When Is a Recipe Truly Yours?

Categories: Bites & Dishes

Welcome to Chow Bella's Bites & Dishes, where Valley chefs and restaurateurs respond to a question New Times food critic Laura Hahnefeld has on her mind. Have a question you'd like to ask? E-mail laura.hahnefeld@newtimes.com. Miss a question? Go here.

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KellyandSusie Flipp, Etsy
For many of us, we couldn't care less if Mom's apple pie is really Mom's or something she lifted from a cookbook -- we just know it tastes good. But for Valley chefs who are in the business of creating signature dishes for diners, when can they truly claim a recipe as their own? I asked a few of them and this is what they had to say:

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Bernie Kantak
Chef and Partner, Citizen Public House

A recipe is never yours. Sad that our intellectual property is out there for anyone to grab and there's nothing we can do to protect it. Meanwhile, we pay umpteen different companies to play music in our space. Chopped salad, anyone?



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Romeo Taus
Chef and Owner, Romeo's Euro Cafe

All food has been invented, we just rediscover it. Changing, adding, or omitting ingredients, quantities and techniques, and using cook's intuition will yield different results. If you give 10 chefs a recipe, you'll get 10 different dishes. The key is execution and consistency. No trademarks on recipes!


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Christopher Gross
Chef and Owner, Christopher's Restaurant & Crush Lounge

When it's an original -- like the chocolate tower or the ABC foie gras terrine that was published in Michael Ginor's book, Foie Gras: A Passion. After the book came out, it told me my recipe had become a modern-day classic.


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Chef Charles Schwerd,
Arrowhead Grill

Never. Recipes are like trading cards. You can buy, sell, and possess them, but other people have the same trading cards. Consequently, you think that you're the only cardholder but fail to realize that other chefs also may own the same recipe. That said, a talented chef can deconstruct any food item and write a recipe that re-engineers the item.

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Rita French,
Chef de Cuisine, Province

When you put your imprint on something, it's yours. There are like a million mac 'n' cheese recipes out there, but to my family and friends, mine is the best, so that's all that matters.


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