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When money and fame are involved, it’s pretty well a given that the worst of humankind comes to the fore. So, my suspicion is that Wickens hasn't (re)created the Interlude menu to pay homage to WD50 or any others. It's far more plausible that he did it because he gambled that those of us in Melbourne wouldn't ever connect the dots… he’d get the fame and the press and accolades (which he has: "Best New Talent" in GourmetTraveler, one of Oz leading mainstream food publications, last year) … which in turn leads to more bookings… and the whole party continues.

Unless you get caught out.

The other interesting aspect to the controversy, as someone alluded to above, is the economics of morality.

Although he may well be concerned about his professional standing and credentials now, both in Australia and around the world, it is extremely doubtful that chefrobin is concerned about the monetary impact of this rarefied controversy. Most of his potential diners aren’t on these boards, and even if they are, they probably would still book a table, pay the bill, enjoy the night out … quite possibly even more now that there’s a frisson of scandal wafting up from the shrimp noodles. I seriously doubt that I’ll refrain from booking a table there because of this. The food is supposedly superb… although I may well think about giving someone else in town a fair go, whereas I wouldn’t have thought twice before.

Regardless, it might pay for him to think more long term. The professional fallout from his menu-ripoffs will almost certainly impact and call into question his "best talent" status in the industry and press… leading to fewer coverboy profiles, as the food press won’t want to be seen favouring a fraud (even if he’s only been a fraction "fraudulent", if at all).

And then the whole party starts winding down. In the long run, it might have paid to push a bit harder and devise your own dishes.

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He's copying our dishes EXACTLY, using OUR recipes, plating them the SAME way! What is right about that?

Wylie

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Back in 1985, two of the most idiosyncratic personalities of gastronomy in Spain, Stephane Guerin and Arturo Pardos opened in Madrid the restaurant La Gastroteca de Stéphane y Arturo. A few months after the opening, they read the news from France: there were some very important chefs who were truly outraged and protested at what they considered an unbearable abuse: there were some Japanese chefs who were shamelessly copying their signature dishes, and adding insult to injury, didn't credit the original authors. The indignant French chefs wondered if the time of getting some copyright fees hasn't come.

Stephane and Arturo soon realized that they were nothing more than humble copyists and that the claims made by the French chefs were legitimate. So, they began to pay royalties to eight great French chefs as a sign of respect and compensation, something they called "Le Copyright des Fourneaux" (the stoves Copyright). Each month, they sent to the Eights the 1.25% of the price of the copied dish multiplied by the number of sold dishes in the given month. Soon after, replies began to arrive:

Michel Guerard: " I do appreciate very much the decision you've made in what it concerns to me, regarding the compensation of a certain kind of author rights, but I can't accept it. I'm deeply touched by your letter and your great honesty. PS: you'll receive, by return of post, a money order of 55.40F"

Pierre Troisgros: "Your honesty honors you and we can't but congratulate you for the diligences you've made for us. Nonetheless, we don't believe necessary to continue with them in the future, because annoying formalities would derive for very little. All in all, to avoid complications returning back your money, we have splitted it among the cooks."

Roger Verge: "The method you're proposing is extremely nice, but in order of being truly applicable and not getting me engaged in vain, it would require a study carried out by a lawyer, something that would cost far more than the profits I could make. Unless, of course, you find a method more seductive to propose."

Alain Senderens: "We are very proud that in your menu appears the name of the creator of the dishes, but we don't ask any royalties for the sales. I enclose a return check."

Jacques Maximin didn't answer.

Andre Daguin, after consulting a handful of specialists, said that "that" was impossible. He invited them to a feast at his Hotel de France instead.

On January 15 1987, they received a letter in his own hand from the Empereur himself: "Dear Madam, dear Sir: I appreciate your kindness, but I'd rather ask you to save the royalties to buy me a paella when I visit Madrid, because I don't know how to cook it. During this nice impasse, I send you all my sympathy and best wishes for 1987. Paul Bocuse PS: I enclose you a reimbursement check.

