National food chain Sumo Salad has dropped Pete Evans as its celebrity ambassador.
The development comes only three weeks after publisher Pan Macmillan pulled the celebrity chef’s new cookbook, Bubba Bubba Yum Yum: The Paleo Way following revelations reported exclusively by The Weekly Online that public health authorities were worried it posed a health risk to babies.
Last night the My Kitchen Rules judge declared on Facebook that the controversial recipe book would be self-published this month.
Now, The Weekly can exclusively reveal Pete has been quietly let go by Sumo Salad corporate headquarters.
"We have decided not to renew his contract," said Petra Orrenius, Head of Marketing at Sumo Salad. "We have been very happy with the collaboration but we just decided to take our marketing in a new direction."
She denied the decision was influenced by the recent media coverage Pete and his controversial views on nutrition have received.
Evans – who has made a fortune spruiking the benefits of the Paleo diet – has been under fire this past month following the cancellation of his Paleo cookbook for babies, which featured a recipe for a "DIY baby bone broth formula" that health authorities declared potentially fatal for small children.
Yet he has reacted to criticism of his Paleo evangelism by continuing to travel around Australia and New Zealand on his "Paleo Way" tour, cheekily referring on Facebook to the media coverage he has received.
"I would love to thank the Australian and overseas media and the online blogging and social media community for continuing to promote The Paleo Way far and wide,” he writes. “Our TRIBE is growing stronger daily and our success stories are profound. We have you to thank for this constant promotion of a lifestyle that is benefiting so many. I send you all my love and I wish you keep doing the awesome work you are doing. We couldn't do it without you."
The Seven Network, who employ Pete as one of two celebrity judges for their top-rating cooking program, My Kitchen Rules, are under increasing pressure to declare whether they will be keeping Pete on for next year’s iteration of the hit show.
Pete, who built his career from a highly successful pizza making business in Kings Cross, is currently the nation’s number-one selling author with his book, The Paleo Way, continuing to do brisk business.
The news comes as the naturopath co-author of Bubba Yum Yum allegedly faces scrutiny over her role in the book. The Weekly Online understands Helen Padarin has been the subject of complaints to the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC). Sources said the complainant fears Padarin breached the Code of Conduct for unregistered health practitioners by providing misinformation over claims and nutritional comparisons between breastmilk and a DIY baby formula made of liver, bone broth and oils.
When contacted the HCCC said they would not reveal details of complaints or investigations until findings are published. The Weekly Online also contacted Padarin who is yet to respond.
The third and final author has not dodged controversy. It emerged at the weekend blogger Charlotte Carr, has done paid voiceovers for brands like Coca-Cola, Cherry Ripe, Uncle Toby’s and KFC - despite promoting an organic diet that eliminates processed foods, sugar, grains, dairy and legumes.