In what Salon describes as "a move that sent shockwaves through the PBS-subscribing, why-yes-I-do-have-strong-feelings-about-pineapple-in-carrot-cake cognoscenti," Chris Kimball, the celebrity chef who co-founded America's Test Kitchen, is leaving the company, NPR reports. The 64-year-old "anti-Guy Fieri," as Salon labels him, who also served as editor-in-chief of the esteemed Cook's Illustrated and Cook's Country magazines, will have an "immediate" departure, per a statement by parent company Boston Common Press. He'll remain as host of the America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Country TV shows for the 2016 season. Kimball confirmed the news to the Los Angeles Times. "We made every effort to offer Chris a reasonable contract that reflected his significant contributions ... and are disappointed that we could not reach agreement," BCP CEO David Nussbaum said in the statement.
This news wasn't a total shock. The Times notes that trouble may have started brewing when Nussbaum was installed as the company's CEO in September. That's when rumors started circulating that Kimball and his wife, BCP exec Melissa Baldino, might be leaving. The company, which Kimball helped found to make cooking more accessible to the masses, started with Cook's Illustrated in 1993, with the America's Test Kitchen show debuting in 2001, per the New York Times. When asked by Current if he still has a title with the company, Kimball replied, "Interesting question, isn't it? I don't know what I am," though he added that "we're still talking, and it's friendly." He tells Current that he'll be doing "12 station events this year, and hope to do that many next year," with his next project to be announced early next year. (But have his menus ever been compared to poetry?)