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Thread: do you give away your recipes?

  1. #21
    Senior Member TamanegiKin's Avatar
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    Ok I feel some things need to be cleared up here.
    First off, my question stemmed from something feeling off with my current job and my role.
    I've always contributed at every place I've been because I love what I do.
    I always took it as a challenge to prove to my chefs that I can do whatever they throw at me and also do my part to create or improve.
    I don't understand the "insecure" suggestions.
    My confusion on whether or not I wanna leave behind a detailed how to once I'm gone has nothing to do with insecurity.
    Why would I feel that way about items that have become signature menu items?
    I just don't feel too fondly about the owner.
    If creating is so easy (which it is) then why don't all cooks do so?
    Cooks who don't create are insecure.
    I did a dessert menu awhile back because my chefs didn't "like" pastries. I was a prep cook at the time and I ended up with my name in a magazine and a dessert menu that people really enjoyed. I did it because it's FUN! Because I love my work and it's how I get better. Finally, I'm not seeking compensation directly for a recipe. I'm just in a place now where I am trying to look out for my best interest.
    If you think that some owners don't try to exploit those who do this just for the "love" of the game then that's naive.
    I'm glad I brought this up, as I said earlier I don't think I'm at a place where I want to help and I will fix that real soon.
    I've never experienced this before and I appreciate the responses.
    One last thing, I do this because I enjoy it, because I belong in the kitchen, it's all I've got and I hit it hard every day because I know it's all I've got. This is my life, there's no reason I shouldn't seek a suitable wage for it.
    Thanks for helping out fam, all your replies are much appreciated.

  2. #22
    Senior Member labor of love's Avatar
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    ive had jobs where i helped in recipes/specials, menu development and ive also had jobs where i didnt want to. theres nothing wrong with whatever decision you come to. follow your gut instincts.

  3. #23
    Senior Member quantumcloud509's Avatar
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    Its so tough to share sometimes I only share with people I trust anymore. Not the owner or the sous chef, but the chef yeah. He at leats gves me credit for my input unlike the other two. Geez. Thats all you really want though, is credit right? The only place I banked off of recipes is when I was chef at Market Grill inside of pikes place...that was nice. Free money. Yeah.

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by TamanegiKin View Post
    Ok I feel some things need to be cleared up here.
    First off, my question stemmed from something feeling off with my current job and my role.
    I've always contributed at every place I've been because I love what I do.
    I always took it as a challenge to prove to my chefs that I can do whatever they throw at me and also do my part to create or improve.
    I don't understand the "insecure" suggestions.
    My confusion on whether or not I wanna leave behind a detailed how to once I'm gone has nothing to do with insecurity.
    Why would I feel that way about items that have become signature menu items?
    I just don't feel too fondly about the owner.
    If creating is so easy (which it is) then why don't all cooks do so?
    Cooks who don't create are insecure.
    I did a dessert menu awhile back because my chefs didn't "like" pastries. I was a prep cook at the time and I ended up with my name in a magazine and a dessert menu that people really enjoyed. I did it because it's FUN! Because I love my work and it's how I get better. Finally, I'm not seeking compensation directly for a recipe. I'm just in a place now where I am trying to look out for my best interest.
    If you think that some owners don't try to exploit those who do this just for the "love" of the game then that's naive.
    I'm glad I brought this up, as I said earlier I don't think I'm at a place where I want to help and I will fix that real soon.
    I've never experienced this before and I appreciate the responses.
    One last thing, I do this because I enjoy it, because I belong in the kitchen, it's all I've got and I hit it hard every day because I know it's all I've got. This is my life, there's no reason I shouldn't seek a suitable wage for it.
    Thanks for helping out fam, all your replies are much appreciated.
    You basically answered yourself.
    Think about it this way: even if you dont like the place or whatever about it that you dont want to contribute, do it for your own sake.
    You push yourself and its going to be you who benefits.
    Ideas are coming from inspiration, inspiration might come from that dirty bastard you work with and hate It is all over. I think every place can give you something back.

