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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments


This is a new one to me, culinary plagiarism:

Lower Manhattan, New York, which has long regarded itself as the world's ultimate trend factory, has spawned a new pastime that could spread like wildfire through America and beyond: suing over the culinary equivalent of plagiarism.

Rebecca Charles, the creator and owner of the wildly popular Pearl Oyster Bar in the West Village, this week lodged a legal suit with the New York courts that charges her former sous-chef with taking her menu and interior styling and recreating it nearby.

[. . .]

What seems to have upset Ms Charles in particular is Ed's Caesar, a $7 (£3.50) salad that she alleges in the legal action was taken from her own recipe. But Ms Charles acquired the recipe from her mother, who, in turn, wheedled it out of a chef in Los Angeles.

I don't know. Recipes seem to me like folk songs. You pass them around and add to them and subtract from them and keep creating new things. But I can understand restaurants' vigilance in protecting their secrets. There are certain recipes I'd love to have and would not alter a bit: Casa's salad dressing, the Rib Room's sauce, Hartley's sauteed mushrooms. Now I've gone and made myself very hungry. Wonder if I can rustle up a bologna sandwich, Paris Hilton's favorite?