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All he is facing is opprobrium. I feel that's warranted, because it takes a lot of chutzpah to not only copy other chefs' dishes without attribution but post photos of those dishes on your website. To get back to my question earlier in this thread, I don't think that not posting the photos would make this kind of culinary plagiarism alright, but I do think that posting the photos made it worse. And many of us who are taking strong exception to his actions are not personally injured in any way, so it's hardly fair to generalize this as "retribution." Anyway, you know what they say: If you can't stand the heat...

(Hands shaking... mouth frothing.) I want to stop myself from responding, but I can't - it's like I'm hooked on Egullet crack.... DAMN YOU FATGUY!!! :laugh:

But regardless of what you call my momma Pan :wink: - I'd like to reduce and clarify - and then I'm going to rehab.

What I should have said earlier is, "The readily identifiable style of an individual - is on the same level as a particular dish".

So here is my position - in a nutshell - and I'm going to avoid the word "plagiarism".

Copying is copying. Period.

No one is innocent, I am not innocent and I'm not going to condemn someone for mistakes I've made myself in the past - they'll learn from it - it's done - let it go.

Copying without attribute is dishonest - at any level - at any line.

I think Ferran Adria said it best:

If you are influenced by another cook, another chef, and you explain that you are, that's not copying. In my books you will see influences from other chefs. That isn't a problem. The problem comes when people are not honest about it. There are plenty of creative people, but few honest ones. Picasso and Dali weren't honest. Picasso is my favorite artist, but he didn't explain his African inspiration. I'm not saying I'm 100% honest. It's very difficult to be completely honest; it's like being virginal -- pure.

http://www.egullet.org/tdg.cgi?pg=ARTICLE-27courses

You can copy all day long and say you owe everything to the people you copy - and that is acceptable.

If you copy and don't pay homage then.....

In this world, especially in Art - there are many readily identifiable individual styles - you might even go as far as to call them "identities".

If you go to Art School, take a painting class and hand in work that looks like Salvador Dali, your teacher is gonna be like, "This

is technically well executed - but it looks just like Salvador Dali".

How many artists have been dismissed in history for having a style or "identity" that is too close to another known individual?

I personally think that there is a lot of "identity theft" going on in the culinary world - as much as there is actual recipe theft - and I think

there isn't much honesty about it.

And if these guys were $5 hot dog stand owners - no one would care if someone ripped off their noodles.

(hmm, a hotdog with noodles.......)

If the "Culinary Arts" is going to be "owned" by a handful of chefs, especially "new" chefs whom haven't even paid their dues compared to other chefs - to the point that you have to pay a licensing fee to make a recipe - then brother, you can keep it. Don't even publish a book.

And I'll just cook.


"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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Considering that there is no disputing the fact that the chefs who originally created these dishes are truly artists and not simply craftsmen, what prevents this from being an unauthorized reproduction of their work?  My big question would be was this chef authorized to reproduce the dishes he learned as a stagiere by the original creators and claim them as his own? 

Taking it so far as to duplicate the exact graphic design of the photos and not give attribution, the shrimp pasta dish for example... photos are definitely copyrighted material, aren't they?

I believe that if one invites the stage, one just takes that risk. We cant police everyone. What if there were 50 chefs that decided to copy all of Chef G's dishes. Then this discussion would be futile and we wouldnt know where to begin.

Photos and pictures that are taken by someone that has created or copied a dish or technique are not infringing on any copyright law. Simply because the picture is of something that has no copyright or patent protection. Now lets say he decided to recreate something Alinea did file protection for, and filed a PCT or international protection for, then the law is being broken.

When we cut and paste a photo digitally without authorization, then it also becomes illegal.

As a stagiere I would agree that with the mentality of locking down all intellectual property you should not allow stages into your kitchen or lab any longer as you stated earlier. That is certainly not the right environment because for all intents and purposes a stage is a working student. I would also argue that everyone in the kitchen is a student. I cannot see an environment of fear for loss of control on intellectual property in a university and cannot see it for a student/stage in a kitchen. I could accept (possibly) a NDA for a regular position in a restaurant or lab position. However, I firmly believe that any chef that accepts stagiere’s particularly into their kitchen must accept and should expect what you may call intellectual property leak, but what I would call lessons from a willing teacher. Further more as artists in truly any field of art the lessons of the teacher do willingly get handed down from painter to painter and chef to cook. My belief is that anything I produce and potentially market in the future from the restaurants at which I have staged is far game. Not only because I feel that this is the normal working of the system but expected and with honor as a form of homage. Stages are your unpaid students and there is a trade off on both sides.