    For example, I worked in one shitehole once, needed money when baby was on her way.
    So there are burgers on the menu. They serve frozen stuff, of course.
    Even though it comes ready shaped they managed somehow to run out.
    One day we had leftover ribeye joint, so I minced it, blended meat mixture and shaped some burgers.
    Next day Im coming, and theres my burgers for staff meal and the frozen shite in the fridge.

    I was so sick of that frozen pile of crap, that I wanted it out the menu. The next menu I supposed to make. So I did.
    First day we served the menu comes one idiott waiter and cries that a customer came all the way from Canada and is unsatisfied that this shitehole have no longer freaking frozen dry shite on the menu.

    You can see the pics of the items in my picture thread, this was winter bar menu, sous chef [which happened to be an idiott with 7 months experience from restaurant joint] said about it "The flavours are there but theres no colour"
    I will never forget that.
    I left but the menu and recipes are there. Noone can make it anyway.

    Oh yeah for the warm rice pudding with cherries and cherry-kirsch sorbet the ice cream machine got broken but nobody cared for 5 months, even though me moaning.

  5. #25
    Senior Member mpukas's Avatar
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    I don’t work in a pro kitchen, so my perspective is a bit different.

    It's not about the recipe, it's about the technique and execution. People ask me all of the time for my "recipes" (which I rarely use), so I'll write down what I put in a dish, they'll try to make it and they'll say it was terrible. Again, these are mostly non-pro folks that usually need a detailed recipe to boil water.

    May be the kitchen and restaurant world is different, but in the design world, your ideas are not yours - they are the of the firm you work for. You get paid to create for the name on the door, not yourself. A friend from college who is a rock star designer worked for a very high end firm in NYC after we graduated, and every day his drawings were taken from him and locked in a safe for the night. May not be relevant, but that's the level ideas and protection can go to.

    It's much harder to keep secrets in the food world today, where just about everything that anyone is doing at the moment is at your virtual finger tips. It's common place for a young chef to work for a well know joint famous for something for a short time, take what he can learn, and then move on to something else.

    My thought for OP is if you’re writing recipes, dishes, menus for your joint and you feel you deserve something for it that you’re not getting, you either should be in a conversation about a higher position, or be looking to relocate.
    Shibui - simplicity devoid of unnecessary elements

  6. #26
    GoogleFu San steeley's Avatar
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    I always give out recipes freely never really thought about it any other way .
    i am always revising and looking for new or different not so much recipes but maybe a idea forms in dishes or technique that i use and the recipe or dish i give away today will not be what i am doing next week .
    always changing and learning . but good technique and method will always stays.
    A clever cook can make good meat of a whetstone.” Erasmus

  7. #27
    Senior Member Chuckles's Avatar
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    My wife had to sign a contract stating that every recipe she makes becomes the property of her company. She has had dishes that didn't make it on the menu at her restaurant appear on menus at other restaurants in the company. FWIW There are a few recipes she developed at previous jobs that she won't even run on specials because she doesn't want to lose control of them.

  8. #28
    GoogleFu San steeley's Avatar
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    And i told him no ketchup but he insist
    [IMG][/IMG]
    There is no talking to him , seriously there is no talking to him . he's a dog.
    A clever cook can make good meat of a whetstone.” Erasmus

  9. #29
    I think it depends on the recipe, and the work place. Most restaurants i have worked at have been independent or small ownership type places, varying greatly in style and quality of food. In all these places i loved to contribute, i took just as much or more away from these places than i put in. In these environments exchange of information was rewarding, and taught me alot. Learning how to conceptualize a dish for service(i.e. making it executable in the kitchens environment, level of skill of the staff ect.)was great practice. The restaurant may have my recipe but i learned from its use.
    However i remember my first job in a more corporate place that took direct ownership of recipes for multiple restaurants, even with financial compensation, it seemed like a bad deal. you rarely saw your recipe appear on the menu, and if it was, it was always changed. It was not a learning experience.
    That said there are certain recipes,(sausage seasoning ratios come to mind)that i don't like to give up quite as readily.

  10. #30
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    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..

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