The New Bakers Dozen
Recipe copyrights/trade secrets

The The Bakers Dozen: Recipe copyrights/trade secrets
By ghb on Sunday, August 12, 2001 - 11:09 am: Edit

I will be teaching a couple of pastry classes at a local supermarket's "Guest Chef" series and I have a couple of questions that I hope folks can help with:

1. I will be teaching some basic, classic American recipes (cobblers and crisps, chocolate cream pie, etc.). I will be using some recipes that I've developed but others will be ones that I've taken from various sources (for some of them I can't remember where I got them). So, how do I deal with the copyright issue (these recipes will be handed out to the students)--what permission do I need? And when does a recipe stop being copyrighted and become public domain (i.e. a basic custard or cake recipe that won't vary much no matter whose cookbook it's in)?

2. I've promised my employer that I won't give away any recipes from the restaurant, but what do people think about sharing techniques and tips with "civilians"? My feeling is that I've learned most of what I know from books and trial and error and that there's nothing secret or mysterious about it.

3. Can any of you give me any teaching tips? I have a few years of experience as an English teacher, but do any of you who have taught culinary arts classes have any pointers?


By Panini (Panini) on Sunday, August 12, 2001 - 05:00 pm: Edit

1. Here are some recipe's that have been in my books for years. enough said. can't copyright recipe's anyway.

2. Should have answered these before you took the job. If your showing something technical it's not worth it anyway, to many question and slowdown.

3. I've done this many times. If it's demonstration. make it very short and have lots of finished product for them to eat.
If it's technical training, have most of the item prepared ahead of time and just have students finish and garnish.

Just my 2 cents.
ps why would your employer care that you gave away recipes? We give away recipes all the time. Is your employer is afraid that someone might want to save money and prepare at home? Not hardly. Show them everything, give them everything, especially if they are paying something for these classes. It makes for better relations with customers, heck half will mess them up and come in to order because they can't get it right.

By ghb on Monday, August 13, 2001 - 03:30 pm: Edit

Thanks for your answers, Panini. I do think these classes will be fun--they are 2 hour demonstration classes with the emphasis on providing recipes and skills to people with a pretty high interest in cooking at home.

And, yeah, my employer is worried that someone will "steal" the recipes and either make them at home or make them to sell. I would give away anything and everything--I think that the more people know, the more they appreciate things.

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Monday, August 13, 2001 - 04:06 pm: Edit

ghb, just have fun, if you taught english you will be able to teach cooking if you know how to cook. Just pretend you are working w/ newbies, which you are, don't use too much tecnical jargon, which everybody likes to use to impress the students. Just use layman's terms, answer any and all questions at any time. Wash hands often and wear gloves, the public likes to hold intructors to a higher standards then they have; like they would throw away a steak at home if it fell on the floor right?

By Panini (Panini) on Monday, August 13, 2001 - 07:35 pm: Edit

Yes, Manny is absolutely right. I have often called feuilletage or puff a pie dough folded multiple times.
These things are a pretty good source of extra income especially in CC.
Have fun,

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