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Fake Chef, Real Recipes — And The Food's Disgusting

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Now, let's cook up something tasty to eat.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW)

BLOCK: That was Chef Keith Guerke in one of five appearances he made on local TV morning shows around Thanksgiving time last year. This one was in Milwaukee. He was demonstrating what to do with holiday leftovers.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A couple of problems here. First, his mashed potato ice cream cones are disgusting. Second, there is no Chef Keith Guerke. There is only Nick Prueher. And Nick Prueher is no chef. He only plays one on TV. In other words, this was a complete fraud.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW)

BLOCK: You see, Nick Prueher's expertise is not in cuisine, but in pranks. Prueher is the co-host of the "Found Footage Festival." That's a touring comedy show. He passed himself off as a chef marketing a book. And as he told us today, he managed to get himself booked on several stations.

: We thought, you know, around the holidays it would be a slam dunk to get booked if this fake chef, Chef Keith, had a book he'd written. So we came up with the title "Leftovers Right: Making A Winner Of Last Night's Dinner" and we just had a graphic designer friend whip something up for us.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW)

CORNISH: Now, that Chef Keith is admitting the prank, we asked the general manager at Milwaukee station WITI for reaction. He had no comment.

BLOCK: And we asked Prueher if he had any misgivings about misrepresenting himself.

: You know, luckily I have no scruples. It doesn't weigh on my conscience at all.

BLOCK: Prueher has called his shtick a victimless crime. But at least one TV station took action. WSAW TV in central Wisconsin filed a copyright claim with YouTube. The video of their host being punked by Prueher was taken down today. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.