And Arturo Pardos, in his book El Ocaso de las Paellas (The Paellas Sunset) concludes: "None of the big shots accepted the royalties: were they afraid of the responsibility? should we infere, therefore, that they copied too? And if they copy or copied, why are they offended when they are copied"

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I'd like to bring a question in from a customer's point of view if I might...If I was paying however much (and I'm sure it's a pretty penny) to go to this restaurant, I expect a certain quality of food there, and part of that includes it being unique. If I want something I've heard of, I won't go to the restaurant with the big name chef who offers a certain dining experience, I'll go to the French bistro on the corner or the steakhouse or wherever. As a customer at one of these high-end places, I'd hope I'm getting my money's worth, and at a restaurant like this part of that includes being served unique food and being told truthfully if something was taken from somewhere else.

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Back in 1985, two of the most idiosyncratic personalities of gastronomy in Spain, Stephane Guerin and Arturo Pardos opened in Madrid the restaurant La  Gastroteca de Stéphane y Arturo. A few months after the opening, they read the news from France: there were some very important chefs who were truly outraged and protested at what they considered an unbearable abuse: there were some Japanese chefs who were shamelessly copying their signature dishes, and adding insult to injury, didn't credit the original authors. The indignant French chefs wondered if the time of getting some copyright fees hasn't come.

Stephane and Arturo soon realized that they were nothing more than humble copyists and that the claims made by the French chefs were legitimate. So, they began to pay royalties to eight great French chefs as a sign of respect and compensation, something they called "Le Copyright des Fourneaux" (the stoves Copyright). Each month, they sent to the Eights the 1.25% of the price of the copied dish multiplied by the number of sold dishes in the given month. Soon after, replies began to arrive:

Michel Guerard: " I do appreciate very much the decision you've made in what it concerns to me, regarding the compensation of a certain kind of author rights, but I can't accept it. I'm deeply touched by your letter and your great honesty. PS: you'll receive, by return of post, a money order of 55.40F"

Pierre Troisgros: "Your honesty honors you and we can't but congratulate you for the diligences you've made for us. Nonetheless, we don't believe necessary to continue with them in the future, because annoying formalities would derive for very little. All in all, to avoid complications returning back your money, we have splitted it among the cooks."

Roger Verge: "The method you're proposing is extremely nice, but in order of being truly applicable and not getting me engaged in vain, it would require a study carried out by a lawyer, something that would cost far more than the profits I could make. Unless, of course, you find a method more seductive to propose."

Alain Senderens: "We are very proud that in your menu appears the name of the creator of the dishes, but we don't ask any royalties for the sales. I enclose a return check."

Jacques Maximin didn't answer.

Andre Daguin, after consulting a handful of specialists,  said that "that" was impossible. He invited them to a feast at his Hotel de France instead.

On January 15 1987, they received a letter in his own hand from the Empereur himself: "Dear Madam, dear Sir: I appreciate your kindness, but I'd rather ask you to save the royalties to buy me a paella when I visit Madrid, because I don't know how to cook it.  During this nice impasse, I send you all my sympathy and best wishes for 1987. Paul Bocuse PS: I enclose you a reimbursement check.

And Arturo Pardos, in his book El Ocaso de las Paellas concludes: "None of the big shots accepted the royalties: were they afraid of the responsibility? should we infere, therefore, that they copied too? And if they copy or copied. why are they offended when they are copied"

This is very instructive, Pedro, but Guerin and Pardos did the right thing in acknowledging their sources and influences. They gave credit where it was due. That the French chefs responded the way they did was only appropropriate as they received what they really wanted - the recognition.

Is anyone here really defending the practice that jumpstarted this discussion? It would be one thing if the copieed dishes at least bore acknowledgements of the fact that they were copies of very specific dishes. Degree of influence is a gray area. Direct copying with attribution and permission is clearly ok, direct copying but without permission is gray zone that probably wouldn't win a chef accolades, but would probably fall in the morally acceptable range, but direct copying in a plagiaristic fashion? Where can there be an argument here? I would have been thrown out of College if I did that.

