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using someones elses idea

2538 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  cajunjoe
Can you use recipes from famous chefs and use them exactly the same way in your restaurant?

For example i might want to put a Jammie Oliver recipe on the menu in my restaurant. Is it ok?

Are their any legal problems with this?
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This is a very grey area. I don't think you really would have to worry about copyright infringment as it would be awfully difficult to prove that you didn't learn the recipe somewhere else. Now if you make it look exactly like the picture in the book, well, a case could possibly be made, but I highly doubt it.

Morally and professionaly it becomes an even greyer (is that a word) area. Let's face it, all chefs are a product of their education (either formal or informal). Why do you make your veal stock the way you do-because Chef So-&-So taught you that that was the way it is done. Why do you roast chicken the way you do-same reason. Why do you serve Duck with a Dried Lignonberry Sauce-very likely because a chef you worked under did it and you liked it. Why did you run that Heirloom Tomato Salad with Fennel-you saw it in a cooking magazine a while back and wanted to do something like that.

Don't get me wrong, I am not condoning plagurizing someone's else's work. I just want to show that it is very seldom that we create in a complete vacuum. The way I feel about it is this: there are many, many resources out there (books, magazines, TV) that can give one an idea for a new dish. But it should only be a starting point. When you come across such a dish, ask yourself, 'What can I do to make this dish better?' 'What can I do to make this dish different or my own?' or 'What can I do to make this dish more accessible to my clientele?' To me that is the fun, creative side to being a chef. I think I would become very bored very quickly if all I did was duplicate recipes that someone else created.
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