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Pete Wells explores the mysterious world of kitchen spies, copycat chefs and copyright lawyers who might, one day soon, change the way we eat. -- Pete Wells in Food&Wine.

Cantu is going to great lengths to protect his intellecutal property. EGullet gets significant mention in Pete Wells' article. First about a charge of plagiarism thread and then about Steven Shaw's hopes to convene a summit meeting with some of the smartest people in the food world to hammer out a workable model for copyrighting food.

Yesterday (Oct. 10) posting on her megnut.com, Meg Hourihan said Shaw's suggestions sounded "down-right frightening." This morning, Tony Bourdain had another take on the matter. He said "Shaw's comments reflect a shocking degree of self-importance and detachment from the real world of cooking."

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Not a direct response to that article, but it reminds me: A group of chefs are interviewed in the November issue of Chicago Magazine, and they discuss the copying incident which led to the discussion here. I thought some of the comments were interesting. Achatz considered it "stealing" but said he did not take action because "Nowadays it's self-policing with the Internet and the popularity of food blogs." Trotter said, "These people don't really have the wherewithal to sustain something in the long run." Achatz said it hasn't affected his policy on visitors in his kitchen; Trotter said his policy has tightened up. Rick Bayless said that by the time people copy him, he's moved on to something else anyway.

The article contains short discussions of other controversial topics such as the star system in reviews and the foie gras ban. (Actually Trotter is the only one who speaks at length on the ban-- against it, by the way-- and all the others apparently indicate agreement with him.)

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  • 2 months later...
A couple of months late, but never the less of interest to me.Here is my question, I think Mr. Shaw or Bux may answer this inelligently.

Food pictures on Dining Room Menues. ( You do know which type of places I refer to ).

Sorry, I think this got posted before I was finished.

Anyway, Are these pictures copyrighted? And if so, will and must the establishment adhere to the photo on the menu (the food pictured/depicted) when it gets served to the customer ?

Just to be highly critical, I have sent food back to the kitchen, asking to please serve it the way I saw it on the menu, and for that reason only, ordered it.

Now, a slightly different subject, though pictures also.

Supermarket flyers with food pictures. I am referring to only foods shown fully cooked/perpared/ready to eat, but actually advertising the base raw product for sale.

Example : A beautyfully "Standing Rib Roast" , perfectly roasted to a medium rare, lusciously moist looking, hardly any fat (deckel off), depicting definitely the shorter end of a USDA Meatbuyers Guide product 112A. The so advertised product "Angus Beef Rib Roast" $......, in the case, cryowrapped and in no way will this piece, when cooked, look anyway near the roast that is depicted in the flyer.

Do we have any copyright issues ( No statement on the flyer where the pictures come from )

or simply 'false advertising' ?

Peter
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  • 10 months later...
A couple of months late, but never the less of interest to me.Here is my question, I think Mr. Shaw or Bux may answer this inelligently.

Food pictures on Dining Room Menues. ( You do know which type of places I refer to ).

Sorry, I think this got posted before I was finished.

Anyway, Are these pictures copyrighted? And if so, will and must the establishment adhere to the photo on the menu (the food pictured/depicted) when it gets served to the customer ?

Just to be highly critical, I have sent food back to the kitchen, asking to please serve it the way I saw it on the menu, and for that reason only, ordered it.

Now, a slightly different subject, though pictures also.

Supermarket flyers with food pictures. I am referring to only foods shown fully cooked/perpared/ready to eat, but actually advertising the base raw product for sale.

Example : A beautyfully "Standing Rib Roast" , perfectly roasted to a medium rare, lusciously moist looking, hardly any fat (deckel off), depicting definitely the shorter end of a USDA Meatbuyers Guide product 112A. The so advertised product "Angus Beef Rib Roast" $......, in the case, cryowrapped and in no way will this piece, when cooked, look anyway near the roast that is depicted in the flyer.

Do we have any copyright issues ( No statement on the flyer where the pictures come from )

or simply 'false advertising' ?

the photographs are copyrighted by the photographer. automatically (just like the written word or any other visual art). the photographer usually licenses the photo to the advertiser.

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  • 6 months later...
Like, when the first person copied Vongerichten's molten chocolate cake, was he plagiarizing?  Was it wrong at first to serve that dish without attribution, but became OK later?

I've always thought that Vongerichten was the first to serve the "molten" chocolate cake. However, recently, I do remember reading *somewhere* that Alfred Portales "invented" it. Please, someone, tell me I haven't been living a pastry lie for the past x years of my life.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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I believe that Michel Bras is generally held to be the creator.

Why does that NOT surprise me?

So, 10% of this world really does do 90% of the work.

Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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I believe that Michel Bras is generally held to be the creator.

This is my understanding as well, though I believe J-G-V brought it to NYC. His technique may be somewhat different than Bras's too.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I believe that Michel Bras is generally held to be the creator.

This is my understanding as well, though I believe J-G-V brought it to NYC. His technique may be somewhat different than Bras's too.

This is what I thought as well. I know for sure that the Bras version is made by surrounding a frozen ganache with the cake batter, and I think that JGVs is just underbaked.

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I don't think the question of the invention of molten-center chocolate cake is settled, and as AEK implies there are various ways to make it. Florence Fabricant did a story on this in 1991 in the New York Times. It includes the claim: "Mr. Payard of Le Bernadin said it's really not any chef's recipe at all, but something everyone's mother makes at home in France."

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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  • 5 months later...

Interlude, the restaurant that kicked off the discussion behind this topic, will be closing its doors at the end of this week.

http://www.theage.com.au/news/entertainmen...4351110149.html

Pause for thought

Fans of Interlude's relatively uncompromising approach to modern, molecularly inspired gastronomy will need to move fast.

The Fitzroy restaurant, launched four years ago by chef Robin Wickens, shuts its doors on Saturday night, for good. Business has not been up to scratch; the financial downturn has hastened the decision.

The closure also marks the end of plans to relocate the restaurant, largely owned by Hong Kong-based company Apples and Pears, and its dining concept to the CBD.

A new restaurant under construction in Bank Place, Melbourne, will not be named Interlude and the degustation-focused, rarefied cuisine of Wickens will not be on the menu.

In fact Wickens, who is still employed by Apples and Pears, was circumspect about the role he would play in the new business when speaking to Espresso, and would not confirm he was to be its head chef. Gavin Van Staden, of Apples and Pears, said Interlude "as a concept" has always been a struggle at its current location.

"Interlude at best was always going to just break even. It costs a lot of money to produce food and service and at that level, a 40-seater just barely made the grade.

"A decision was therefore made to concentrate our efforts into coming up with a concept that we can confidently put into Bank Place that both suits Robin's creativity and satisfies the market. We are much closer to that concept now."

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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