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John, you're right, of course. Nonetheless, I thought it was a relevant example to illustrate that some people, twenty years ago, tried to credit their sources and went a step beyond that and the answer they received.

That said, I have a hard time finding differences between the "direct copying without permission" and "copying in a plagiaristic form." Less than two months ago, I was served in a recently opened NY avant-garde restaurant a dish directly coming from elBulli 2004 without any credit given. Who knows how this dish appeared in the restaurant? Since the recipe is now in the public domain through elBulli books, is it right not to credit the source?

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Degree of influence is a gray area. Direct copying with attribution and permission is clearly ok, direct copying but without permission is gray zone that probably wouldn't win a chef accolades, but would probably fall in the morally acceptable range, but direct copying in a plagiaristic fashion? Where can there be an argument here? I would have been thrown out of College if I did that.

I don't think anyone is defending plagiarism.

I can't speak for anyone else but I'm personally asking where does plagiarism begin?

And if you are guilty of plaigiarism at any level, at any line - do you have any place being upset

if you are plagiarized.

That is also what I took from the last line of Pedro's post.

The whole, "he who is without sin cast the first stone" deal.

And for damn sure - make sure you don't "live in a glass house".

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but direct copying in a plagiaristic fashion? Where can there be an argument here? I would have been thrown out of College if I did that.

I think to most folks familiar with the academic literature on plagiarism, this will seem an open and shut case. The only possible open issue I can find here revolves around the specific standards -- if any -- used in the culinary world. A given discipline or art does have some ability to set standards for itself. But while it is important to examine those standards, no set of standards can cover for an outright misrepresentation of another person's ideas as one's own.

I think failing to take this incident seriously would be a failure to take the culinary arts seriously. The culinary inferiority complex needs to end. The relevant practitioners need to acknowledge that cuisine can be art -- that it can represent the height of the human spirit and intellect -- before there can be serious talk of standards.

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Degree of influence is a gray area. Direct copying with attribution and permission is clearly ok, direct copying but without permission is gray zone that probably wouldn't win a chef accolades, but would probably fall in the morally acceptable range, but direct copying in a plagiaristic fashion? Where can there be an argument here? I would have been thrown out of College if I did that.

I don't think anyone is defending plagiarism.

I can't speak for anyone else but I'm personally asking where does plagiarism begin?

And if you are guilty of plaigiarism at any level, at any line - do you have any place being upset

if you are plagiarized.

That is also what I took from the last line of Pedro's post.

The whole, "he who is without sin cast the first stone" deal.

And for damn sure - make sure you don't "live in a glass house".

I would say that the whole stagiere tradition is one that not only tolerates passing on of ideas and style but downright encourages it. It does not encourage theft. If one takes a technique from someone and uses it in an original way achieving a novel result that is not plagiarism IMO. That is creativity. If one takes the same thing, delivers it and calls it one's own that is plagiarism.

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but direct copying in a plagiaristic fashion? Where can there be an argument here? I would have been thrown out of College if I did that.

I think to most folks familiar with the academic literature on plagiarism, this will seem an open and shut case. The only possible open issue I can find here revolves around the specific standards -- if any -- used in the culinary world. A given discipline or art does have some ability to set standards for itself. But while it is important to examine those standards, no set of standards can cover for an outright misrepresentation of another person's ideas as one's own.

I think failing to take this incident seriously would be a failure to take the culinary arts seriously. The culinary inferiority complex needs to end. The relevant practitioners need to acknowledge that cuisine can be art -- that it can represent the height of the human spirit and intellect -- before there can be serious talk of standards.

I fully agree with this statement. It is important to remember that in this case the question is not a legal one, but one of ethics and respect and yes respect not just for the specific chefs involved (although that is an issue as well) but for the culinary arts in general.

