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Thread: do you give away your recipes?

  1. #1
    Senior Member TamanegiKin's Avatar
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    do you give away your recipes?

    From a broke line cook's perspective I'm curious if you guys give away recipes.
    If you contribute to menus and don't expect to work somewhere for long would you give a place the recipes or ask for some form of reimbursement? This is a topic that has always made me uncomfortable so your opinions and experience are highly appreciated. Part of me has really enjoyed seeing my stuff on menus but now I'm beginning to feel that's also bad business on my part to not seek any form of compensation. Maybe I'm trippin' buy that's the reason I thought I'd ask.
    Thanks and I look forward to your input.

  2. #2
    I used to feel similarly about recipes/dishes when I was working for others. But I think it's a good way to develop & create new dishes, once you have a full repitoire of recipes that have been tried and tested on paying customers, you will be ready to take a position as head/executive chef, and the financial rewards will follow.
    Huw
    In order to make delicious food, you must eat delicious food. Jiro Ono

  3. #3
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    really I think be proud of dishes living on the menu beyond your stay at the restaurant. (or take it with a grain of salt as the restaurant isnt doing anything new and lacks the ability to adapt) also realize almost all menus change over time as customers change over time. understanding and tapping into the pulse of the dinners is the key.

    if the owner of the restaurant had any sense he would pay to keep you around making him money. ill tell you this though there are many owners.... the smart ones take care of people that help them make money... there are many reasons most restaurants fail but the owner is a huge part of the problem. owners though also see a turn-style of cooks to be one hit wonders. few have the drive to pour out great ideas and stay on top of it.

    honestly I meet too many cooks who have a solid resume cooking for the past 8-15 years... even held a sous chef or chef position. just got burned out. no new ideas. they are like a broken cog. they can cook but dont care to figure out much beyond that. cooking for people means to feed and nourish them... there is a deeper exchange beyond just cook... you dumb it down to well I followed the recipe so your recipe must be the problem and the truth is that cook is as stale as the day they gave up caring.

    the best way to get paid for your ideas is to prove your ideas turn a profit.

  4. #4
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    I think that you should. I hate the idea of intellectual property when applied to food.

    When you take a job, you're surely learning a whole new slew of techniques and recipes anyway, so you're probably to come out with a net gain.

    Cooking is at its best when it is collegiate.

  5. #5
    I like seeing my stuff on the menu. As a sous, it is part of my job description to create menu items, so part of my salary does compensate me for it. But even when I was a line cook I didn't have a problem with it. Especially the place I am at now, it was tough to get that first item on there.

    I prefer to think of it this way: I am constantly getting better at what I do, so even if I give the place I am currently my best idea, it isn't going to be my best item next week, next month, or next year. It is product research on someone else's dime. And I am confident that even if the restaurant hangs onto it long after I am gone and I still want to use that item on my menus, I can execute it better than they can.
    "God sends meat and the devil sends cooks." - Thomas Deloney

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyChance View Post
    I like seeing my stuff on the menu. As a sous, it is part of my job description to create menu items, so part of my salary does compensate me for it. But even when I was a line cook I didn't have a problem with it. Especially the place I am at now, it was tough to get that first item on there.

    I prefer to think of it this way: I am constantly getting better at what I do, so even if I give the place I am currently my best idea, it isn't going to be my best item next week, next month, or next year. It is product research on someone else's dime. And I am confident that even if the restaurant hangs onto it long after I am gone and I still want to use that item on my menus, I can execute it better than they can.
    That sounds pretty cool. I'd eat at a restaurant with chefs with that attitude.

    k.
    "There's only one thing I hate more than lying…skim milk, which is water that's lying about being milk." -- Ron Swanson

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by mr drinky View Post
    That sounds pretty cool. I'd eat at a restaurant with chefs with that attitude.

    k.
    Well then you should stop by sometime.
    "God sends meat and the devil sends cooks." - Thomas Deloney

  8. #8
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    the chefs i've worked under are mixed. most wouldn't share a drop of information so i too would withhold information from them if i knew better. half the time i pretend i don't know anything and act "stupid" just so they get their kicks from being "my superior".

    but the chefs that share to me, i share to them everything i know. i give them seeds from my garden sometimes even produce coz i like growing heirloom stuff from all over the place (whenever i'm successful, that is). i tend to give more to those that share to me, information or things as thanks.

  9. #9
    Of course, a recipe doesn't dictate how the food is sent out or presented to a customer.

    I can follow a recipe by Thomas Keller exactly but would it be the same at my restaurant, no, the ambiance plating etc would be different.

    To me chefs who are concerned about giving out recipes are insecure.

    If you are getting stuff on the menu as a line cook that is great and you should be proud that your making good food I don't think however you should be entitled to profits.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyChance View Post
    I like seeing my stuff on the menu. As a sous, it is part of my job description to create menu items, so part of my salary does compensate me for it. But even when I was a line cook I didn't have a problem with it. Especially the place I am at now, it was tough to get that first item on there.

    I prefer to think of it this way: I am constantly getting better at what I do, so even if I give the place I am currently my best idea, it isn't going to be my best item next week, next month, or next year. It is product research on someone else's dime. And I am confident that even if the restaurant hangs onto it long after I am gone and I still want to use that item on my menus, I can execute it better than they can.
    Also, I would not want to work at a place that I did not want to contribute to.
    "God sends meat and the devil sends cooks." - Thomas Deloney

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