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by the Daily Gullet Staff

In the days of Escoffier and classic haute cuisine, there was little controversy surrounding the simulation and proper execution of what appeared on the platter. Haute cuisine meant copying the dishes of Escoffier as faithfully as possible; the closer you got, the better you were. This approach was universally accepted, understood -- and appreciated.

Maybe it started with nouvelle cusine, maybe earlier. Perhaps the genesis of today's avant garde movement gave it real focus. But there's no denying that traditional culinary attitudes have given way to advancement, augmentation and innovation. Among avant-garde restaurants and chefs, revolution is the norm. A laboratory milieu, an atmosphere of culinary invention, and careful documentation has permeated the professional kitchen. Online food media like eG Forums encourage diners to distribute photographs of new dishes found the world over -- within hours of their capture.

Our understanding of culinary ethics has not kept up with this evolution.

On 14 March 2006, eGullet Society member Sam Mason (aka Willie Lee) noted similarities between dishes served at Interlude (a restaurant in Melbourne, Australia) and dishes from American avant-garde restaurants WD-50 (Wylie Dufresne's New York restaurant, where Mason is the pastry chef) and Minibar (Jose Andres's Washington, DC restaurant). Soon after, other Society members noted similarities to dishes from Alinea (Grant Achatz's Chicago restaurant), and suggested a substantial pattern of duplication. Chef/proprietor Robin Wickens of Interlude, also an eGullet Society member, responded to the claims.

Information about the dishes was gleaned from a series of photographs resident on the Interlude restaurant website. When we checked, the photographs weren't there.

The eGullet Society doesn't have an official position on this matter, but it's appropriate to publish the following for two reasons. First, by presumably removing the photographs from its website, Interlude has made examination of the evidence impossible, unless we bring these photos to light in a journalistic context. Second, we believe the Interlude controversy is not a simple matter of a lone Australian restaurant copying a few dishes from halfway around the world. Rather, it's one of the most significant issues facing the global culinary community today. The eGullet Society and its membership, including most of the world's foremost avant-garde chefs as well as a broad range of consumers and commentators, is a natural nexus for discussion of those issues. Of course, it is our hope that these discussions will influence the understanding of ethics in cuisine, and perhaps worldwide public policy in such matters.

Interested parties can judge for themselves the extent and severity of the emulation. We look forward to constructive, civil eG Forums comment and discussion. We have invited several chefs and restaurateurs to weigh in.

(Images from the Interlude web site appear as the first in each pair. The second in each of the first four pairs are from Alinea; the last is from the WD-50 web site.)

gallery_29805_2685_355.jpggallery_29805_2685_1729.jpg

gallery_29805_2685_9953.jpggallery_29805_2685_18208.jpg

gallery_29805_2685_1773.jpggallery_29805_2685_15967.jpg

gallery_29805_2685_1084.jpggallery_29805_2685_502.jpg

gallery_29805_2685_14923.jpggallery_29805_2685_31040.jpg

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You forgot this.

The problem goes much deeper than the scope of the current topic. The truth is, much of what I have seen at most restaurants has been done by food processors decades before. They make billions, we stay in poverty and fight in a saturated market. The Interlude situation is just one of countless examples examples how due to lack of funding, restaurants will continue to copy off each other. So I dont blame Chef Robin entirely, (although the evidence deserves a slap on the wrist).

Freakonomics is a great place to start.

My hope is to not turn this into a bashing subject rather one that tries to solve the many problems in restaurants. That may be another thread, but one that must not be ignored.


Edited by inventolux (log)

Future Food - our new television show airing 3/30 @ 9pm cst:

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/future-food/

Hope you enjoy the show! Homaro Cantu

Chef/Owner of Moto Restaurant

www.motorestaurant.com

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It costs nothing to credit a source.

At Schnack we try to give credit where do; we are of course making very simple food so there isn't any presentation level to it…. Which is a debate in of itself (is there only 1 way to present a great recipe?).

Our Beer Milk shake we created ourselves but then found ref. as far back as Steinbeck’s' Canary Row.

Our Mac N' Cheese is based on a published recipe in some weekend newspaper "magazine" from Home, and then redone to fit our needs.

We offer a Camellia Grill Chili Cheese Omelet and have always said so.


Bringing Tasty Food to World

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I agree, they absolutely should give credit.

