Publication date June 21, 2022

These "Food Network's" Celebrity Chef Scandals Will Leave you Shocked!

When we think of scandals we usually think of networks like Bravo or MTV, the Food Network won’t be the first channel that would come to our minds. But the Food Network has seen its fair share of scandals and controversies. The Food Network has been on the air for more than 28 years in the US and internationally for over a decade. But their path to success was filled with many scandals and controversies. Some scandals completely shocked the network’s adoring fans. So let us look at some of the biggest scandals the Food Network has faced.

The Busy Ina Garten and Little Enzo Pereda!

Ina Garten Food Network scandals

Source: HuffPost

Food Network’s Barefoot Contessa host Ina Garten for years had an image of the sweet grandmother everyone wishes they had. However, 2011 revealed a not-so-nice side of her. It all started with a child’s request to meet her through the Make-A-Wish program. The request came from Enzo Pereda, a 6-year-old battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Enzo used to watch Garten’s show on Tv while he was sick and it was his dream to cook a delicious meal with her for many years.

Enzo’s family tried to organize a meeting between Ina Garten and Enzo, but they were turned down as she was busy and was on the road publicizing her new book. But Enzo did not lose hope and his family made the same request a year later to their surprise, they were again turned down due to Garten’s busy schedule. The heartbroken family wrote about the incident in a blog and soon the media picked up the story. After the news got out to Garten’s fans, she tried to do some damage control by inviting Enzo Pereda onto her show. But the efforts from Garten came too late and Enzo’s family declined the offer saying little Enzo had moved on and instead wanted to fulfill his wish of swimming with dolphins.

Graham Elliot gets sued!

Former Iron Chef contestant and MasterChef US judge have also spent some time in the scandalous limelight. Celebrity chef Graham Elliot became the talk of the town when he was accused of mishandling tips by his waiters. Thirteen former waiters who were employed in his Chicago restaurant “Graham Elliot Bistro”, teamed up and joined in the lawsuit initially filed by former waiter Gregory Curtis back in 2012. 

The former employee stated that the wait staff was instructed to pool their tips, after which the tips were redistributed amongst the staff. The waiters sued because they lost wages as a result of tip pooling as cooks and food runners were also given a share from the tip pool. Chef Graham Elliot did not contest the claims and decided to settle with his former waiters for an amount that is still undisclosed. 

Nigella Lawson’s drug problem!

Nigella Lawson Food Network scandal

Source: USA Today

Nigella Lawson is one of the most notable personalities in the culinary world. She is also an acclaimed author with books that have sold millions of copies across the globe. But her image took a major hit back in 2013. Her ex-husband Charles Satchi and she accused two of their former assistants of defrauding a couple of hundreds of thousands of pounds. But the accused Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo claimed Nigella Lawson herself allowed the Grillo sisters to spend the couple’s funds on the condition that they would not reveal Lawson’s drug use to her husband.

The Grillo sisters claimed that the British TV personality took cocaine and have been abusing prescription drugs for years. But Nigella Lawson denied the claims that abused drugs regularly and made a statement saying she is not an addict and she has only taken cocaine two times in her life. The legal battle ended with the Grillo sisters being acquitted of all the charges.

Paula Deen’s racial slurs

Paula Deen Food Network Scandal

Source: USA Today

The Food Network’s “Paula’s Best Dishes” Paula Deen saw controversy in 2013 when she admitted that she has used the “N-word”. This came to light after a former employee filed a lawsuit against Paula Deen. Paula Deen admitted to using the racist language and she also stated “ She hadn’t used it in some time.” In a now-deleted YouTube video, The Guardian mentioned Deen Paula had appeared on camera to apologize for her racist comment.

But her apology was not convincing enough as during that time her company released a statement that defended her choice of words. The company tried to defend her by saying she was born 60 years ago when America’s south had different customs which is not today. Also, they tried to defend her racist slurs saying Paula Deen used the slur at a different time.

Guy Fieri’s remarks get him in hot water!

We should all think before we speak, but for Guy Fieri, this is a skill that eluded him for years. This celebrity chef got into controversy back in 2011 when some of his offensive remarks were revealed to the media. The creator and former producer of Drive-ins, Dives, and Diners, David Page revealed some off-camera insights that shook his audience. David Page told City Pages that every time they were cutting a show, he had to tell the editors to notice Guy’s eye line, because they were always on breasts.

David Page also revealed Guy Fieri’s distaste for the LGBTQ+ community. Page shared an incident that followed when Guy had to visit a restaurant run by two men. Page said Guy Fieri called him up and said he should be warned before he is sent to talk to gay people as “Those people weird me out!” After that incident, the show’s researchers were also instructed to pick up on indications that might suggest someone is homosexual during the pre-interview process.

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