Christopher Kimball, America’s Test Kitchen settle legal battle

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They were once inseparable, then they battled in court. Now, they’ve reached a truce.

Christopher Kimball and America’s Test Kitchen, the media business he once oversaw, together announced Thursday that the two sides have resolved their three-year legal battle over his launch of a rival venture.

Kimball and ATK issued a joint statement with few details about the settlement, which is aimed at heading off a trial scheduled for October in Suffolk Superior Court.

Kimball has agreed to sell his shares in ATK back to the company for an undisclosed price. Both sides also agreed to terms that will allow ATK and Kimball’s venture, called Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street, to coexist.


Both run similar businesses. ATK, based at the Innovation and Design Building in South Boston, publishes the Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country magazines as well as 10-plus cookbooks a year, and produces the “America’s Test Kitchen” and “Cook’s Country” cooking shows for public television.

Likewise, Kimball’s Milk Street produces its own cooking magazine as well as public television and radio shows, and runs cooking classes out of its Financial District digs.

ATK sued Kimball in October 2016, accusing the celebrity chef of breach of trust by working on the new venture while still on the ATK payroll. In its lawsuit, ATK said Kimball used the company’s databases and recipes to help get Milk Street off the ground.

The two sides issued a brief statement that concluded: “America’s Test Kitchen and Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street agree that an amicable separation is in the best interest of their respective companies.”

Kimball, a regular contributor to the Globe’s Sunday magazine, declined to comment about the settlement to the Globe.

Jon Chesto can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @jonchesto.

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