Chef to would-be copycats: Eat this


If you've gotten your copy of our new issue, you've already read about Homaru Cantu, the Chicago chef/inventor/ mad-scientist at Moto who levitates food and presents his customers with edible menus. He's one of the many pioneers in our article on "The Future." There's more on his exploits, particularly his attempts to patent his creations (inventions? dishes? what do you call these things, anyway?) in this fantastic article from Food and Wine on the "New Era of the Recipe Burglar:"

Consider your typical transaction as a restaurant patron. You choose something from the menu, it's brought to your table, you eat it, and, if it was prepared adequately, you pay for it. Under those circumstances, you' d probably say that you had bought the food. But here is a chef claiming that he still owns the food you' re swallowing. This is something new. ... Chefs have traditionally worked on an open-source model, freely borrowing and expanding on each other's ideas and, yes, sometimes even stealing them outright. But some influential people are now talking about changing the copyright law so that chefs own their recipes the same way composers own their songs. Under this plan, anyone who wanted to borrow someone else's recipe would have to pay a licensing fee.

We hope this doesn't extend to home kitchens -- not that we can cook well enough to violate any laws.

via our friend Ethan Zuckerman