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Fake chef goes on morning shows, pranks hosts with awful food

“I’m self-taught. I did not go to culinary school, and I’m kind of unorthodox."


Audra Schroeder

Internet Culture

Posted on Mar 3, 2014   Updated on May 31, 2021, 4:45 pm CDT

Over the holidays, chef Keith Guerke was a guest on several morning shows, offering tips on how to deal with Thanksgiving leftovers and promoting his book, Leftovers Right. He admitted he wasn’t a professional chef, and that becomes very apparent throughout the segments. He tells one host: “I’m self-taught. I did not go to culinary school, and I’m kind of unorthodox. People compare me to…do you know GG Allin?”

The fact that Guerke compared himself to the infamous frontman of a hardcore band should have been the first red flag, but then there are his tips for those leftovers, including a mashed potato ice cream cone, and funneling blended leftovers into a milk jug.

“Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, there’s one of the highest suicide rates,” he explains to one host. “And I think part of that is the stress of what are you going to do with these leftovers.”

“Chef Keith” is really Nick Prueher, who, with his friend Joe Pickett, runs the Found Footage Festival. He says this alter ego was created out of boredom.

“The prank came out because we were very bored back in our home state of Wisconsin over the holidays and wanted to do something dumb,” he explains. “We’ve been on a lot of morning TV shows promoting the Found Footage Festival and there’s always a chef doing a cooking segment on right before us. We thought it’d be a slam dunk to pose as a chef doing a book on what to do with your holiday leftovers, and I drew the short straw to go on-air.”

This isn’t the first time they’ve trolled the morning show circuit. A few years ago, they promoted the Found Footage Fest with their friend Kenny “K-Strass” Strasser, who claimed to be a yo-yo professional, but was in fact terrible at yo-yo.

The Found Footage Festival, which curates VHS oddities, bad YouTube videos, and terrifying infomercials, starts touring this week. This prank is great press for the show, but did any of those hosts forced to drink a gravy smoothie ever sniff out Chef Keith’s ruse?

“All of the newscasters politely thanked me for coming after the segments and wished me luck with my book,” he says. “Got to love good old-fashioned Midwestern niceness.”

Screengrab via Found Footage Fest/YouTube

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*First Published: Mar 3, 2014, 3:25 pm CST