Secret Recipies

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by planethoff, Apr 29, 2011.

  1. planethoff

    planethoff

    Messages:
    462
    Likes Received:
    211
    Exp:
    Other
    I am not asking anyone to reveal their secret family recipe, but I am curious how many out there have one(or some)? To me a talented chef should be able to recreate any dish they taste (that does not include ingredients they have never experienced).  Some people are very forthcoming with their recipes while others hold on to them as sacred.  I will admit that I have a few that I have never shared, but can't imagine that if someone really wanted to know it after tasting it, that they couldn't figure it out.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2011
  2. granny smith

    granny smith

    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    14
    Exp:
    At home cook
    I share all of my recipes, except one, but that's only because it's so involved that nobody will go to the trouble of making it. It takes 2 days to make and you risk burning out your mixer.

    I have a hobby that involves making copycat recipes for other people. They tell me what they want to duplicate at home and I figure out how to make it. Of course, it has to be something I've tasted (or at least something I can get, so I can try it)
     
  3. kaneohegirlinaz

    kaneohegirlinaz

    Messages:
    4,998
    Likes Received:
    331
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    The only recipes that I do not even attempt to replicate are any baked goods.  I don't have my degree in chemistry  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
  4. panini

    panini

    Messages:
    5,168
    Likes Received:
    283
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    I learned a long time ago that there are very few people that create a recipe. 20yrs. ago I spent a few years researching recipes.

    Omitting what I call concoctions that have arrived on scene over the last 40-50yrs. If you research it far and back enough it

    probably was already done. Or something very close.

      By concoctions I mean things like, 2 prepared items together and call it something else, deconstruction, sauces made in a blender on the line, molecular, foams, etc.

    Now this is just my opinion, most tell me, hey "blow it out your nose"

    panini
     
  5. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

    Messages:
    6,367
    Likes Received:
    129
    Exp:
    Food Writer
    >If you research it far and back enough it

    probably was already done. Or something very close.<

    I hear this argument a lot, Pan. And as an 18th century food historian I have an on-going view of what is "new" and what isn't.

    But still, my reaction has always been "so what?" If somebody asks me for a recipe it's because they liked the dish I served, they didn't know how to make it, and they would like to replicate it. The fact that somebody made a similar dish 200 years ago, or even 20,  is irrelevent.

    I'm also kind of amused by non-professionals who have "secret" recipes. I mean, what's the point? Are they really afraid somebody will steal their creation? Notice the use of the singular. Been my experience that folks who have secret recipes, by and large, have created one dish in their entire lives. Being their only claim to culinary fame, they're reluctant to share it.

    I also find that folks who ask for recipes, while they truly intend making the dish, almost never do. Just another one of the great mysteries of life. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/confused.gif

    Anyway, as members here have found, if anyone wants one of my recipes all they need to do is ask. Other than my chili recipe, I have no secrets.
     
  6. gareth

    gareth

    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    12
    Exp:
    Other
    ...and there I was thinking I needed a good chilli recipe. Do I need to get you a little drink or 2 before you can share?
     
  7. gareth

    gareth

    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    12
    Exp:
    Other
    I have to admit that I do feel quite proud of myself when I make something, and of course I imagine that I made it before any else...and of course it's all been done before.
     
  8. panini

    panini

    Messages:
    5,168
    Likes Received:
    283
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    Well KYH,

    I guess you told me. It would have been more appropiate to tell me to blow it out my nose!!!!

    I guess I took 'secret' as a recipe someone  takes credit for creating  or knows the creator.

    You hear this a lot because it's true.

    So what?  There are soo many inovators and creative, talented chef creating recipes these days yadda yadda yadda.

    What has happened is we have lost all respect for the history of food here in the states. Europe has new and creative

    things happening but they haven't lost their roots.

    I don't have my head stuck in the sand. I keep current. We are guiding our diners quickly down the path to appreciating a medocre product.

    THERE/img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif

    justmy2cents
     
  9. siduri

    siduri

    Messages:
    3,599
    Likes Received:
    46
    Exp:
    At home cook
    I modified a recipe i found for sachertorte years ago, and it's very good, not dry like most sachertorte. It's extremely dark and moist.   Another mother at one of my kids' schools was opening a little restaurant and i asked if she wanted anyone to bake cakes for it.  She asked for some samples and she commissioned me a few cakes a week.  One of the most popular was my sachertorte. 