I would also find it understandable if a chef asked an imitator to take a dish off his or her menu if, for instance, it was all the same ingredients but poorly executed in the original chef's opinion. If work is innovative it could be a real problem if you have inferior versions cropping up all over the place-- with or without credit.

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This was a PM I sent to an E-gullet moderator before I saw any visual reference. I was made aware of the thread after the pics were taken away. After seeing the photos I think the thing I take away the most is from the caviar dish. Even though it is copied, Alineas dish is bright green, the caviar onyx. That makes this discussion even deeper. Even with credit, that dish would be a poor representation of Alinea, perhaps mislead a future guest . That has nothing to do with being creative or stealing ideas, thats craftmanship.

Anyway, here are my thoughts from a few days ago.

3/17 - Atlanta

I'll start here.

Taking someones dish, every detail, and presenting it in the exact same way sounds unbelievable to me. I haven't seen these pics, but it sounds as if they are exactly the same. If that is the case, with no credit, it's messed up.

I believe using the new techniques, elements, chemicals, enzymes, equipment, is fair game. That is for the progression of the movement. I'm sure Wylie and the Activa folks want people to use their product. We use TG, many different types. We have even made shrimp noodles. However the flavors are different and so is the presentation. If asked about how we came up with it ? We say Wylie introduced it. Hey, WD is a bad ass, and we are big fans.

I have a dish right now called oysters "in" pearls. it is inspired by liquid nitrogen, but is also an homage to Thomas Keller. The dish is nothing like TKs signature. But it speaks to my personality and training. I'm sure you could say that we are copying Heston by using LN2. I don't think so. Again, if asked we tell the truth.

We have used vapors before. Grant gave us that idea. Again we would be honest about it, and would never use the same flavors.

It's OK to do a cover song, just give credit. At Blais we would often say, " in the style of " and now if we feel that we get too close we will call the dish a "remix"

To straight out copy, without giving credit, and know that... That must be a real creepy feeling.

However, there are times when we come up with something, and then find out someone is doing it. Of course there is usually major difference. But it is possible for 2 minds that are seperated to have similar ideas. I don't think 2 people could come up with the noodles and smoked yogurt though.

We are now working on Ille flotant. And it will float literally. I know Cantu is doing this in some form but probably not calling it in the style of lando Carlissien, ha!

I do however have a problem with the fact that traditional dishes don't get scrutinized. If I served a ripe peach on a plate " in it's natural state" there wouldn't be any controversy. At least here, I would be applauded for following Alice Waters. Theres nothing wrong with that, but how many restos serve roasted beets with goat cheese. Delicious, but that shit is stolen every day...

This is my perspective as it relates to me, A chef involved in "the movement" but under the radar.


Richard Blais

www.blaiscuisine.com

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You forgot this.

The problem goes much deeper than the scope of the current topic. The truth is, much of what I have seen at most restaurants has been done by food processors decades before.

It's funny you should mention that because we were just discussing that matter.

First let me say I am not, as far as I know, sympathetic with outright plagiarism, but I have the following questions because in some places I feel as though hairs are being split:

Where is the line drawn?

Should you only be obliged to credit if you duplicate another dish exactly?

Or should you be obliged to credit if you use a new technique known to be brought into

being by another?

If you do something that has been done by a corporation or giant food processor - should you be obliged to credit?

What about other people that work in your restaurant that come up with ideas for dishes or techniques but then move on

because they were stages or consultants or designers?

What if you adopt the readily identifiable concepts of a known working chef?

Should they be credited?


"At the gate, I said goodnight to the fortune teller... the carnival sign threw colored shadows on her face... but I could tell she was blushing." - B.McMahan

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You forgot this.

The problem goes much deeper than the scope of the current topic. The truth is, much of what I have seen at most restaurants has been done by food processors decades before.

It's funny you should mention that because we were just discussing that matter.

First let me say I am not, as far as I know, sympathetic with outright plagiarism, but I have the following questions because in some places I feel as though hairs are being split:

Where is the line drawn?

Should you only be obliged to credit if you duplicate another dish exactly?

Or should you be obliged to credit if you use a new technique known to be brought into

being by another?

If you do something that has been done by a corporation or giant food processor - should you be obliged to credit?

What about other people that work in your restaurant that come up with ideas for dishes or techniques but then move on

because they were stages or consultants or designers?

What if you adopt the readily identifiable concepts of a known working chef?

Should they be credited?

Yes, out of respect one should credit another party if they choose to make a carbon copy of a dish. I also agree with Fat Guy on his earlier post.