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I haven't posted in quite a while but this thread has inspired me. As a chef who has worked for some very famous chef's I have to say I am proud to pay homage to them. As stated above I find it very hard to not take alot of there influnce in my cooking, that is why I worked for them in the first place(it certaintly wasn't for the money :biggrin: ) I have feel I have taken a little something from each and found my "style". when asked I love to tell guests or other cooks who I have recieved my influnce from. Is this plagerism? or steeling? I guess I call it learning. I don't, however, put an exact replica of a dish from one of my mentors on a menu. Anyway I feel a more pressing problem here is the steeling and faliure to execute a dish properly. With this "avante-gaurd" cusine if a guest tries it and the dishes are not executed properly I believe it will hinder those who are doing the food properly. Cooking in a smaller market for guests who have not been exposed to many different cusines I have found this to be a problem. I do not do the "avante-gaurd" cusine, but even something like foie-gras, which we do very well, is poorly executed at other places so when guests here see it on a menu they respond " I have had that before and didn't care for it" we have also seen this with things like short ribs. Anyway thats my $.02 There is a question of ethics but also doing things that are "cool" without the training or proper ingredients can hurt.

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I can't believe that I'm jumping into the frying pan.

RECIPES, as in a listing of ingredients, are not patentable. Patent law . . . that's my daytime job.

Now, processes employing the listing are patentable. The claims should be drafted to show that the end-product can ONLY be made by that method, e.g. how to groove the pizza.

Media instantiations of the recipe are copyrightable. But that's a whole different section of the law . . .

Pam

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Copying without attribute is dishonest - at any level - at any line.

I think Ferran Adria said it best:

If you are influenced by another cook, another chef, and you explain that you are, that's not copying. In my books you will see influences from other chefs. That isn't a problem. The problem comes when people are not honest about it. There are plenty of creative people, but few honest ones. Picasso and Dali weren't honest. Picasso is my favorite artist, but he didn't explain his African inspiration. I'm not saying I'm 100% honest. It's very difficult to be completely honest; it's like being virginal -- pure.

http://www.egullet.org/tdg.cgi?pg=ARTICLE-27courses

You can copy all day long and say you owe everything to the people you copy - and that is acceptable.

If you copy and don't pay homage then.....

In this world, especially in Art - there are many readily identifiable individual styles - you might even go as far as to call them "identities".

If you go to Art School, take a painting class and hand in work that looks like Salvador Dali, your teacher is gonna be like, "This

is technically well executed - but it looks just like Salvador Dali".

How many artists have been dismissed in history for having a style or "identity" that is too close to another known individual?

Nathan, I believe we have reached agreement.


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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Considering that there is no disputing the fact that the chefs who originally created these dishes are truly artists and not simply craftsmen, what prevents this from being an unauthorized reproduction of their work?  My big question would be was this chef authorized to reproduce the dishes he learned as a stagiere by the original creators and claim them as his own? 

Taking it so far as to duplicate the exact graphic design of the photos and not give attribution, the shrimp pasta dish for example... photos are definitely copyrighted material, aren't they?

I believe that if one invites the stage, one just takes that risk. We cant police everyone. What if there were 50 chefs that decided to copy all of Chef G's dishes. Then this discussion would be futile and we wouldnt know where to begin.

Photos and pictures that are taken by someone that has created or copied a dish or technique are not infringing on any copyright law. Simply because the picture is of something that has no copyright or patent protection. Now lets say he decided to recreate something Alinea did file protection for, and filed a PCT or international protection for, then the law is being broken.

When we cut and paste a photo digitally without authorization, then it also becomes illegal.

As a stagiere I would agree that with the mentality of locking down all intellectual property you should not allow stages into your kitchen or lab any longer as you stated earlier. That is certainly not the right environment because for all intents and purposes a stage is a working student. I would also argue that everyone in the kitchen is a student. I cannot see an environment of fear for loss of control on intellectual property in a university and cannot see it for a student/stage in a kitchen. I could accept (possibly) a NDA for a regular position in a restaurant or lab position. However, I firmly believe that any chef that accepts stagiere’s particularly into their kitchen must accept and should expect what you may call intellectual property leak, but what I would call lessons from a willing teacher. Further more as artists in truly any field of art the lessons of the teacher do willingly get handed down from painter to painter and chef to cook. My belief is that anything I produce and potentially market in the future from the restaurants at which I have staged is far game. Not only because I feel that this is the normal working of the system but expected and with honor as a form of homage. Stages are your unpaid students and there is a trade off on both sides.

Now we are getting somewhere. I believe there is a big difference between staging and worker abuse. I dont allow stages for many reasons. One being I dont think in this day and age (especially in America), people should not have to work for free. If I live well, I want everyone that works for me to live well. There is no reason why there should be low wages in my company. I believe employers have a responsability to take care of their employees especially in my case where we cultivate this much creative energy.

Also, the sensitive material we work with sometimes never reaches the menu, so I am protecting the revenue that is generated through someone elses IP. Its projects for govt. agencies and R&D for other companies that I am cautious about. Now there are creative ways to indirectly apply knowledge from one subject to another. The printed "edible identity theft deturrent" is just one way to get chefs to be more creative. Lets also get something else correct, signing an NDA doesnt mean one cant disclose anything, its just certain things that cannot be discussed.