    Now it happens that there is an italian movie director (Nanni Moretti) who is addicted to sachertorte.  Sachertorte appears in many of his movies, and he even opened a movie theater in Rome called "Nuovo Sacher" in honor of the cake.  She, being a very wily woman, never told me that he was a regular at her restaurant.  An few years later she decided to close it and asked me for the recipe, "now that i'm not selling it any more - just to make at home" so i very naively gave it to her.  A few years later a common acquaintance told me both that Nanni Moretti used to be a regular at her restaurant and that now she is working at the bar in his theater.  I'd swear she was making my cake, making plenty of money on it, and taking full credit. 

    I guess that's one reason why a person might not give a recipe out, though admittedly it was SUPPOSEDLY given to a friend.  I, in fact, do give out any recipe people ask for, at least at a personal level.  I might hold back with some recipes that are really my unique creations that i am hoping to put in a cookbook, not to actually post them online. 

    As for secret (or not) family recipes, i have a recipe for ravioli (tordelli) that my mother's mother used to make, and they are truly exceptional.  They use ground meat (beef, veal and pork) which is cooked with onion and parsley till browned, and then chopped spinach is added, and lots of parmigiano..  The result is more than amazing and very unusual.  It comes from the area around Lucca in Tuscany.  It's a big job, and though i made it for many years every christmas, i've stopped, since it's a huge job.  (Well, it used to be, my mother used to make enough to lay out to dry on a huge dining room table she had, it was completely covered.  If you want the recipe i can dig it up.  
     
  10. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

    Messages:
    7,337
    Likes Received:
    574
    Exp:
    Home Cook
    I don't keep secret recipes.  I can understand why someone would, especially if they intend to use those recipes in their own restaurant or don't want anyone profitting from their recipe like Siduri mentioned.  However, for the most part people seem to guard their recipes because it makes them feel special and I'm not into that.  In fact I'd be willing to say that most people who don't give me recipes are afraid that I'll outdo them on their own recipe, I'm a wicked good cook as most of us here are.  Most of the time people ask me as they're eating to tell them what's in it.  A list of ingredients is hardly a recipe.  If someone asks me for a recipe I don't mind giving it but the chances that that person will make it exactly as I do are slim to none.
     
  11. panini

    panini

    Messages:
    5,168
    Likes Received:
    283
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    I don't give out recipes. I did it 1000s of times in the past.

    It almost always came back to me that it did not work properly.
     
  12. Iceman

    Iceman

    Messages:
    2,460
    Likes Received:
    401
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    LOL. First off, there's NO nose blowing in my kitchen ..... take it outside!!!

    Next, if anyone wants a recipe that I use, here you go, it's yours, I'm happy for you. I have no worries because I believe that part about all recipes have been done or thought of already. After that, I don't think anyone is really gonna do it exactly the same as me because, I'm the only "me" I know, and you are "you". We all are who we are. 

    I'm happy to share all/any of my recipes. 
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2011
  13. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,489
    Likes Received:
    474
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    Paul Kirk talks about this a bit in his book 175 sauces and rubs (not the exact title).  He says he'll cook with your rub in your smoker with your sauce and beat you. Recipes are one aspect of cooking, personal ability and mastery of technique are another.  If we all cooked the same recipe, it wouldn't taste the same in the results because we all cook differently. A lot of them would probably be close because there is a higher level of skill among us.

    Picking apart a recipe by tasting can be done. There are also times it can't, at least easily. I get stymied by some Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese and Indian dishes. There's a lot of understanding of the cuisine necessary to pick those apart. Western Cuisines share a set of flavors and techniques where it's much easier to decipher.  But I'm getting better all the time at figuring out the Chinese dishes.

    Barbecue is another that is hard for many to figure out the flavorings. And another where technique is paramount as Kirk alluded to.
     
  14. durangojo

    durangojo

    Messages:
    2,171
    Likes Received:
    89
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    beat me at what? is it a contest? while some may think they cook better, i think its about different styles and how do you judge that?...its like comparing apples to oranges to me. like saying who is the best guitarist, the best singer, the best artist....you can't really as everyones has their own style. i agree that give us all the same recipe and you will, hands down, have different results. i take recipes fully knowing that i will tweak it to my liking...a bit more garlic, a pinch of cinnamon..whatever...it will morph once again in my hands, which is okay...i just wanted/needed a general guideline... i also give recipes fully knowing that it will also be tweaked and morphed into someone elses liking, which is okay. no, it won't be the same recipe, but it doesn't bother me much anymore... i got bigger fish to fry. i usually am careful who i give it out to though...some people you know aren't even gonna come close! the only recipes that i don't give out are for my salad dressings...i want peolpe to buy them and they won't if they can make it

    joey
     
     
  15. prairiechef

    prairiechef

    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    22
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    My rubs are mine. Don't ask, I'm not gonna give them to you. That said, I will happily cook WITH people if they want me to, if they want to learn or try something new.

