Some food-TV fans are upset to see Cliff Crooks in the spotlight after that prank gone wrong on “Top Chef” 14 years ago (via Bravo). Redditor MysteriousPlatypus posted on June 9, “I refuse to watch anything he is in. I can’t look at him without remembering how he assaulted a fellow chef on national television.” Redditor BigBet0 expressed the same sentiment a few months ago in their thread, writing, “Anyone who assaults someone should not be back on television.”
Redditors were divided over how to respond to Crooks’ presence on TV. While some refused to watch him, others were more forgiving. “After the ‘TC’ debacle, I was very impressed with how he handled it,” one Redditor commented on the “MysteriousPlatypus” post. “Humility, empathy, remorse, ownership … frankly he couldn’t have handled it better.”
For his part, Crooks told Move magazine his “Top Chef” experience taught him he had room to grow. And grow he has. When not running from one TV studio to another, Crooks works as culinary director of BLT Restaurant Group, overseeing restaurants around the world, according to the company’s website.
Crooks has support where it really counts: in Food Network’s executive offices. As soon as Season 1 of “Chef Boot Camp” wrapped, they ordered Season 2 (via Deadline). “He is a fantastic talent who immediately resonated with our audience, and we knew quickly they wanted to see more of him,” network president Courtney White said.