Posted By: jglass 
Nov 5  # 1 of 5
I was wondering what your opinions are on this.
I think most of us get our ideas from other recipes and dishes that we eat. Or maybe we take recipes and reshape them to suit our tastes and those of our families. But when do you reach the point where you can feel a recipe is yours?
 Posted By: dianncy64 
Nov 6  # 2 of 5
I would think when you altered the main recipe's ingredients to a point that you have given it a different taste or different then what the main recipe had intended... and/or if you alter the ingredients to suit your tastes.

I have done that too with my mother's Italian Spaghetti Sauce~ her recipe was handed down in generations (she was Italian) and when I started making it I just added more ingredients and changed the methods of cooking it and eliminated a thing or two ~ so at this point it is MY Italian Spaghetti Sauce, though because it was my mother's originally I give her the respect ... well because she was my mother, but technically it's MY Italian Sauce now.
 Posted By: Chef_Jacob 
Nov 6  # 3 of 5
I believe that cooking is an evolutionary experience. A "recipe" is the sum of technique and flavor. It becomes yours when you first understand the underlying technique that makes that recipe great, and then change it as your understanding for technique and flavor structure evolve.

The beautiful thing about recipes is that they tell a story. Just like children are a product of their environment, so are cooks and the recipes they produce. That's not to say that there's no such thing as an "original recipe," just like each one of us is an individual. But at the same time, the background and perspective from which you approached that recipe, to make it yours, was greatly influenced by your environment, whether it be you mother's Italian cooking or a French Chef that gave you a chance to be an apprentice.
 Posted By: chubbyalaskagriz 
Nov 6  # 4 of 5
Interesting question, janie... I haven't pondered it very long... and I'm sure there are many wonderful, thoughtful answers... but my first inclination is to say that in a long commercial cooking career, I found very few original recipes that could be attributed to just a single cook- at any point in history. Most recipes are a culmination of the efforts of many hands- that whole "it takes a village" thang. I have come up with things that in my mind were new and unique- only to see a very similar version of the idea elsewhere- that I at one time thought was completely mine. Sheesh! Food is one of those wonderful mediums, that realistically- has pretty much endured and undergone just about every metamorphisis possible- I wonder if in this day and age there truly is anything that hasn't yet been done?
 Posted By: jfain 
Nov 6  # 5 of 5
I think that was the whole reason for the move to molecular gastronomy. It was a way to be completely new. This is actually a question that I have pondered for a while now. I have many "recipes" that are actually just dishes that I have made up and remake with variations but I don't think they are necessarily original. I did make chicken with pinapple and paprika one time that was fabulous and I felt that was a truely original combination but just like the Chinese noodle bowl I posted. I didn't come up with that combination of flavors even though I don't use a recipe to make it. I know from eating that food so often what I should put in it. The majority of my original recipes come from looking in the refrigerator and saying ok what can I make out of that stuff. Then I throw it together and it's usually really great. I've been cooking long enough to know my techniques. Still I never write it down so is it a recipe?