    I have no secrets (okay, maybe a few :) ), but I also have nothing to share. Some of the stuff I cook has taken me a lot of work to "perfect* (insert eyeroll here), a lot of money, a lot of time... I do this for a living. I don't ask musicians to give me their albums for free (and if you steal 'em... well... screw you), nor artists to give me their paintings. Lawyers don't give me free legal advice, and landscapers don't weed my garden for me.

    If it's not "my" recipe... then knock yerself out... here you go.

    Cooking's nothing but a few simple rules, and decent tastebuds anyways. Learn the rules, and the rest is just playing around.
     
  16. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,489
    Likes Received:
    474
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    Kirk was talking competition barbecue.
     
  17. jellly

    jellly

    Messages:
    402
    Likes Received:
    38
    Exp:
    Professional Pastry Chef
    Phatch - I can agree with you.  The recipe is only part of it.  There are a lot of recipes I work with that may need all kinds of instructions to do it right.  It's not that they are hard to make, but to do it right, things have to be just so.  I have seen some cooks try to take shortcuts, thinking perhaps that the detailed instructions are bothersome and some steps unnecessary, but sure enough the product doesn't come out as good.

    A simple example is the cookie-day we have in our kitchen.  Saturdays are so busy, I bake a different type of cookie each week and leave out for the cooks and front of the house to eat at the end of service.  Now considering how busy weekends are, I am not trying to reinvent anything.  I just pick recipes from my hundreds of cookbooks or from some blogs I like.  But people are constantly telling me how great they are and how I should write a cookbook, etc.  But, really, it's all in knowing how to make them properly.  Cookies may seem basic, but far too many cooks over-bake them. I always share the recipes when asked (these, at least, aren't my creations) and have been told when they try to recreate them at home that they aren't the same.  Cookies are simple, but the concept applies to the more complicated dishes.  I do pastry, but am working my way through some of Thomas Keller's savory recipes and he need not fear that I am going to be any competition for him in that regard./img/vbsmilies/smilies/tongue.gif
     
  18. panini

    panini

    Messages:
    5,168
    Likes Received:
    283
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    I'm not sure who was posting under panini but I think he was just trying to say that there are just no secrets. There have been numerous times when someone told me that this was thier

    own recipe. I just gulp, because most of the time I'm familiar with something that is exactly like it.

    Since I'm on the baking side I have to bow out of the thread. 

    The cooking side usually puts prepared or grown items together for retail revenue. ie nice porterhouse steak. potatos etc.

    Now on the baking side we have to manufacture the steak -- cake -- and then prepare it for retail revenue.

    Bakeshop---manufacture and than retail...      Kitchen---retail.

    I guess that's why we work twice as hard./img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif
     
  19. prairiechef

    prairiechef

    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    22
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    "

    Bakeshop---manufacture and than retail...      Kitchen---retail.

    I guess that's why we work twice as hard.  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif"

    Panini... I;d love to come take a look at your wheat fields and grain mills... and while I'm at it, take me on a tour of your sugarcane plantation. ;)
     
  20. panini

    panini

    Messages:
    5,168
    Likes Received:
    283
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    No Chef,

    You don't raise the cattle. Most of your items come in ready to be prepared. steak,vege,starch.etc.       Then you create the dish

                                               We have to make our items ready to be prepared. cake,puff,chouxpaste.etc.  Then we create the dish   capiche?

    I'm confused./img/vbsmilies/smilies/confused.gif      Kirk was talking competition..Star Trek?  My rubs are mine!  Morphing and tweaking garlic & cinnamon!  They named a Theater after my cake!     Not my Chili! 

                                I mean, aren't most recipes described in the name?  40 yrs cooking,  I think I can only take credit for maybe 2 recipes . 1 for a President, and the other a mistake.

    Chef Heff,  Is there any special type of recipes you would like?  I offer up my 2.      Burnt Chocolate Pecan Torte.      Ancho Chocolate Jack Daniels Ice Cream.

                       Sorry for your thread being hyjacked.

                       Myself, up to early to watch the wedding.

    panini