Body Challenge, which encouraged him to change directions from being a pastry chef to do low-calorie cooking.
Cruz graduated in 1993 from the California Culinary Academy.
Juan-Carlos Cruz started his career in 1994 as pastry chef at the Stanford Park Hotel. In 1996, he started as pastry sous-chef at the Hotel Bel Air. While at the Bel Air he created pastries for celebrities such as Jack Nicholson, Oprah Winfrey and Julia Roberts. In 2001, he started the website Pastrydude.com. The site is no longer active and the domain was sold at auction.
On Thursday, May 13, 2010, he was arrested at Cheviot Hills Park in Los Angeles, for having allegedly solicited three homeless persons at the Third Street Promenade to murder his wife, Jennifer Campbell. Cruz was initially held on $5 million bail; however, the bail was reduced to $2 million at the arraignment.
On Tuesday, October 26, 2010, Cruz entered into a plea agreement pursuant to which he pleaded "no contest" to a charge of soliciting murder, and the charge of attempted murder was dropped. While it was reported that the plea agreement proposes a 9-year sentence, the sentencing hearing was set to take place on Monday, December 13, 2010.
On Monday December 13, 2010 Cruz was sentenced to 9 years in a California Prison. Initially housed at the California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi, a supermax facility. In December 2012, Cruz was moved to California City Correctional Facility.
- "Former TV Chef Accused Of Cooking Up Murder Plot". CBS. May 15, 2010.
- "TV chef Juan-Carlos Cruz to face LA judge over alleged murder plot". Associated Press/Boston Herald. May 17, 2010.
- "People: Juan-Carlos Cruz, Rima Fakih, Ethan Zohn; celebrity babies". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 18 May 2010.
- "Former Food Network chef pleads 'no contest' in murder plot". CNN. 26 October 2010.
- California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation inmate locator, "Juan Carlos Cruz".
- Saillant, Catherine (15 May 2010). "Homeless helped expose former TV chef Juan-Carlos Cruz murder-for-hire plot, police claim". LA Times. Retrieved 17 May 2010.
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