‘Dessert First’ pastry star Anne Thornton has been sliced off Food Network faster than you can say cake. Why? Because she’s been accused of stealing her recipes from cookbooks and chefs like the Barefoot Contessa and Martha Stewart.
Her Sweetness Anne Thornton has got a lot of ‘splainin’ to do. The higher-ups at the Food Network have discovered several of her recipes from both her first and second season of Dessert First are almost exact replicas from other chefs’ recipes, and therefore, had no choice but to give her the boot.
“The network discovered the similarities during the second season of the show,” a source told the New York Post on Feb. 15. “They went back and reviewed her first season, and discovered what looked like copying then, too.”
For instance, The Post cites Anne’s German Chocolate Cupcakes are scarily similar to Martha Stewart’s 2009 Coconut-Pecan Frosting. The only difference? A few pecans and some butter.
Then there’s her Luscious Lemon Squares, which reads just like the Barefoot Contessa’s 1999 recipe. Another seemingly copycat sweet treat is Anne’s Mascarpone-Stuffed French Toast to that of 2006’s The Essence of Chocolate cookbook.
Regardless of the eyebrow-raising concerns, the Food Network spokeswoman would not specifically discuss the plagiarism issue.
“Anne’s show, Dessert First, was not renewed after its second season purely due to the ratings/performance,” she said in a released in a statement.
So what does Anne have to say about the rumors of her being a recipe stealer?
“This is all news to me,” she told The Post on the phone yesterday. “I get inspiration from all my heroes. You take what you learn from them and then you riff on that.”
She added: “As for lemon squares, there’s only so many ways you can make them, so of course there will be similarities. It’s chemistry; it’s not just cooking. So there are always going to be things that are the same. At Food Network, we go over all our recipes with them. They wouldn’t [run] something that wasn’t original.”
Whether you believe Anne or not, either way, the results are bittersweet.