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The conversation so far has been focused on whether great chefs should be copied and my response is that of course they should because that is a celebration of their greatness. If I wanted to, I could go out tomorrow and buy the French Laundry Cookbook or the El Bulli cookbook and presumably (skill not withstanding) cook the food of Thomas Keller and Ferran Adria. Why is this? Because those chefs have made it a point to dissemenate their work and spread their influence as good chefs should. I respect inventolux in saying that certain processes involved in making the food can and maybe should be patented but the simple flavour combinations and techniques are things that not only should be copied but almost impossible to prevent copying.

What dissapointed me about the entire affair is not that good chefs shouldn't be copied, but that good chefs shouldn't be copying. To duplicate a dish exactly betrays a profound lack of commitment to creativity and also a violation of the implied expectations of the diner. It's a disservice to those to eat and also to the chef himself.

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As a bright young thing poised in a cutting edge, fast paced New York kitchen, I have very little understanding of how a Chef could plagerize from another chef. The amount of time and energy it must have taken for Robin to move from place to place staging in some of the best kitchens must have been staggering. I'd imagine that none of these dishes are easy to recreate and that he must have spent a great deal of time researching them. I personally know how frustrating it is to come up short creatively, even more so when you have the best ingredients at hand yet, I've earned the respect of my Chef and could never imagine losing it by representing his ideas as my own.

I'm quite surprised that someone with enough discipline to cook on such a high level, has shown them self to have so little self -control when it comes to kichen morals. Many professions have unwritten codes, and in my experiance Kitchens are highly notable for the rules of conduct, fair play and loyalty. Though these rules are often warped and weird (I could make someone I don't like look like a complete idiot and call them names openly, but not, say sabotage their mis en place..) It seems most people understand these rules and comply to them. The "bad seeds" always seem to get weeded out.

Food Plagerism in definition is a slippery slope, in that without replication, imitation and mimcry the is very little innovation. Unattributed work is just that. No cods, moltens, or buts.

"I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material … but I know it when I see it" -Potter Stewart

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He's copying our dishes EXACTLY, using OUR recipes, plating them the SAME way! What is right about that?

Wylie

I could not agree more (as you may have seen by my comments in the earlier threads on this subject).

I'm not such a big believer that this needs massive wide and varied discussion.

IMHO ethics should play a part here.

IMHO it's plain and simply wrong.

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Plagiarism was a topic that came up around our house often when I was growing up, not because I lived in a commune of plagiarists but because my father was considered one of the leading commentators on the subject.

If you do plagiarism research, it only takes about ten seconds to stumble across a citation to "Plagiary," by Peter Shaw, in the American Scholar (1982). One of his main contentions is that plagiarism has a psychological dimension -- that it is similar to kleptomania in that the plagiarist and the kleptomaniac steal when they don't have to.

There's little doubt in my mind that the chef who turned out the Alinea and WD-50 copies depicted in the Daily Gullet piece above could just have easily, or with a minimum of additional effort, created dishes that were not such exact copies. And publishing those copies online for all the world to see? It strikes me as a cry for help. To quote my late father, this time writing in Illinois Issues in 1991:

Four psychologies prove to be at play in most cases of plagiarism. First, there is that of the plagiarist, who steals when he does not have to and inexplicably strews obvious clues to his wrongdoing. Second, there is the psychology of his accusers, whose judgment can be clouded so that some of their accusations turn out to be unconvincing. Third, there are those who must judge the case. They tend to resent the accusers for placing them in an uncomfortable situation. (For example, one of the Lincoln scholars suggested that one of Oates' accusers might have acted out of "malice.") Fourth, and last, there is the psychology of the general public. As Edgar Allan Poe observed, "when a plagiarism is detected, it generally happens that the public sympathy is with the plagiarist."
(emphasis added)

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Plagiarism was a topic that came up around our house often when I was growing up, not because I lived in a commune of plagiarists but because my father was considered one of the leading commentators on the subject.