Believe me when I tell you, my employees have never been happier than seeing the establishment move in this direction. They have benefited and will continue to benefit way more than any kitchen I am aware of. This is breaking new ground for this business and most that scrutinize it, simply dont understand it.

Im done with my lunch, I gotta go.


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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I feel like the point has been made and we should leave this poor guy alone.

While this is a pretty damning topic......, and one which will always create a lot of heated controversy. It does seem a little unfair that Interlude and Robin is getting singled out and used as the prime example, when so many restaurants I've seen and worked with down here in Melbourne do exactly the same sort of thing as discussed in the original accusations.

PJ


<a href='http://www.flickr.com/aussiebarracuda' target='_blank'>My Food</a>

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I feel like the point has been made and we should leave this poor guy alone.

While this is a pretty damning topic......, and one which will always create a lot of heated controversy. It does seem a little unfair that Interlude and Robin is getting singled out and used as the prime example, when so many restaurants I've seen and worked with down here in Melbourne do exactly the same sort of thing as discussed in the original accusations.

PJ

Care to name any names?


PS: I am a guy.

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I think the question is one of degree and intent. To borrow a technique or expand upon an idea is fine, in fact it brings the art forward and benefits everyone. Also to do a "tribute" dish occassionally is okay as long as there is full attribution. However to wholesale lift 17 or so dishes from other chefs without any credit is just dishonest and is counter to the good of both the chef community and to diners.

What saddens me is (going by looks alone) it looks like the chef does have some talent. It's a shame that he didn't do his own thing because then he would be more of an artist than a faithful replicist.

...and one last plea - please, please, please keep the American Patent office and the Patent Lawyers well away from the kitchen. You only have to look at how the IT business and the internet has been crippled by insane patents on the most basic systems actions to see what a bad idea that avenue has been. It would kill creativity and increase sharp practice. Thank god Europe rejected the proposal to implement similar absurdities here :wink:

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I think the question is one of degree and intent. To borrow a technique or expand upon an idea is fine, in fact it brings the art forward and benefits everyone. Also to do a "tribute" dish occassionally is okay as long as there is full attribution. However to wholesale lift 17 or so dishes from other chefs  without any credit is just dishonest and is counter to the good of both the chef community and to diners.

What saddens me is (going by looks alone) it looks like the chef does have some talent. It's a shame that he didn't do his own thing because then he would be more of an artist than a faithful replicist.

...and one last plea - please, please, please keep the American Patent office and the Patent Lawyers well away from the kitchen. You only have to look at how the IT business and the internet has been crippled by insane patents on the most basic systems actions to see what a bad idea that avenue has been. It would kill creativity and increase sharp practice. Thank god Europe rejected the proposal to implement similar absurdities here  :wink:

The USPTO was designed so everyday people like myself wouldnt get run over by big business. Creativity means R & D and that costs money. Why not fund ideas with more ideas? That is an environment that sounds exciting to me. We are coming to a crossroads with this "forward thinking", "post modern", or whatever you want to call it. Since I will never do a bottled hot sauce or try to sell a gazillion packets of "post modern mustard", this is the best way for me to maintain integrity in my ideas. Staying ahead of the game is more important than ever. We have the opportunity to tip the scales in the food business. We must be smart and aggressive or we will do what has been done.......nothing. That is just not an option at this point.

Basically what youre saying is if you stumbled on the next great idea, lets say it was a solution for packaging foodstuffs on a mass scale. Then to your amazement you noticed 10 companies generating billion dollar plus revenues and starting using it thereby making them millions and they publicly gave you all the credit and no compensation. You wouldnt feel ripped off? It happens every day. Just because its hypothetical doesnt make it a non issue. Its a major issue and needs to be addressed. Looking in the other direction will only let the problem get worse and will continue to make the rich richer and make everyone in the restaurant business suffer due to lack of information.


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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Inventolux - I really respect the work that you've done, admire your ambition, and I like elements of your philosophy but I can't help thinking that others (perhaps not you) may be able to do untold damage to cuisine if great inroads are made into patenting various types of food techniques.

I suppose in a way I am really thinking of a scenario where the patent office allows patently (sic) ridiculously obvious processes analagous to things such as one click shopping or methods for going through a hierarchical file structure to be locked down.

For example I have seen a patent on a way to cut a chicken into portions that is exactly the method used by millions of people to portion a chicken for hundreds of years. Obvious aspects of prior art seem to ignored by the APO and result in ridiculous limitations for all involved in the industries concerned. Of course you deserve a right to the fruits of your intellectual endeavours and it seems to me you would go down this route for the right reasons but what of those who would not? I wouldn't be surprised to see the APO give out a patent for "altering the taste of a foodstuff using heat". :wink:

Is there also an argument that you may well make more money by openly sharing as in an Open Source Environment? Plenty of other leading chefs seem to do so and have done for years.

