The star of Food Network’s “Dessert First” has lost her gig, and speculation is swirling that it’s because she was lifting recipes.
Anne Thornton, whose show premiered in October 2010, was told by the network that “Dessert First” would not be picked up for a third season. A Food Network spokesperson said in a statement that the show “was not renewed after its second season purely due to ratings/performance.”
But there may be more to the story, according to the New York Post. A network insider told the paper that the network had raised some red flags that Thornton’s recipes were a bit too similar to other famous foodies like Ina Garten and Martha Stewart.
“The network discovered the similarities during the second season of the show,” the source said.
While lists of ingredients to a recipe cannot be copyrighted, the instructions can be, and the source indicated that Thornton had presented other chefs’ recipes “with only a few minor edits.”
Thorton enrolled in culinary school after college and landed a gig at New York’s Waverly Inn in 2006, where she worked as a pastry chef and assistant manager before moving on to the Hotel Griffou as executive pastry chef in 2009. She was hired by Food Network after executives took a liking to her at a food and wine festival in New York.
Thorton defended herself against the charge of copying, telling the Post that with baking there’s bound to be similarities in recipes.
“There’s only so many ways you can make [lemon squares], so of course there will be similarities,” Thorton said.
“It’s chemistry; it’s not just cooking, so there are always going to be things that are the same,” she added.
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