Your next question about where is the line drawn. That will take time and evolution to answer. I just dont know. If we take it all the way then lets just give Einstein credit for everything because we all use his laws of physics everytime we transfer energy to food.

The question about people who move on:

I have posted this before, everyone who works in my restaurant or wants to step into my kitchen (effective 6/05) has to sign an NDA. This includes all engineers, scientists etc. While they are employed they are entitled to an ESOP with Cantu Designs. Dependant on time spent and other factors once the program begins. The key is keeping the idea quiet until something is filed (which is basically keeping it in my head for a while). After something has been filed, then its up for discussion with the team and can be ammended by those under the NDA. Stages are no longer permitted for several reasons. One being why should one of my employees put in a lengthy commitment when someone else can simply walk in off the street and gain from the benefit of their hard work? Now someone can simply dine and probably just figure out most things that way. But the real interesting things that happen may never make it to the table and that isnt something we just hand over.

It will more harm than good to disclose the information prior to filing because it could become a nightmare to figure out who owns and creates what. Dont misinterpret this as not being open source, most of it is. Yet even with open source someone still owns the IP. This subject may be the focus of a large article in Fast Company next month that will be more broad and informative.

My goals are not to own every idea on the block, they are much different than that.

The link below is closer to what I want to achieve.

http://web.mit.edu/Invent/


Edited by inventolux (log)

Future Food - our new television show airing 3/30 @ 9pm cst:

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/future-food/

Hope you enjoy the show! Homaro Cantu

Chef/Owner of Moto Restaurant

www.motorestaurant.com

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This argument is one of intellectual property. I'm not a lawyer, but it would be interesting to hear the legal perspective on patents and copyrights as it applies to food.

This controversy arises from the shift from anonymous popular cuisine to "cocina del autor" or signed art. A very similar thing happened to painting, which was largely anonymous or produced collectively in workshops until the Renaissance. Even until very recent times, innovation was not necessarily the basis for artistic acclaim. Now, of course, art must be signed and original, and the artist is a privileged figure. Cooks are also changing status, and practices are changing.

Personally, I think it took more innovation to invent mayonnaise than the shrimp noodle, but we don't say that only the inventor has the exclusive right to use mayo. Even dishes of recent invention--say carpaccio or Caesar salad or buffalo wings--have disseminated into the general kitchen ether without an author's signature. Anyone who has worked on a cookbook of popular recipes knows what a nightmare it is to credit sources properly. Recipes have always been passed from cook to cook.

I have a long-standing habit of photographing my food for notes (without flash and with a low-noise camera), but lately some restaurants with pretentions to originality have started to object, probably because they fear their signature dishes will be copied. It will be interesting to see what the future holds as cooks try to climb from artisan to artist.

Edit: As a writer, I believe in crediting sources and am firmly against plagiarism. However, it's hard to blame a restaurant for doing what cooks and restaurants have always done-copy dishes, with minor changes.


Edited by Culinista (log)

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This argument is one of intellectual property.

That may be part of the argument, but plagiarism is an issue primarily of ethics. You can copy the works of Shakespeare, which are in the public domain, without violating any intellectual property laws, but if you claim them as your own you're a plagiarist.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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My point is that there used to not be such a thing as food plagiarism--it was not an issue since it was accepted practice. It is only in this most recent movement where cooks have wanted to be recognized as inventors that it has become an issue.

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.My goals are not to own every idea on the block, they are much different than that.

This is closer to what I want to achieve.

It's funny because the link in your post went to http://http:web.mit.edu/Invent/ - which because of the accidental doubling of http: takes me to the Microsoft home page... I hope that was an accident. :laugh:

Nice quick edit.

All joking aside (even though it doesn't look like it):

I just read an article where a judge blocked the sale of an album by Notorious B.I.G.

for a song that simply used PART of another song.

Is this the ultimate goal?

To own the rights to something so exclusively that you can stop others from doing it?


Edited by sizzleteeth (log)

"At the gate, I said goodnight to the fortune teller... the carnival sign threw colored shadows on her face... but I could tell she was blushing." - B.McMahan

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I can certainly, as a chef, understand the feelings of disappointment or annoyance that come with someone wholesale copying a dish that you've made. Especially when not only do they duplicate flavors, but also presentation. It's a natural reaction if you've put a lot of work into something.