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Allright Inventolux - I removed my earlier jab as it was uncalled for.

I'm definitely willing to give you the benefit of the doubt - so I have a few questions in all seriousness, because this issue is being discussed at a very high level and I'd like to get more specific information.

While you're at it please explain, at a high level at least, how the work you're currently doing at Moto is affected by:

U.S. Patent # 6,319,530

Method of photocopying an image onto an edible web for decorating iced baked goods

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?...ry=PN%2F6319530

and all the other patents it references, for instance:

U.S. Patent # 5,017,394

Method for making edible base shapes having pictorial images for decorating foodstuffs

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?...ry=PN%2F5017394

Because it's my understanding, solely based on articles I've read, that you're using a Canon Pixma iP3000 - which is a fine inkjet printer in it's own right:

http://consumer.usa.canon.com/ir/controlle...7&modelid=10238

And though the use of edible inks isn't supported directly by Canon:

http://www.canon.com.au/support/msds.html

This and other Canon printers have existed for some time in modified forms for printing edible images with edible inks sold in refillable ink jet cartridges by a number of companies to be printed on "sugar paper" for the main purpose of placing photos on birthday cakes:

http://www.icingimages.com/

Other than the ink you are making out of different foods and the the novel way in which you are presenting the printed images, to what extent do you consider this idea yours? And is your modification subject to any licensing fees considering the other patents?

Do you feel that the concept has been modified to an extent inside your restaurant that it has sufficiently passed the line of evolution?

By the way, I just read the article on the Nasa Food Replicator in New Scientist that mentions you and the concept sounds intriguing - so I wonder if you can elaborate a little on how this all ties together.

http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=mg18725131.400


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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And actually while we're at it - let me tell you what I think, my preemptive reply - so I can leave this behind.

I think you have taken an existing idea using existing technology that was designed to do exactly

what it is doing, printing edible images on edible paper.... and printed edible images on edible paper.

This brings up a couple of points.

1. By evolving this one step forward by making the images taste like what they look like, it is novel and clever but by no means constitutes complete originality, creativity nor the exclusion of applying credit to the people who developed every other part of the process.

2. Because the technology exists and I can buy it and use it myself, right now, if we were to say

both use the same stock photo of a chicken, but you print yours with ink that tastes like chicken

and I just leave mine as is - I am not copying you. Right?

Because the technology already exists and you are simply using patented technology to do what you are doing and the only thing you can really lay claim to is the ink, I imagine what you are doing at Moto does not infringe upon any of these patents and you don't have to pay anyone a damn thing, I could be wrong - please tell me so.

But what if it did?

Because this is one of the major points I've been trying to make this whole time, the line is farther

back then the end result... in fact the end result is irrelevant for the most part, the end result is not even patentable.

It is the TECHNIQUE that is patentable, the PROCESS, which means if you "invent" the same techniques that already exist, you are in infringement of their patents.

Which means IF I can patent making "apple caviar" with sodium alginate/calcium chloride then you can't make "pear caviar" using the same method - without paying me.

Seems to me that, if "the law" as it stands states that a technique can be owned, a process can be owned - then if you copy the technique, if you copy the process, then you are copying... and that shuts a whole hell of a-lot of people down.

That's why this is dangerous - it used to be commercial food was commercial food and they dealt with all this stuff from within their industry - but the link between commercial food and chefs is getting stronger and stronger and shorter and shorter and you know what?

Just like you said earlier... just like I've said before.

Commercial food companies were doing most of this stuff decades ago.

Not only that, they are bigger and have lots more money and time and resources than any of us.

What are they entitled to? What are they going to take?

More than that - who else is going to take things?

The chefs who are "famous" for pre-existing techniques?

Maybe people who are not even chefs?

You wanna pay Michael Jackson every time you make mayonnaise?

So if this path of ownership and control of ideas is followed, as they say in KY - "shit is about to get real fucked up, real fast".

Same deal with the food replicator - look at the future brother - with open eyes.

You may find it pretty exciting to work on a project that - as the article says - makes a "machine that could mathematically evolve several generations of new foods, making its own decisions about which food is "fittest". As it needs no verdict the chef wouldn't even have to make the food. Eventually, the machine could cook its new recipes and then seek the chef's approval."

I don't know about you, but I don't see a very bright future for Chefs or the Culinary Arts in 40 years - if this thing comes into existence - regardless of how comfortable it makes trips to Mars.

It'll probably happen anyway - with or without you, but damn.... I personally don't see it as a step forward for chefs.

Maybe technically it is by definition - but so is a step forward off a cliff.

edit:clarification


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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And actually while we're at it - let me tell you what I think, my preemptive reply - so I can leave this behind.

