Fired Food Network Star Wasn’t Stealing Recipes

food network star firedToday in food news, a Food Network star takes a fall as Anne Thornton has been fired (or her show, Dessert First, has been cancelled -- the same thing but with one big difference). The allegation from one unnamed source is plagiarism. Recipe plagiarism, to be exact, which is why I'm a little bit confused here. You mean, Anne Thornton didn't invent the brownie?

I admit I haven't watched Dessert First with Anne Thornton, although I certainly agree with her sentiment. Which is also why it's easier for me to believe her show was cancelled due to ratings rather than Thornton being shamed and fired because she used recipes similar to Ina Garten and Martha Stewart. Two ladies, while talented, who also did not invent the brownie.


Plagiarism is serious, be it via recipe or essay, but given the information we have here, it seems like an odd claim. It sounds like Thornton had a recipe for lemon squares that was similar to Garten's except she used almond extract, a different kind of salt, and a different measurement of flour. My friend Vicki also has a killer lemon bar recipe. If I tell you about it, will I also be plagiarizing Ms. Garten?

Unlike examples in the past -- as pointed out by The Huffington Post -- this does not seem to be a clear case of cut and paste without attribution. That is recipe plagiarism. Creating your own twist on a dessert that has already existed in the universe is not plagiarism. If it was, all of us who blog about food should be serving some time. Or paying fines, or going to "cooking school." Whatever one does when convicted of recipe plagiarism.

It's incredibly frustrating when someone steals your work -- be it words, art, cooking, or otherwise. And it's wrong. But getting fired over lemon squares? That's just silly.

Do you think Anne Thornton plagiarized recipes?


Image via The Food Network

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