On the other hand, as has been pointed out above, where does the line get drawn? How many restaurants throughout the world now offer a molten center chocolate cake, without attribution; something which does not go back a whole lot of time in culinary history? At what point does something pass from being a chef's signature to just part of the repertoire of cuisine? Does using a different herb in your foam really make your dish different on a fundamental level from anything being done by dozens of other chefs? Heck, when it comes down to it, isn't offering up something dusted with "cheese dust" just copying Kraft Mac & Cheese, with a different presentation?

I remember when I was in cooking school being taught "cutting edge" recipes that were blatantly lifted from local chefs, and presented to us as if they were very simply "the new way to cook". I know I, and many of my fellow students, went out into the world and began using those very recipes, and presentations, over and over (remember when we were all zigzagging 2-3 sauces across the plate, under the food?).

If the sincerest form of flattery is imitation, let them imitate. In reality, who cares if a restaurant in Melbourne offers up a dish from a restaurant in New York, and pretends it's their own? Is it really going to matter ten years from now? 5? 1? a month? If you do it well, and your own customers appreciate it, isn't that what's important?


SaltShaker - Casting a little flavor (and a few aspersions) on the world of food, drink, and life

Casa SaltShaker - Restaurant de Puertas Cerradas

Spanish-English-Spanish Food & Wine Dictionary - a must for any traveler!

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1. Although this isn't really on-topic, it's hard for me to understand why sizzleteeth or anyone else would be shocked by the notion that someone can't sample someone else's record without paying a licensing fee. (This isn't some judge going off on some crazy legal tangent; it's well-accepted law -- and it seems hard to argue with.)

2. The following is a non-rhetorical question (meaning that I don't have an anwser in mind and am not trying to make a point, but rather am curious about what people think): why are we so bothered about what this restaurant did, but accept the fact that certain successful dishes (like, say, Nobu's miso black cod) soon end up on virtually every comparable menu?


Edited by Sneakeater (log)

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There are a host of issues here: legal, ethical, economic, and personal integrity among them.

The stagiere tradition is long held, and by welcoming chefs into his kitchen at Alinea, Chef Achatz honors that tradition. The idea is to freely share information with others to promote the art and craft of cooking -- and move cuisine forward. Visiting chefs learn technique, and then go home to apply these ideas to their own style of cuisine.

The problem in this case is, for Alinea, not an economic one or a legal one. I don't personally believe that we have anything to gain economically, nor do I think we have any sort of legal case. Even if we had one, we would not pursue it.

What is at stake is another issue. A chef at Alinea said to me a few days ago, "The thing that bothers me the most, is that if a diner went to Interlude first and then dined at Alinea, that diner would think that we were copying him."

There is here a matter of intent and degree -- both gray areas. We have all seen the Arpege Egg at numerous restaurants, and usually it is credited. I don't mind that, it is a great dish. A few weeks ago, however, I had the arpege egg at a restaurant and the waiter told me it was the chef's "signature dish". Wow. I raised an eyebrow and the meal was sort of over before it began. As Fat Guy said, it would have cost nothing to call this an Arpege egg... and it would have enhanced not diminished the meal. We can only assume that most diners will not, however, know the difference. And that is the problem.

In this case, numerous dishes were copied more or less verbatim from several US restaurants. There were only pictures of a few (and there are 3 more pictured examples not shown here), but others were described identically -- 17 in all that I counted. And the intent was clearly to show these completed ideas as his own.... for enjoyment, profit, and the accolades from the press. Seeing how hard Chef G and the team at Alinea work to create these produced a very visceral response from me personally.

Interestingly, it is only because of the internet that this issue came to light. One can imagine a time not so long ago where this could have progressed undiscovered indefinitely. And perhaps that is why the "rules" seem to be changing a bit.

It would, however, be a loss for the industry if such a violation of unwritten ethical guidelines endangered the "open source" nature of the industry and the stage tradition. I for one don't believe it will -- if anything, the freedom of information presented on the internet will tend to have the opposite effect...

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as for the miso black cod, arpege egg, numerous keller dishes, etc...

those are usually but one of many dishes on a menu. Creating a menu comprised primarily of nearly exact copies of dishes from just one or two restaurants and presenting the ideas as your own crosses the line in my book.

I can name several restaurants that have dishes inspired by dishes at Alinea... but they do not define the restaurant or the chef. I don't have a problem with that -- that would fall under the "flattery" part of this topic.

