'America's Test Kitchen' And Cooks Illustrated Founder Chris Kimball Departs Abruptly From His Own Company

Christopher Kimball — the cheery, perfection-seeking founder of Cooks Illustrated magazine and its affiliated television shows, America's Test Kitchen and Cooks Country — will leave the company, effective immediately.

Kimball's "employment with America's Test Kitchen is ending," according to a statement from parent company Boston Common Press. Kimball, who launched Cooks Illustrated in 1993, will host both television shows through the 2016 season.

For the last few decades, Kimball has been known for his Consumer Reports-style approach to tools, techniques, and recipes, tirelessly experimenting in his test kitchen to find the best of all three.

"We are disappointed that he has chosen a new path, but we respect his choice,” David Nussbaum, the company's new chief executive, said in a statement. "While he will remain a minority owner of the company, he will no longer play a role at ATK."

Kimball's abrupt departure from his own company is believed to be the result of a contract dispute with Nussbaum, who was named the company's new chief executive in September.

"We made every effort to offer Chris a reasonable contract that reflected his significant contributions to the company and are disappointed that we could not reach agreement," Nussbaum said.

Kimball, meanwhile, is said to be working on his own culinary project, but details are scarce at the moment.