'Bon Appetit' Denies Chef Contest Involvement

The often thin line between sponsored content and editorial came under scrutiny again this week when Bon Appetit disavowed any connection with the Favorite Chef contest.  

The magazine tweeted: “Bon Appetit’s name is being used to promote a chef competition that states the winner would receive a feature in an upcoming issue of BA.”

A second tweet explained: “Favorite Chef purchased a paid ad in the magazine that intends to highlight the winner of the contest they were conducting. Neither the contest or the feature are BA edit-endorsed, and we’ve asked them to clarify the terms of the competition.”

The magazine has a point: A headline in Danbury, Connecticut’s HamletHub erroneously states: “Danbury Chef Could Be Bon Appetit Magazine’s favorite Chef! VOTE for Tom Devine!”

In addition, The Business Journal, of Youngstown, Ohio, reports many local people “erroneously believed”  the contest had the backing of the magazine. It notes: “The winner of the Favorite Chef contest will receive $20,000 and a two-page article in Bon Appetit, but the article will be a paid ad and not the work of the respected culinary magazine.” 



It is not clear if Favorite Chef ever implied a link with Bon Appetit. On its site, Favorite Chef writes: “There has been recent buzz circulating about the competition that we wanted to share with you directly.” 

Favorite Chef adds: “Before launching this competition, we made an agreement with Bon Appétit magazine that would allow us to feature (1) Favorite Chef in a purchased two-page advertising spread in their publication, and they have agreed to honor this commitment.”  

It continues: “We want to clarify that Bon Appétit’s editorial team will not be producing or writing the content featured within the two-page spread. If you are participating in the competition and would like to withdraw due to this additional information, please contact our amazing support team." 

Favorite Chef also provides this update: “The Favorite Chef will now receive 50K and a once-in-a-lifetime professional photo shoot!” 

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