So if this path of ownership and control of ideas is followed, as they say in KY- "shit is about to get real fucked up, real fast".

Same deal with the food replicator - look at the future brother - with open eyes.

You may find it pretty exciting to work on a project that - as the article says - makes a  "machine that could mathematically evolve several generations of new foods, making its own decisions about which food is "fittest". As it needs no verdict the chef wouldn't even have to make the food. Eventually, the machine could cook its new recipes and then seek the chef's approval."

I don't know about you, but I don't see a very bright future for Chefs or the Culinary Arts in 40 years - if this thing comes into existence - regardless of how comfortable it makes trips to Mars.

It'll probably happen anyway - with or without you, but damn.... I personally don't see it as a step forward for chefs.

Maybe technically it is by definition - but so is a step forward off a cliff.

What is in bold is a great example of fearing the unknown. You can do that, I choose action.

Now my ADHD is kicking in:)

When Chef Sean Brock came into my kitchen (both times) and asked me many questions about my food, I provided him with answers to any questions he had. I believe at one point he said "its OK if you dont want to give me the number to your liquid nitrogen guy". I thought that was sad because someone else probaly already told him no, and that sucks. I gave him phone numbers to purveyors, liquid nitrogen producers and anything else I could do to assist him. Then we had an exchange of emails that has ultimately resulted in an exchange of ideas. I have also encouraged him to use as many of my ideas, dishes, techniques as he wishes. I see the big pic sizzle with open eyes and I just want to see another chef on the block move forward in his hopes and dreams. It has been a great thing to see indeed. The point here is not a lockdown of ideas and not to charge someone everytime they point and click while purchasing goods. The point is Social Entrepreneurship. To control the situation and ensure the big picture gets brighter. Im not going to sit here all day typing the preachers doctrine to get my point across. Its been made, negative outcomes are always present in every situation. All one can do is absorb knowledge, plan ahead and hope for the best.


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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What is in bold is a great example of fearing the unknown. You can do that, I choose action.

As a human being there will always be aspects of the unknown that I fear - though more than the unknown - I fear the known - the proven - because those are the things who's outcomes are somewhat predictable - and when they are negative - there isn't much you can do about it.

There is an old quote from one of the old books of Dune that I love:

"The concept of progress serves as a protective mechanism, to shield us from the terrors of the future".

I certainly hope that you do solve world hunger - as I said before - and when I said it - I was sincere.

Though I'm not sure I see the logic in your delivery method nor do I see the logic in your current chosen avenue of serving very expensive dinners to a relatively small number of people as I personally see that as part of the problem in the first place - but that is fair enough - I certainly hope I am proven wrong. I would be more inclined to educate, to teach a man to fish or to irrigate - then to drop printed leaflets from a plane - edible or not.

In this forum and the one that kicked it off before, you have been highly critical of copying and highly assertive about aggressively protecting what is yours - eliminated stages in your restaurant because they are just going to copy though you yourself are to a large degree a product of staging and if the idea is to spread ideas then it seems if people have to work for free so that more willing people experience the ideas, this would be more efficient than isolating them to a few people who are well paid. You've insisted that you be entitled to compensation for your ideas else you would feel ripped off and I really think you need to sit down and take a long look in the mirror.

Because I see, though you have made it clear you care for your people and I believe that - for me

what also comes through is arrogance and in your past words I see little of what you just wrote, and I certainly hope that it too - is true.

There is a balance in everything, just like seasoning - things can be over seasoned, things can be under seasoned - and there is a place where things are just right. For everyone that spot is different - everyone has a different threshold of of "not enough" and "too much".

For me, the idea of a food replicator for a Mars mission makes some sense - though making an anti-chef device to be used in the world of gastronomy doesn't.

The context, as always, makes the difference.

I can only agree to disagree and every time I post I say it will be the last - so maybe this time

I'll just say nothing.


"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 think that a degree of arrogance in a creative artist -- which is what an inspired chef is -- is to be expected, and respected. Of course, all in moderation, but I have to wonder if a person of total humility would have the drive necessary to succeed in such a difficult field.


Michael aka "Pan

 

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Ultimately, is it not the customer who has the choice?

If you want leading edge food, you need to travel to Napa, Spain, etc.

The chicken wing analog really breaks this down to its basic element. Go to Buffalo if you want a real Buffalo wing, but none of are going to do that ~ and we will be happy to sample our local pubs version.

The evolution of food is dynamic. I use different foams at my restaurant. Am I copying Il Bulli circa 1994? Yes, but this is the direction food is evolving. I have made tomato, beet and wheat caviar; 99% of the guests who eat at my restaurant know the inspiration is founded in the late 1990’s in Spain.

The customer desires new tastes and textures. As a chef, it is my job to stay current with the trends.

Posting similar photos of dishes, recipes, or exact descriptions is/should be illegal and is immoral (amoral).