If you do plagiarism research, it only takes about ten seconds to stumble across a citation to "Plagiary," by Peter Shaw, in the American Scholar (1982). One of his main contentions is that plagiarism has a psychological dimension -- that it is similar to kleptomania in that the plagiarist and the kleptomaniac steal when they don't have to.

There's little doubt in my mind that the chef who turned out the Alinea and WD-50 copies depicted in the Daily Gullet piece above could just have easily, or with a minimum of additional effort, created dishes that were not such exact copies. And publishing those copies online for all the world to see? It strikes me as a cry for help. To quote my late father, this time writing in Illinois Issues in 1991:

Four psychologies prove to be at play in most cases of plagiarism. First, there is that of the plagiarist, who steals when he does not have to and inexplicably strews obvious clues to his wrongdoing. Second, there is the psychology of his accusers, whose judgment can be clouded so that some of their accusations turn out to be unconvincing. Third, there are those who must judge the case. They tend to resent the accusers for placing them in an uncomfortable situation. (For example, one of the Lincoln scholars suggested that one of Oates' accusers might have acted out of "malice.") Fourth, and last, there is the psychology of the general public. As Edgar Allan Poe observed, "when a plagiarism is detected, it generally happens that the public sympathy is with the plagiarist."
(emphasis added)

Very interesting, Steven, particularly

"when a plagiarism is detected, it generally happens that the public sympathy is with the plagiarist.
.

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If you do plagiarism research, it only takes about ten seconds to stumble across a citation to "Plagiary," by Peter Shaw, in the American Scholar (1982). One of his main contentions is that plagiarism has a psychological dimension -- that it is similar to kleptomania in that the plagiarist and the kleptomaniac steal when they don't have to.

Do you think that in the last 20+ years the dynamics of plagiarism have changed? That theory makes sense on a lot of levels to me, at least with regard to literature and scholarship. But in 1982, I'm guessing most plagiarists knew they were doing something wrong. In today's cut-and-paste culture, it really seems as if a lot of people do not have that understanding.

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Plagiarism was a topic that came up around our house often when I was growing up, not because I lived in a commune of plagiarists but because my father was considered one of the leading commentators on the subject.

If you do plagiarism research, it only takes about ten seconds to stumble across a citation to "Plagiary," by Peter Shaw, in the American Scholar (1982). One of his main contentions is that plagiarism has a psychological dimension -- that it is similar to kleptomania in that the plagiarist and the kleptomaniac steal when they don't have to.

There's little doubt in my mind that the chef who turned out the Alinea and WD-50 copies depicted in the Daily Gullet piece above could just have easily, or with a minimum of additional effort, created dishes that were not such exact copies. And publishing those copies online for all the world to see? It strikes me as a cry for help. To quote my late father, this time writing in Illinois Issues in 1991:

Four psychologies prove to be at play in most cases of plagiarism. First, there is that of the plagiarist, who steals when he does not have to and inexplicably strews obvious clues to his wrongdoing. Second, there is the psychology of his accusers, whose judgment can be clouded so that some of their accusations turn out to be unconvincing. Third, there are those who must judge the case. They tend to resent the accusers for placing them in an uncomfortable situation. (For example, one of the Lincoln scholars suggested that one of Oates' accusers might have acted out of "malice.") Fourth, and last, there is the psychology of the general public. As Edgar Allan Poe observed, "when a plagiarism is detected, it generally happens that the public sympathy is with the plagiarist."
(emphasis added)

Your pop was exactly right. The DNA Blueprint: Clifford Irving meets Elmyr de Hory meets Winona Rider.

While the ubiquity of crabcakes and wings, chili squid and (ouch!) short-ribs goes unremarked, (for all the usual reasons) it's always the forgery of elitist or aspirational art that attracts attention.

EGullet has just become the defacto international food copyright tribunal. Even if the perp does attribute, after all, any homage menu -- say, containing 17 'in the style ofs' -- might look rather foolish: The prefixes would destroy the prix fixe.

The world became much smaller today.


