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Old 06-05-2011, 10:00 AM   #11
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Should restaurants give out recipes? If they want to, sure. If they don't want to then they should not have to. I think the majority of restaurants would not be harmed by giving out their recipes. People go out for more than just the food. They want the experience, they don't want to cook or do dishes, etc. Having a recipe will not keep them from going out in most cases. Sometimes though this is not true and a restaurant have a special dish they are known for that no one else can make the same way. Those places often benefit from the secrecy.
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Old 06-05-2011, 10:13 AM   #12
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... I'm guess'n that most chef's don't make it the exact same way twice, either. Am I wrong?
I think you may be wrong.

If you go to a restaurant and eat a meal that is "out of this world" great, you're going to go back. What happens if it doesn't taste as good when you go back? Would you be satisfied by the chef's response that he never makes it the same way twice? ...me neither.

They have to make it the same way every time. Customers count on that. It's what creates repeat business.

To the larger point, It's nice when a restaurant shares a recipe but I understand when they refuse.
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Old 06-05-2011, 10:47 AM   #13
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Agree with Andy.....Restaurants must have consistency...even a one location Mom & Pop DDD.....

Many Restaurants have Cookbooks...Where they have *A* recipe for a certain dish..but it's not *The* recipe...The hand out's I would venture to guess are the same thing....'A' recipe, but not 'The' recipe....Close maybe...but no Cigar!
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Old 06-05-2011, 10:59 AM   #14
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I enjoy it when a restaurant gives out recipes and I think it creates a sort of goodwill.

I have only purchased recipes once and that was from an old german chef who sold three recipes for each fifty dollar donation to his pet charity. This was years ago when a fifty had some power left.

In any case the recipes cannot recreate the ambiance of the restaurant and usually do not come out the same in a home kitchen. They are just kind of fun to have and talk about.
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Old 06-05-2011, 11:56 AM   #15
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The pro-con ledger looks like Michelle Kwan & Andre the Giant on a see-saw.

It's not exactly the same thing, but I wonder what would happen to the franchise if wikileaks ever got a hold of KFC's recipe...
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Old 06-05-2011, 12:49 PM   #16
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It's not exactly the same thing, but I wonder what would happen to the franchise if wikileaks ever got a hold of KFC's recipe...
As far as the home cook, probably not much as I believe they use equipment to fry that a home cook isn't going to be able to duplicate.

Professional, probably another story.
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Old 06-05-2011, 01:16 PM   #17
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Secret sauce recipes should never be given away.
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:34 AM   #18
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When my parents owned their restaurant, there were recipes that people asked for all the time...because the recipes were large quantities, my parents didn't usually share them. When batting my big blue eyes still worked, I talked a lot of chefs out of signature recipes when I worked as tour manager in the US and Canada. I am still reluctant to share those recipes with others because I feel I was given a gift. At my parents' restaurant, the cooks had "secrets." Anne swore that you could not serve steak until after a dab of butter was put on top...Clara swore that you had to use lard as part of the shortening for pastry...and, for perfect donuts, you had to let the grease get hot enough for a cube of bread to pop to the top...

One of the recipes (which I have posted here--the peach cream pie recipe) was in my dad's family for probably 100 years. I have a LOT of cookbooks (probably over 1000). I have never seen this recipe in one of the cookbooks. My mom, who was never a good cook, shared this recipe for a fundraising cookbook (years after the restaurant was sold). Now, I feel I can share it because it is 'out there' in a cookbook. I don't know how to search for the thread where I posted it to put it here, but it is on the forum--probably under pies/desserts. It is one of my favorite things to eat for breakfast during peach season...
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:50 AM   #19
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I think you may be wrong.

If you go to a restaurant and eat a meal that is "out of this world" great, you're going to go back. What happens if it doesn't taste as good when you go back? Would you be satisfied by the chef's response that he never makes it the same way twice? ...me neither.

They have to make it the same way every time. Customers count on that. It's what creates repeat business.

To the larger point, It's nice when a restaurant shares a recipe but I understand when they refuse.
I think you may be right. Good point. Shows how much I go out to eat at a restaurant with a chef.(or what I'd call a chef)
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:57 AM   #20
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Wasn't it Martha Stewart that always left something out of her recipes so no one could duplicate them?

I have had restaurant chefs give me recipes, without asking, just because I praised the recipe and told them how much I enjoyed it. They were, however, recipes that are no longer on the menu, such as Mahi-Mahi in coconut caramel sauce from Ana Mandara, and Snapper Romano from Scoma. Scoma does provide some of their recipes on their web site.
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