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1.  Although this isn't really on-topic, it's hard for me to understand why sizzleteeth or anyone else would be shocked by the notion that someone can't sample someone else's record without paying a licensing fee.  (This isn't some judge going off on some crazy legal tangent; it's well-accepted law -- and it seems hard to argue with.)

Oh, I'm not shocked - I actually have delt with elements of that very issue quite a bit in the past - I understand why and to some degree agree.

It was an entry point to my question as to whether that is the goal... or not.

If it is the goal then how far is it taken?

For instance back in the Alinea Project (relevent posts linked):

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showto...ndpost&p=721515

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showto...ndpost&p=783818

There were discussions of an "Anti-Griddle" and Centrifuge being used in the kitchen - then someone pointed out that a stage at El Bulli had posted about those very things being used in that kitchen prior.

Yet those ideas and tools were obviously moved forward with - and as far as I can see no credit was applied.

Which goes back to my questions of where is the line drawn and what is the ultimate goal?

If El Bulli made use of an Anti-Griddle before Alinea - should they be able to stop them from using it and therefore stop any dish that comes into being using it?


"At the gate, I said goodnight to the fortune teller... the carnival sign threw colored shadows on her face... but I could tell she was blushing." - B.McMahan

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.My goals are not to own every idea on the block, they are much different than that.

This is closer to what I want to achieve.

It's funny because the link in your post went to http://http:web.mit.edu/Invent/ - which because of the accidental doubling of http: takes me to the Microsoft home page... I hope that was an accident. :laugh:

Nice quick edit.

All joking aside (even though it doesn't look like it):

I just read an article where a judge blocked the sale of an album by Notorious B.I.G.

for a song that simply used PART of another song.

Is this the ultimate goal?

To own the rights to something so exclusively that you can stop others from doing it?

My ultimate goal is to solve world hunger. In order to maintain the control of my technology that CAN and WILL do just that, I have to file protection and find a way to obtain capital to fund the project. If I dont have protection then someone else will own it and my goal will mean nothing.

Food printing technology for the first time in human history has the ability to produce food with most of the nutritional and caloric value quicker than agriculture can keep up with. Just imagine taking all of the food dropped off in third world countries and shrinking it down onto an edible sheet. Then all we need is water for survival. Nutritional aspects can be added or taken away. We can even deliver pharmaceuticals in this manner. The largest problem with combatting world hunger is communication. When we dropped off a bunch of peanut butter bars over Afghanistan, we saw an entire culture continue to suffer. Those refugees had no idea what they were recieving and why. So they simply didnt eat it. If we can obtain a flavor profile of a familiar ethnic dish then print text that explains (in their native language) that is they consume this sheet that has a picture of the native foodstuff, it will taste like the item and deliver the needed madical attention. All this with an indefinite shelf life and by pushing print. That deserves as much protection as I can give it. There are applications that range from space travel to a real solution for identity theft. This is just one of many applications pending.

Its no longer just cooking and creating interesting dishes anymore. Its educating my fellow colleagues about their potentional, finding diverse "food delivery systems", and getting everyone to work together, Chef Robin included. My ideas have been copied in the press and others have claimed it as theirs. I really dont care at this point. Its forgivable and its merely lack of information that holds us back. I am interested in that and not the blame game. Its well documented that losing teams are the ones that waste away from within. I look at everyone in this business as part of this team. Some of us just need to be brought up to speed.


Edited by inventolux (log)

Future Food - our new television show airing 3/30 @ 9pm cst:

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/future-food/

Hope you enjoy the show! Homaro Cantu

Chef/Owner of Moto Restaurant

www.motorestaurant.com

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This is way way off-topic, but the difference between sampling and this is that sampling is more like if I bought some food at Alinea and then took it to my own restaurant, reheated it, and sold it as part of one of my dishes.

What's happening here is more like George Harrison rewriting "He's So Fine" as "My Sweet Lord" without licensing (which he somehow mostly got away with).

Anyway, the whole analogy is of limited value because musical compositions are copyrighted and recipes aren't. As FG said above, it's a moral issue, not a legal one.

What I think is interesting is that people are saying that it's OK for everybody in town to have a single copied recipe on their menu (molten chocolate cake or miso black cod), but that it's wrong for a menu to be comprised mainly of "stolen" recipes. So the concern doesn't seem to be commercial misappropriation so much as misrepresentation. Is that accurate?