Edited by jamiemaw (log)

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I think the most horrifying part about the whole situation for me is that he actually staged at Alinea. I believe he also staged at FL and Per Se, as well...is that right? I suppose he was afraid to put any of Keller's dishes on his menu because they are so well-known?

I should add that Chef G received a lengthy apology from Chef Wickens. In Alinea's book, this incident is closed.

Well, I for one just can't resist saying how provocative I found this statement. I'm extremely interested in the tenor of this apology, and whether Chef Wickens actually didn't see the error of his ways until it was pointed out to him, or rather that he didn't think he'd be found out, and now he's sorry.

Since Chef Wickens hasn't responded recently, I wonder if we could convince him to respond now? Obviously Interlude has given permission for their photos to be used in the Daily Gullet piece. Robin, what do you say?

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EGullet has just become the defacto international food copyright tribunal. Even if the perp does attribute, after all, any homage menu -- say, containing 17 'in the style ofs' -- might look rather foolish: The prefixes would destroy the prix fixe.

I'm not sure that this necessarily follows the rest of your statement. I would think that if a chef was able to copy 17 or so different styles, do them well and accurately attribute them in a homage fashion, that in itself might be quite an original and worthwhile feat.

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EGullet has just become the defacto international food copyright tribunal. Even if the perp does attribute, after all, any homage menu -- say, containing 17 'in the style ofs' -- might look rather foolish: The prefixes would destroy the prix fixe.

I'm not sure that this necessarily follows the rest of your statement. I would think that if a chef was able to copy 17 or so different styles, do them well and accurately attribute them in a homage fashion, that in itself might be quite an original and worthwhile feat.

Had that been the point, John, I'd give it a strong perhaps. :biggrin: Greatest Hits menus are becoming as commonplace as ubiquity itself - but they are easy to dance to.


Edited by jamiemaw (log)

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Obviously Interlude has given permission for their photos to be used in the Daily Gullet piece.

To be clear, the Daily Gullet, in an exercise of the fair use doctrine governing commentary, opinion and reporting, chose to print the photographs without permission from Interlude. Although the eGullet Society is dedicated to protecting intellectual property, the team felt that its journalistic obligations to bring the information to light were paramount in this instance, especially given the nature of the underlying issues.

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EGullet has just become the defacto international food copyright tribunal. Even if the perp does attribute, after all, any homage menu -- say, containing 17 'in the style ofs' -- might look rather foolish: The prefixes would destroy the prix fixe.

I'm not sure that this necessarily follows the rest of your statement. I would think that if a chef was able to copy 17 or so different styles, do them well and accurately attribute them in a homage fashion, that in itself might be quite an original and worthwhile feat.

Had that been the point, John, I'd give it a strong perhaps. :biggrin: Greatest Hits menus are becoming as commonplace as ubiquity itself - but they are easy to dance to.

The intriguing thing would be the ability to copy well 17 disparate styles at the same time

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Do you think that in the last 20+ years the dynamics of plagiarism have changed? That theory makes sense on a lot of levels to me, at least with regard to literature and scholarship. But in 1982, I'm guessing most plagiarists knew they were doing something wrong. In today's cut-and-paste culture, it really seems as if a lot of people do not have that understanding.

You're probably right, but ultimately I don't think we should care whether people have the understanding. It's still wrong.

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EGullet has just become the defacto international food copyright tribunal. Even if the perp does attribute, after all, any homage menu -- say, containing 17 'in the style ofs' -- might look rather foolish: The prefixes would destroy the prix fixe.

I'm not sure that this necessarily follows the rest of your statement. I would think that if a chef was able to copy 17 or so different styles, do them well and accurately attribute them in a homage fashion, that in itself might be quite an original and worthwhile feat.

Had that been the point, John, I'd give it a strong perhaps. :biggrin: Greatest Hits menus are becoming as commonplace as ubiquity itself - but they are easy to dance to.

