Top 10 Celebrity Chef Scandals



Top 10 Celebrity Chef Scandals

Script written by George Pacheco

Talk about being sent from the frying pan into the fire! From Ina Garten to Bobby Flay and Gordon Ramsay, there have been many scandals involving famous chefs, including sexual misconduct, racism and even serving prison time. WatchMojo is counting down the biggest celebrity chef controversies.

Special thanks to our user doucey for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top%2010%20Celebrity%20Chef%20Scandals
Top 10 Celebrity Chef Scandals

Talk about being sent from the frying pan into the fire. Welcome to, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Celebrity Chef Scandals.

For this list, we'll be ranking the most high-profile or otherwise troubling scandals involving celebrity chefs. For the record, we're not casting judgment with these entries, but rather commenting upon how these allegations negatively impacted each chef's public persona.

Script written by George Pacheco

Top 10 Celebrity Chef Scandals

#10: Ina Garten: Heartless Contessa?

It takes a certain kind of person to turn down a request from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, but fans of Ina Garten, a.k.a. The Barefoot Contessa, probably never thought this celebrity chef would fall into that category. This was exactly what occurred however, when it was revealed that Garten had turned down a meeting with six year old Enzo Pereda not once, but twice. The reasons behind the situation apparently ranged from Garten being busy with a book tour to the requests actually not reaching Garten personally, but by this point the damage to her reputation had already been done. Not even a last minute do-over from Garten saved her from being skewered by the Internet.

#9: Gordon Ramsay's Daddy (In Law) Issues

No one likes airing their dirty laundry in a public forum, especially when that person also lives as a celebrity under public scrutiny. Gordon Ramsay was front and center in just such a spectacle in 2017 when a very high profile feud with his father-in-law took the celebrity chef all the way to court. Chris Hutcheson was sentenced to six months in prison for hacking Ramsay's computer, alongside his two sons, Adam and Chris, Jr. The elder Hutcheson had been business partners with Ramsay, and used information gained in the hack to publicly embarrass the "Hell's Kitchen" star, after he'd been sacked by Ramsay in 2010.

#8: Bobby Flay and His Cray Divorce

Ok, we've heard of messy divorces, but this one's ridiculous. The split between celebrity chef Bobby Flay and "Law and Order: SVU" actress Stephanie March was acrimonious, to say the least, with accusations of infidelity leveled at Flay, and March trying her best to beat a prenup agreement agreed upon by the pair in court. Oh, and did we mention that there was also a mysterious plane flying a banner which read "Cheater," during Flay's Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony, AND that Bobby allegedly had romantic ties to "Mad Men" star January Jones? Honestly, we're getting anxious just thinking about this level of cray.

#7: Nigella Lawson's Drug Use Accusations and Troubled Marriage

The next scandal on our list is a two-fer, of sorts, as well as another example of an extremely troubled marriage. Nigella Lawson was accused of abusing various drugs, but particularly cocaine, by her ad exec ex-husband Charles Saatchi, as well as the couple’s former Italian assistants. Saatchi even angrily referred to Lawson in an email as “Higella”. Nigella, for her part, admitted to using cocaine, but balked at accusations that she was a drug addict, instead pointing to Saatchi as someone who was, in her words, committing "intimate terrorism" within their relationship. The pair would officially split in 2013.

#6: Robert Irvine Stretches the Truth

Celebrity chef Robert Irvine boasted a laundry list of impressive accomplishments on his resume. But Irvine admitted in a 2008 interview with the St. Petersburg Times newspaper that he "felt pressure to keep up with the Joneses" by embellishing information for his biography. Some of these dubious claims included Irvine owning a Scottish castle, and being knighted by the Queen. Irvine later pushed back against some of the allegations in the paper’s article, and other parts of his biographical information possessed some truth, such as his role in preparing a cake for royals Charles and Diana, but on the whole, Irvine wasn't exactly who he said he was, and his public persona suffered from the embarrassment.

#5: Anne Burrell is Accused of Discrimination

Prior to her emergence as a celebrity chef on The Food Network, Anne Burrell worked at the New York City restaurant Centro Vinoteca. It was Burrell's tenure here which was the subject of a 2009 lawsuit, one which alleged that the chef was verbally abusive to female staff members at the restaurant. The allegations claimed that Burrell would hurl insults and slurs at female waitresses and front-of-house staff, using words like "slut" and "whore," while also commenting about their appearance or clothing. Those who spoke up against Burrell's behavior were allegedly fired for their trouble, and the complaints against Burrell claimed that she only targeted female coworkers in this manner. Centro Vinoteca closed in 2013.

#4: Guy Fieri's Alleged Homophobia

David Page was a producer on the Food Network hit "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" who claimed that he was unfairly fired from the show, in 2011, as a result of interference by its host, Guy Fieri. Page then claimed in the press that Fieri harbored homophobic tendencies, and that he had expressed these opinions to others on the staff. Fieri, whose late sister Morgan was a lesbian, denied these accusations, and actually went on to officiate a mass wedding of over a hundred same sex couples at an event in 2015. So, was there any truth to these allegations, or was it a case of sour grapes on the part of Page? Only those involved know for certain.

#3: Mario Batali’s Sexual Misconduct

Sexual harassment was a hot button issue in 2017, and Mario Batali was just one of many, many powerful men charged with inappropriate behavior by female accusers. Batali didn't deny these accusations in a prepared statement sent out to the media, and expressed remorse and regret for his actions, although this didn't stop Batali from losing his spot as one of the hosts of ABC's hit "The Chew." This wasn't the first time Batali had been accused of impropriety, however, as the food mogul also settled a lawsuit in 2012 to the tune of five million dollars for skimming tips from his wait staff in order to pay the salaries of sommeliers at his NYC restaurants.

#2: Martha Stewart in the Big House

Martha Stewart was the picture perfect icon of home cooking, decorating and entertaining… and she sort of still is, despite serving time in prison for insider trading. Stewart was indicted in 2003 on charges of fraud and obstruction of justice for her role in selling almost four thousand shares of stocks, after receiving private insider information from her Merrill Lynch broker, Peter Bacanovic. She was found guilty of numerous charges a year later and served her four month sentence in a West Virginia minimum security prison. Afterwards, Stewart would resume her place in the public eye, a place she still inhabits today. She even hosts a cooking and variety show with Snoop Dogg. Yes, really.

#1: Paula Deen's Racist Reputation

It was 2013 when a lawsuit filed by a former employee of Paula Deen took one giant swipe at the southern chef's media empire. Lisa Jackson alleged that there was an atmosphere of sexual and racial discrimination in the workplace, and also specifically mentioned Deen's expressed dream of planning a plantation style wedding for her own brother. Deen lost a lot of endorsements from the whole episode, particularly after she admitted to using "the N word" in the past; although Jackson, who is white, later praised the Deen family after settling out of court. Two years later, Paula tweeted a photo of herself, dressed as Lucille Ball, alongside her son Bobby in "brownface" as Desi Arnaz, further fanning the flames of her critics.