In the same note: making a hollandaise with margarine should be seen in the same light, Escoffier set standards for recipes; the consumer should hold chefs to the same standards. If a restaurant/chef uses culinary nomenclature on there menu it should be standardized.

I think stating that you are using tomato caviar on your menu is enough of an ode to the master.


Chef/Owner/Teacher

Website: Chef Fowke dot com

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I feel like the point has been made and we should leave this poor guy alone.

While this is a pretty damning topic......, and one which will always create a lot of heated controversy. It does seem a little unfair that Interlude and Robin is getting singled out and used as the prime example, when so many restaurants I've seen and worked with down here in Melbourne do exactly the same sort of thing as discussed in the original accusations.

PJ

Care to name any names?

Errrrr no not really :wink:


<a href='http://www.flickr.com/aussiebarracuda' target='_blank'>My Food</a>

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What's the big deal? I remember going to Michel Guerard in the late 1970s and being able to order dishes that were homages to his colleagues; i.e. Les Freres Troisgros' salmon in sorrel or Paulo Bocuse' truffle soup, the latter of which was better than the original and which I ordered several times after. Every one is so bitchy and egocentric these days to the extent that they don't want to come out and say that this is my rendition of a dish I had at wherever. Todays' food is so ephemeral that there are almost no classic dishes that will stand the test of time. As far as I'm concerned, bring on the salmon in sorrel.

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What's the big deal? I remember going to Michel Guerard in the late 1970s and being able to order dishes that were homages to his colleagues; i.e. Les Freres Troisgros' salmon in sorrel or Paulo Bocuse' truffle soup, the latter of which was better than the original and which I ordered several times after. Every one is so bitchy and egocentric these days to the extent that they don't want to come out and say that this is my rendition of a dish I had at wherever. Todays' food is so ephemeral that there are almost no classic dishes that will stand the test of time. As far as I'm concerned, bring on the salmon in sorrel.

The difference Robert is that those dishes were probably identified as homages. The issue isn't so much that the dishes are copies, but that they appear to be claimed as originals in a context in which most people are not likely to aware that they are not.


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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The mention of salmon in sorrel made me wonder again about where you draw the line at which you have to give attribution. I think previous examples were miso cod and molten chocolate cake, both of which have passed into common currency. Are some recipes so simple that you don't need to attribute them? I would suspect that with anything that's quickly summarized as "x in a sauce of y" (both main ingredients being fairly straightforward) and where you could pretty much figure out how to cook it without going in the kitchen is commonly duplicated without attribution. I mean, we're not talking about your grandmother's pinch of nutmeg that she leaves out of the recipe when she writes it down for you, but with something more complicated-- or am I wrong?

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Here is a good example of how this can seriously get out of hand....

Looks like there is already a patent for a Sous Vide Reheating Device - which I would expect since it is an apparatus, but it made me wonder if an actual "cooking process" like this could be patented...

Looks like maybe it can, as someone has filed for a patent on 3/10/05 for a "Vacuum cooking apparatus and cooking method using the same" - though it's very dfferent from Sous Vide - and filing doesn't mean it will be granted obviously.

http://www.freshpatents.com/Vacuum-cooking...20050051541.php

Though I wonder if a "method" has to be tied to an "apparatus" to be patented?

As I can't find a patent for Sous Vide itself.

Excuse me... I have a phone call to make. :laugh:


"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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What's the big deal? I remember going to Michel Guerard in the late 1970s and being able to order dishes that were homages to his colleagues; i.e. Les Freres Troisgros' salmon in sorrel or Paulo Bocuse' truffle soup, the latter of which was better than the original and which I ordered several times after. Every one is so bitchy and egocentric these days to the extent that they don't want to come out and say that this is my rendition of a dish I had at wherever. Todays' food is so ephemeral that there are almost no classic dishes that will stand the test of time. As far as I'm concerned, bring on the salmon in sorrel.

The difference Robert is that those dishes were probably identified as homages. The issue isn't so much that the dishes are copies, but that they appear to be claimed as originals in a context in which most people are not likely to aware that they are not.

Doc, I haven't been following the thread, so maybe I didn't make the point in the right context; the point being that these copycat chefs ought to be honest and gracious enough to say that they liked a colleague's work so much that they want to share it with those who might otherwise not have the opportunity to taste it. The problem is, however, that most chefs today don't have the confidence or the graciousness to do it.

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What's the big deal? I remember going to Michel Guerard in the late 1970s and being able to order dishes that were homages to his colleagues; i.e. Les Freres Troisgros' salmon in sorrel or Paulo Bocuse' truffle soup, the latter of which was better than the original and which I ordered several times after. Every one is so bitchy and egocentric these days to the extent that they don't want to come out and say that this is my rendition of a dish I had at wherever. Todays' food is so ephemeral that there are almost no classic dishes that will stand the test of time. As far as I'm concerned, bring on the salmon in sorrel.

