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NY Post
New York Post
2 Sep 2023

NextImg:Fiery blast at Hamptons bash sparks suit against Food Network alum

An Upper East Side woman claims she was seriously hurt in a fiery explosion caused by her private chef — who insisted he is the one who got burned in more ways than one.

Kathleen Histon alleged Food Network alum Christopher Nirschel “inexplicably” poured a bottle of ethanol onto her fire pit during an August 2020 event in Bridgehampton, causing the flames “to explode in a fireball” all over her, according to a Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit.

Histon, 56, was left with third-degree burns over 40% of her body and suffered “severe disfigurement,” she charged in court papers filed against Nirschel and his company, NY Catering Service.

Nirschel — who appeared on “Chopped” and “Food Network Star,” said he was stunned by Histon’s claims.

“I was refilling the fire pit, and one of her guests pushed the ‘on’ button,” causing the blast that engulfed both him and Histon, he told The Post.

“It was one of the scariest things of my life, extremely traumatic. I still remember the sound of that explosion.”

Chris Nirschel, who appeared on “Chopped,” was sued over the fiery incident but says he didn’t cause it.
Instagram @culinarybadboy

Histon had given him the ethanol to refuel the fire pit, which had been turned off before the unknown guest restarted it at the wrong moment, he said.

“It nearly ended my life. I had multiple surgeries on my arm… I had to be airlifted,” he recalled. “I had third-degree burns. I was in the hospital for almost a month.

“I’m a small business owner, I’ve never had an issue. I take my job extremely seriously. . . . It’s unfortunate she’s going to come after me and my business,” said Nirschel.

an injured nirschel

The chef had to be airlifted to get medical care after being burned.
Instagram @culinarybadboy

Nirschel posted pictures of himself in the hospital, with his burned arm and face nearly completely covered in bandages.

“Everybody pray for me. I was involved in an explosion two days ago,” he wrote on Instagram. “I was airlifted and have 2nd and 3rd-degree burns. I have to have surgery Thursday for skin graft.”

Histon, who is acting as her own lawyer and is seeking unspecified damages, did not return messages seeking comment.