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Thread: do you give away your recipes?

  1. #31
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    If I know I'm not going to be in a kitchen very long, it's usually because either I don't like some aspect of the people I work with, the food I'm cooking, or both. In this situation I would NOT give out any recipes (running a special is different). Or I would give the recipe minus one or two key ingredients (pretty childish so I usually reserve this treatment for those who have pissed me off or disrespected me in some way-- thankfully this hasn't been necessary for quite some time. On the other hand, if I am working somewhere I am planning to be for a while, for people I respect and who respect me, I feel a lot differrently about it; sometimes I'll give a recipe to one of my guys just to avoid going in on my day off! Also, I find that posting a 'build guide' for both front and back of house staff helps not only with consistency of plating and preparation, but also with how many servers sell. If the FOH know exactly what is in it, they can tell customers more about a dish, and sell it more effectively. This also greatly reduces the chances of selling a reactive dish to someone with a food allergy: a server with a gluten allergy at their table has only to refer to the build guide to know whether or not the customer can safely eat the dish. I even post a pic of the dish with the guide (usually more helpful for my cooks than the FOH, but does help to ensure that all plates are looking EXACTLY how I want them, whether I'm there or not). Hope that helps...

  2. #32
    I can't even imagine any cooks asking for compensation for a recipe they developed...i mean it sounds ridiculous
    Its part of your job..your pay is compensation, thats my opinion.

    Now imagine if this was completely normal....you said its bad business on your part. I disagree. You want to move on to another restaurant, something better. I don't now anything about LA but I'm guessing the restaurant circle is fairly tight, with a lot of rumours. It probably wouldn't be good business on your part for that reason. I mean if you were hiring someone, even just a line cook, you'd want someone that gives it their all, no matter what their job, not just to come and pick up a paycheque.

  3. #33
    Senior Member/ Internet Hooligan
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    I used to share recipes. Then a recipe I contributed got butchered, hit with the Hammer O' Costing, the final product was a disgusting shadow of its former self, and it still had my name on it. And I was like



    And that was the last time I gave up a recipe. Now if someone asks me how to make a particular soup or special, I give 'em a rough verbal outline and let them figure out the rest on their own.

  4. #34
    Senior Member hambone.johnson's Avatar
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    Its all evolution. If you just keep it all bottled up inside and dont experiment then you cant grow either. You are kind of looking at it from an insecure or negative POV, and its probably because you dont like the place/owners. i think the deffinition is important too. if we are talking about a RECIPE, something with all ingredients put down with measurements and what not then thats one thing. if we are talking about complete CONCEPT kind of thing, where it might only be created once or twice because its a weekend special thats another. They both come with their own risks.

    you also need to consider that any time you create and serve anything your almost MORE vulnerable from the outside than the inside. you create, you standardize and then what ? 10 people have the recipe? the owners, EC, SousChef, line cooks ECT. you SERVE that dish and then what. every customer that eats it gets a shot. if its really good and you get known for it the number of people who eat it goes up from there. if im a chef and i hear through the grapevine its good, ill shoot by for the dish and get a bite. then i have the concept, i dont need your recipe. ill make it my own if i like the flavor combos.

    so the thing is, if you wanna clamp down, then dont share. if u wanna relax and hang out. then dont care. :-)

  5. #35
    Senior Member hambone.johnson's Avatar
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    Hey ! i dont mean to double post but i wonder if you have done everything you can to get outside your "box" ... have you watched any social culinary media? something my kitchen has really promoted is the "have you seen" or "have you read" and its motivating. we look at the local and the city and then we look elsewhere to wat everyone else is doing. start watching Netflix and then start YouTubing the major guys. people who you think is cool. maybee its not Grant @ Next or Alinea, it might be someone else. if you Netflix i recomend

    "its a matter of taste" - its a real life thing.
    "el bulli"
    if you search these, they will bring up others. work the social media. there is a ton of stuff. people document major menus on their Iphones now a days. if you dont appreciate that to get out side your day to day, and use that as motivaiton, your out of touch. Look at what others are doing and see things. reach to Tokyo and Spain and just see whats going on.