The difference Robert is that those dishes were probably identified as homages. The issue isn't so much that the dishes are copies, but that they appear to be claimed as originals in a context in which most people are not likely to aware that they are not.

Doc, I haven't been following the thread, so maybe I didn't make the point in the right context; the point being that these copycat chefs ought to be honest and gracious enough to say that they liked a colleague's work so much that they want to share it with those who might otherwise not have the opportunity to taste it.

Agreed.

The problem is, however, that most chefs today don't have the confidence or the graciousness to do it.

I don't think I would go that far.


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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Wow...an Austrailian Chef being convicted and hung by a Kangaroo Court. Ironic?

I hate that this is my first post but enough is enough. I really doubt his intent was malicious. He is a great chef and wouldn't do something so stupid.

ChefG has let it go and feels no need to respond.

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      Sometime this week, at an undisclosed location in the city of Chicago, Chef Grant Achatz begins the next leg of his journey to open his new restaurant, Alinea. Grant will christen the 'food lab' where the menu for Alinea will be developed. eGullet will be trailing Grant and his team throughout the process -- not just in the food lab but through every facet of the launch. Over the next six months, we will follow the Alinea team as they discover, develop, design and execute their plan. We'll document behind-the-scenes communications, forwarded directly to us by the Alinea team. We will be on the scene, bringing regular updates to the eGullet community. And Grant will join us in this special Alinea forum to discuss the process of opening Alinea. eGullet members will have the opportunity to ask Grant, and several other members of the Alinea team, questions about the development of the restaurant.
       
      A Perfect Pairing?
      By the time he was 12 years old, Grant Achatz knew that he would someday run his own restaurant. The story of Alinea is the story of Grant's personal development as a chef and a leader. Grant was brought up in a restaurant family. He bypassed a college education in favor of culinary school, after which he ascended rapidly to the position of sous chef for Thomas Keller at The French Laundry in Yountville, California. In 2001, Grant took the helm of Trio in Evanston, Illinois, which had previously turned out such noted chefs as Gale Gand, Rick Tramanto (Tru) and Shawn McClain (Spring, Green Zebra). In 2003 Grant won the James Beard Foundation's "Rising Star Chef" award, and other prestigious awards followed. By 2004, Grant was recognized as one of the most influential and unique voices on the international culinary scene.
       
      In January 2004, Grant met Nick Kokonas, a successful entrepreneur who was so obsessed with haute cuisine that he had traveled the world in search of it. After globe-trekking specifically to eat at such culinary meccas as Alfonso 1890, Taillevent, Arpège, Arzak, and the French Laundry, Nick was in near disbelief when he realized that the "best food in the world was 10 minutes from my house." Nick had not previously consideredbacking a restaurant, even though he has both relatives and friends in the industry. But in Grant, he saw an opportunity to help create something great.
       
      Through Grant's cuisine, a bond formed between the two men. So inspired was Nick by Grant's culinary ideas that he returned to Trio almost monthly. Finally, he challenged two of his friends, one from New York and the other from San Francisco, to fly to Chicago and experience Trio. He wanted to prove definitively to his skeptical, coastal buddies that Trio was the best and most important restaurant in the country, assuring them that "if the meal at Trio isn't the best meal you've ever had, I'll pay for your meals and your flights." Nick won his bet: his friends were blown away.
       
      Later that night, after service, Grant joined Nick and his guests at their table. The men chatted about a variety of topics and in the '14 wines' haze of the late evening, they discussed Blue Trout and Black Truffles: The Peregrinations of an Epicure, Joseph Wechsberg's gastronomic memoir. The next day, Grant emailed Nick to ask again about the title of the book they had discussed. Not only did Nick remind him, but, within a few days, sent Grant a copy of Wechsberg's book. A friendship was born.
      Shortly thereafter, Grant sentNick his business plan for Alinea, sending an email after evening service. By the following morning Nick had read it and replied with his own enthusiastic amendments. With a burgeoning friendship already in place, trust developing between the two men and proof they could work together crystallizing before their eyes, it became clear that they would become a team. Says Grant, "I think most people, in a lot of ways, look for themselves in other people in order to match with and I think to a large degree, the reason why we get along so well is that our personalities align very well."
       
      Nick felt the same way. "It's one of those situations where everything just lined up right. I had the interest, I'd started a number of different businesses and I felt like it would be an opportunity to work with someone who I'd get along with very well. I wouldn't want to build a restaurant just to build a restaurant and I doubt I'll ever develop some other restaurant. I think this is the right situation at the right time."
       