Edited by Sneakeater (log)

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1.  Although this isn't really on-topic, it's hard for me to understand why sizzleteeth or anyone else would be shocked by the notion that someone can't sample someone else's record without paying a licensing fee.  (This isn't some judge going off on some crazy legal tangent; it's well-accepted law -- and it seems hard to argue with.)

2.  The following is a non-rhetorical question (meaning that I don't have an anwser in mind and am not trying to make a point, but rather am curious about what people think):  why are we so bothered about what this restaurant did, but accept the fact that certain successful dishes (like, say, Nobu's miso black cod) soon end up on virtually every comparable menu?

Hey, they're having trouble getting people to stop cutting and pasting at Oxford. If the concept of plagiarism is too much for people with two or three A levels to A, the situation seems pretty hopeless. I was going to say that chefs should know when they are copying enough to need to credit someone, but probably a lot of the worst offenders sincerely don't think they are doing anything out of the way.

As for the black cod, that's a great dish but I somehow feel it's too simple of an idea and execution for plagiarism to apply.

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My ultimate goal is to solve world hunger.

If your ultimate goal is to solve world hunger - why do you run a restaurant with a $160 tasting menu?

Seems to me your efforts would come to fruition faster if you donated your time and effort to a full time endevour with a team funded by donations from public and private sources.


"At the gate, I said goodnight to the fortune teller... the carnival sign threw colored shadows on her face... but I could tell she was blushing." - B.McMahan

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This is an area where scientific research may show us something. It's not only required that you make a discovery to be credited as `the´ inventor. It's required that you document your findings in a recognized publication reviewed by your peers before anyone else does. If you're not the first in publishing, bad luck. There are some publications which may serve this purpose in the gastronomy field, see for instance Apicius in Spain.

By the way, this is quite similar to the approach which elBulli is following with their books where they document everything they create, giving credit where needed.


PedroEspinosa (aka pedro)

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My ultimate goal is to solve world hunger.

If your ultimate goal is to solve world hunger - why do you run a restaurant with a $160 tasting menu?

Seems to me your efforts would come to fruition faster if you donated your time and effort to a full time endevour with a team funded by donations from public and private sources.

The restaurant and Cantu Designs are two separate entities. It has taken a lot of R&D to get where the printing technology is today and that means my time. I believe in sticking with my passion for restaurants. So I combine the two. I can be far more effective in my current capacity than looking for angel investors or venture capilaists who will ulimately slow down the progress because its usually about a return for those types which means I lose control over the big goal. So it takes cashflow and I use the system mentioned above with licencing. If the current system of public and private funding worked, it would have already solved the problem. This system begins to get watered down with bureaucracy and scandals. Look at Katrina.

A 160.00 tasting menu can allow me more creativity than a 5 dollar hot dog stand.


Future Food - our new television show airing 3/30 @ 9pm cst:

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/future-food/

Hope you enjoy the show! Homaro Cantu

Chef/Owner of Moto Restaurant

www.motorestaurant.com

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The restaurant and Cantu Designs are two separate entities. It has taken a lot of R&D to get where the printing technology is today and that means my time. I believe in sticking with my passion for restaurants. So I combine the two. I can be far more effective in my current capacity than looking for angel investors or venture capilaists who will ulimately slow down the progress because its usually about a return for those types which means I lose control over the big goal. So it takes cashflow and I use the system mentioned above with licencing. If the current system of public and private funding worked, it would have already solved the problem. This system begins to get watered down with bureaucracy and scandals. Look at Katrina.

A 160.00 tasting menu can allow me more creativity than a 5 dollar hot dog stand.

Then I guess the better question is - what is the purpose for the licensing?

In such a matter - wouldn't it be more effective to contribute ideas to a pool and "give them away"

so that anyone who can augment it has the opportunity without having to pay anything or face the possibility of being "stopped" or "sued"?

Why is it important in the matter of solving world hunger that you protect your claim to the ideas?

And to keep it on topic - why is it important in Gastronomy to protect your claim to the ideas?


"At the gate, I said goodnight to the fortune teller... the carnival sign threw colored shadows on her face... but I could tell she was blushing." - B.McMahan

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The restaurant and Cantu Designs are two separate entities. It has taken a lot of R&D to get where the printing technology is today and that means my time. I believe in sticking with my passion for restaurants. So I combine the two. I can be far more effective in my current capacity than looking for angel investors or venture capilaists who will ulimately slow down the progress because its usually about a return for those types which means I lose control over the big goal. So it takes cashflow and I use the system mentioned above with licencing. If the current system of public and private funding worked, it would have already solved the problem. This system begins to get watered down with bureaucracy and scandals. Look at Katrina.