The intriguing thing would be the ability to copy well 17 disparate styles at the same time

I don't disagree, John. In fact I think you're on to something. After all, we're busy, travel is expensive and the original might not always be close at hand, per se.

On a lighter note, Rich Little is a Great Canadian.


Edited by jamiemaw (log)

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It has become quite a tribunal hasn't it?

As much as I don't agree with exactly what has transpired in the form of copying the dishes, I am sorry for these people that this has happened to them - because they are being made an example of only because they were caught - even though this kind of thing is common - to whatever extent.

What I would like to see from the other chefs in question is a black and white declaration in this forum, that they are obviously monitoring, that in their current work or in any of the work that has brought them to where they are - they have never plagiarized, never used something they knew to exist previously without crediting the proper source and never passed off something they knew to be a product of the work of another as their own - to whatever extent - to whatever degree.

Because in my opinion - if you cannot be measured by your own stick - then any debate on the subject as it pertains to you is worthless and the items that started this entire thread are moot in that context.

I don't have any expectation that that is going to happen - and will be extremely happy to see it if it does.

Your answer will speak volumes, your lack of answer will speak volumes, as would the removal of this post.

And let Karma treat you (and me) accordingly.


Edited by sizzleteeth (log)

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      Hey there, i hope to find some help in the wise hands of yours. after some research i am still having some problems concerning glazing:
       
      For a party i would like to make some cubes and rounded savoury cakes and foams out of silicone forms that have a ready bottom and a colour glazing. 
      Somehow i just do not manage to find a steady glazing ( one that does not run ) and is for texture reasons preferably hard or crisp that does not include sugar or syrup.
       
      can you help me or lead my way in a certain direction?
       
      thanks very much!
    • By KennethT
      Is there a discussion in the book about the purpose of adding ascorbic acid?  I just saw the contest #2 in which the recipe called for it.  I'm curious because a woman I know on the internet used to work in a bakery in Vietnam, and said that to get similar results to the banh mi there, you need to add ascorbic acid.  Does it act as a gluten relaxer?  Traditional banh mi have a very tender and crisp crust, and a very light and tender, relatively closed crumb.
    • By Tuber magnatum
      Having experienced the "Edible Balloon" dessert at Alinea, I have been on a quest to try this at home.  Only recently was I able to find purportedly a recipe:
      https://www.buzzfeed.com/raypajar1/these-edible-helium-balloons-are-dessert-from-the-future?utm_term=.ut6r3PnMk#.acGNVWmd6 the video of which is found below.
       
      I tried this and probably no surprise, it failed.  The bubble collapsed / popped with only a little distension.   I wasn't sure if the problem was that a "secret" ingredient (e.g. some kind of surfactant to stabilise the bubble or using a different kind of sugar) was missing.  Or maybe I didn't allow the mix to come to correct temperature etc.  Elsewhere I thought I had read that the original recipe was in effect some kind of taffy.  Has anyone else had success, or do any candy makers /modernist chefs, have suggestions they are willing to share?
       
       
    • By Dave the Cook
      Modernist Bread is out now, but maybe you haven't taken the plunge. Here's your chance to win your own copy, courtesy of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Cooking Lab has provided us with a couple of other prizes that will go to a second and third winner: second place will win an autographed poster and calendar, and third place will receive an autographed poster. They are also providing an autographed bookplate for the first place winner's copy of Modernist Bread. The rules are simple: we are going to post recipes from the book that the team at The Cooking Lab has graciously provided for this purpose. To enter into the contest, you need to bake one or more of these recipes and post about them in the official contest topics by the end of November 2017. Winners will be drawn at random from those posting pictures and descriptions of their completed loaves. Complete rules and other details can be found here.
       
      For part two, we're featuring another cornerstone recipe from the book: Direct Country-Style Bread. The only leavener here is instant yeast, so production time is considerably shortened. The relative lack of flavor compared to long-proofed doughs is offset by the use of whole grains. Courtesy of The Cooking Lab, here's that recipe (extracted from the book and reformatted for purposes of this contest):
       




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