When Is a Recipe Truly Yours?
A recipe is yours if there are at least three ingredients that have been changed/altered and two methods have been changed/altered.
Some say all you have to do is change one ingredient or measurement of a recipe and it's a new recipe. I'm not sure I agree with that. A recipe is truly yours when you don't start with a base recipe and just put something together according to your personal taste, then keep adjusting until it is right for you. Even then, you may have duplicated what someone else may have done.
A recipe is mine if I develop it from start to finish. Often, recipes are developed with help from the other chefs in the kitchen, from researching recipes of other chefs, or even tweaking recipes from chefs we may have worked with in the past.
A recipe is always just a recipe, but I think you can be recognized for a dish -- a dish that is talked about and people crave. When you mention a chef or a restaurant, people often associate them/it with a dish. "Oh, you work at Beckett's Table? I love the short ribs." I clearly did not create the short ribs, but my version of it -- or my recipe -- is a staple in the restaurant.
I think the saying "there is no new idea under the sun" is correct. Whether you've seen an item you liked and tried to make it or looked up a recipe, once you've made it and significantly modified it to your liking, it is very loosely "yours." In nearly all situations, a recipe is not really "yours"; it is an amalgamation of the work of others you have pieced together.