  6. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by shaneg View Post
    Ive always had an idea for my own place to put my name on the front of the menu i.e "The Chinese Laundry, by Shane G" for instance but my name in smaller print, and then each chef gets one thing on the menu, obviously tuned a little, which is a good way to teach others how to construct and cost a dish which complements the menu, and the get a "by john hancock" beside the dish..
    One restaurant I like does this. For ex "Sarah's Burger" or "Kevin's XXXXX". I like that a lot. Going a step further, I was looking at my girlfriends soap she just bought from a store called LUSH. It has a little sticker on it with a picture of the person who made that bar. Now i want little stickers of my face to put on plates I send out. haha

  7. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by hambone.johnson View Post
    "its a matter of taste" - its a real life thing.
    "el bulli"
    if you search these, they will bring up others. work the social media. there is a ton of stuff. people document major menus on their Iphones now a days. if you dont appreciate that to get out side your day to day, and use that as motivaiton, your out of touch. Look at what others are doing and see things. reach to Tokyo and Spain and just see whats going on.
    I dont quite understand that part.
    I agree on the general impression and inspiration. But that to me means I see a soup on someones menu and its a sauce for me. Or a gel. It doesnt need t be any igredient really.
    But what the hell do i need el bulli [or anything similar] for if they
    A) operate l'art pour l'art establishment and are generating losses.
    B) the menu is based on local grown produce of exceptional quality. I know everybody talks now about first class ingredients but how many really gets all top notch? Not me for sure
    C) Why to get suggested by anyone? I dont like to watch cooking shows actually, apart from KN, I well rather read/check out cook books without photos. That really gets your imagination going.

    All I mean, your style have a start in your head.

  8. #38
    Senior Member hambone.johnson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bieniek View Post
    I dont quite understand that part.
    I agree on the general impression and inspiration. But that to me means I see a soup on someones menu and its a sauce for me. Or a gel. It doesnt need t be any igredient really.
    But what the hell do i need el bulli [or anything similar] for if they
    A) operate l'art pour l'art establishment and are generating losses.
    B) the menu is based on local grown produce of exceptional quality. I know everybody talks now about first class ingredients but how many really gets all top notch? Not me for sure
    C) Why to get suggested by anyone? I dont like to watch cooking shows actually, apart from KN, I well rather read/check out cook books without photos. That really gets your imagination going.

    All I mean, your style have a start in your head.
    i was just trying to give another way for people to get motivated by stuff. I feel like the thread starter is struggling with his current location and sometimes looking elsewhere, taking your focus away from your current situation and can help.

    Also, these arent cooking shows, as you might see on food network or what not. these are Documentaries, usually 90-120 minutes long, about chefs and their situations. "its a matter of taste" is about a NY chefs progress and process of several years to open his own 2 star restaurant. the El bulli movie shows the creative process they go through to create the menu every year. they are relatives of the "Jiro dreams of Sushii" movies. if you like books and that works for you then good. I was trying to point the thread starter in another direction. Sharing and showing what other are doing is important, and i wanted him to see that.

  9. #39
    Senior Member TamanegiKin's Avatar
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    It's all good, I'm looking for a new spot where I can cook, contribute and most importantly continue to learn.
    That being said I'm present in the moment and focused on leaving a better place than the one I came into.
    I intend on personally finding my replacement and bringing he or she up to speed on all things new and old.
    There are some details that I don't care to share and I think some replies were a bit off base because of it.
    Either way I'm better prepared now moving forward and this'll be the last time I address this thread as I feel it's counterproductive to moving on with it. Thanks again and next time I post in back of the house forum It'll be about something better.
    Peace

  10. #40
    I enjoyed the thread. It's a good topic, entirely subjective, and varies from situation to situation as to what the "right" thing to do is.

    I think the big take-home here is that you should try to grow constantly, and put yourself in a position where that is possible.
    Happiness is a sharp knife.

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