A 160.00 tasting menu can allow me more creativity than a 5 dollar hot dog stand.

Then I guess the better question is - what is the purpose for the licensing?

In such a matter - wouldn't it be more effective to contribute ideas to a pool and "give them away"

so that anyone who can augment it has the opportunity without having to pay anything or face the possibility of being "stopped" or "sued"?

Why is it important in the matter of solving world hunger that you protect your claim to the ideas?

And to keep it on topic - why is it important in Gastronomy to protect your claim to the ideas?

Licencing enables someone to recieve compensation for their ideas.

When an entity licences something to another party then it is that recieving party that then decides to sue or not. Basically, not me. Could be NASA suing someone or a large corporation. I stay out of the courtroom. Its not my specialty.

Because if I dont, then some other company or entity may obtain rights to the technology and use it for something else. Maybe for another ENRON. I am interested in the control and how it is used.

The whole point of me explaining the broadness of this printed food is to get chefs to think that maybe one of their ideas can solve a massive problem. They should be rewarded for it.


Edited by inventolux (log)

Future Food - our new television show airing 3/30 @ 9pm cst:

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/future-food/

Hope you enjoy the show! Homaro Cantu

Chef/Owner of Moto Restaurant

www.motorestaurant.com

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      Chef Grant processing the broccoli

      The stems are placed in a polyethylene bag, along with butter, salt and granulated cane juice. The bag is sealed with a cryovac machine

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      Broccoli stems after cooking
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      Grant's mise...not your ordinary cutting board

      Poached Broccoli Stem and Crisp Bread cooking

      Ready for plating

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      Smoked Coho roe has arrived via Fed-Ex, courtesy of Steve Stallard

      Chef Grant devises a plating scheme for the Poached Broccoli Stem while Curtis looks on

      Chef Grant ponders one potential plating of the dish. He called this incarnation 'predictable' and started over.

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      A third plating configuration for Poached Broccoli Stems; this one featuring the packets of roe wrapped in ultra thin sheets of grapefruit pulp cells
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      Caramel blob awaiting formation. Chef Curtis kept this pliable by leaving it in a low oven throughout the day

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      Chef John peels grapes while still on their stems

      Peeled grapes on their stems with peanut butter coating

      Chef Grant studies the completed PB&J in the Crucial Detail designed piece

      PB&J
      Often, creative impulses come by way of Alinea’s special purveyors. “Terra Spice’s support over the past couple of years has been unprecedented, and it has accelerated with the start of the food lab,” says Grant. “It is great to have relationships with people that think like we do, it can make the creative process so much easier. Often Phil, our contact at Terra, would come into the kitchen at Trio and encourage us to try and stump him on obscure ingredients. We always lost, but not from lack of trying. He even brought in two live chufa plants into the kitchen one day.” The relationship has developed and Terra team has really made an effort to not only search out products that the chefs ask for but also keep an eye out for new ingredients and innovations. In August, Phil brought by some samples of products that he thought the Alinea team might be interested in trying.

      Phil of Terra Spice showing the team some samples

      Coconut powder and other samples
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      The rum-spiked coconut water being added to the powders
      At the end of the day, the Chefs assess their overall effort as having gone “fairly well.” It’s a mixed bag of results. Clearly, the fact that things have not gone perfectly on Day 1 has not dampened anyone’s spirits. The team has purposely attempted dishes of varying degrees of difficultly in order to maximize their productivity. Says Grant, “Making a bubble of caramel filled with powder…I have devoted the better part of fifteen years to this craft, I have trained with the best chefs alive. I have a good grasp of known technique. The lab's purpose is to create technique based on our vision. Sometimes we will succeed, and sometimes we will fail, but trying is what make us who we are." The team's measured evaluations of their day’s work reflect that philosophy.
      According to Chef Grant, “The purpose of the lab is to create the un-creatable. I know the level at which we can cook. I know the level of technique we already possess. What I am interested in is what we don't know...making a daydream reality.” With little more than 100 days on the calendar between now and Alinea’s opening, the Chef and his team will have their work cut out for them.
      =R=
      A special thanks to eGullet member yellow truffle, who contributed greatly to this piece
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