      Grant adds, "I think we're both very driven and passionate people. So for me, it was about finding someone I could trust, someone that I knew was going to think like me, be as motivated or more motivated than me. Those things were very, very important--and something I hadn't seen--or something I didn't believe in--that I saw in Nick." Nick continues, "I think a lot people come to a chef with their pre-existing vision of the restaurant they want to build. I didn't even want to build a restaurant before I saw his vision, so it wasn't like I was saying 'I'm building this restaurant and I want you to be my chef' -- it was more like 'I think you should build a restaurant, what can I do to help you build it?'" Grant would have the additional supportive backing he'd need and Nick would have another venture -- and one he solidly believed in -- in which to direct his business acumen.
       
      It's All About The Container
      Anyone who's eaten Grant's cuisine at Trio knows that he is intensely concerned with food and the optimal ways to prepare and serve it. His dishes innovate in flavor; they challenge, tease and delight the senses. But Grant is also driven to innovate in service and technique, constantly seeking new vehicles to deliver sensations to the diner. He works closely with a trusted collaborator, Martin Kastner of Crucial Detail in San Diego, CA to create original service pieces for many of his dishes. And as Grant has searched for additional ways to expand the continuity of the dining experience, it has become clear to him that it starts before the diner even gets to the restaurant's front door.
       
      According to Grant, "You can pull it back as far as you want. The experience is going to start before someone even picks up the phone to make a reservation to this restaurant. It's going to be about their perceptions; why are they picking up the phone to make a reservation? What did they see? What did they read? What's leading them up to that point? They call to make a reservation, that's another experience. The drive to get to this neighborhood is another experience. The minute they open their door and take one step out of their car, now they're surrounded by another experience."
       
      Advancing the functional elements of how food is served is an innate part of the cooking process for Grant, who seeks to render the traditional boundaries of dining obsolete. When asked what he will be able to accomplish at Alinea that he couldn't accomplish at Trio, Grant says, "the obvious is to create the container in which we create the experience. I think that's the very exciting thing for me that I've never been able to have a part in." For Grant, a restaurant's physical space represents the ultimate container and the ultimate personal challenge. The result should break new ground in the world of fine dining.   Grant and Nick are intense and competitive. In both their minds, "crafting a complete experience" is the primary focus of Alinea. According to Nick, "the whole idea is to produce an experience where the food lines up with the décor, which lines up with the flow through the restaurant and from the moment you get, literally, to the front door of the place and you walk in, your experience should mirror in some respects--and complement in others--the whole process you're going to go through when you start eating." Grant takes it a step further. "It's about having a central beacon from which everything else emanates and therefore, it's seamless. The whole experience is crafted on one finite point and if everything emanates from that point, then there's no chance that the experience can be interrupted."
       
      The search for Alinea's space further reflects not only their shared philosophy but also their separate intensities. Says Nick, "One of the things we felt really strongly about, and we both came to it, was that we wanted it to be a 'stand alone' building because if you're in something else you can't help but take on some of that identity. And it's really difficult to find the right size building in the right kind of location, with the right kind of construction that was suitable for the identity of Alinea."
      Nick and Grant drove down every street within a chosen geographical band, armed with a giant map and a set of green, yellow and red markers. Once they had found a set of acceptable streets, they asked a realtor to show them every space available on them.
       
      "Once we did find the building," says Grant, "whichever space we would have chosen, we would have analyzed and considered each different aspect to provoke a certain emotion, a very controlled emotion depending on how we wanted it arranged. But I also think that we wanted the neighborhood to feel a certain way, the street to feel a certain way. Is it like Michigan Avenue where I have people 4-deep, walking straight down the sidewalk, non-stop, all day and all night or is it more of a tranquil environment outside? All those things were spinning around and once you identify the golden egg, then you have to go find it."
      While they would probably never admit it, each innovation, each step they take together in building their venture serves as yet another a opportunity for the Alinea team to challenge the restaurant's competitors. Their attention to all the details provides countless opportunities to distinguish Alinea from other restaurants.
       
      Here the two men can share in the creation, combining their diverse skills and experiences into a unified and shared vision. Alinea will be their baby. They want it to be the best --not just the best food -- but the best everything. They even want the experience of calling for a reservation to be a memorable one.
       
      The Path From Here
      In that spirit, the Alinea food lab opens this week. Grant refuses to promote even one of his legendary creations to 'signature dish' status. Instead of populating Alinea's menu with previous favorites from Trio or 'trial' dishes that have been only roughly tested, Grant and his team will take six months to devise, develop and perfect the dishes and delivery modes that will appear on Alinea's opening menu. When the idea of maintaining a kitchen staff for six months before the restaurant's opening was presented to its investors, in spite of the additional expense, "it seemed like a no-brainer" according to Nick. Grant is an equity partner--a true chef/owner--in the venture and there is a solid consensus among all the backers about the priority of his vision.
      * * * * *
      In addition to being one of today's foremost chefs and culinary innovators, Grant Achatz is a long-time member of eGullet, and a lively, provocative contributor to our discussion forums. Read his March, 2003 eGullet Q&A here.
      Photos courtesy Alinea
       
      eGullet member, yellow_truffle, also contributed to this report
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