could your gazpacho be a pot of gold?

...it could, if a group of angry chefs get their way. By Oliver Swanton

Next time you try your hand at recreating that dish you once ate in that fancy restaurant - something like pommes frites avec chocolat chaud et rosmarin la Nantaise - think again. One, it'll probably be a disaster. Two, you may be breaking the law.

After cyberspace, the new frontier of copyright legislation could be the kitchen - if the Italian chef Gualtiero Marchesi has his way. Yesterday, in the gambling resort of Campione d'Italia (an enclave of Italian territory at the Swiss end of Lake Como), Marchesi launched his revolutionary proposal, in a conference entitled "The cook's signature: copyright in the kitchen". For Marchesi, this is a grudge match. "One of my most famous creations is the raviolo aperto [open raviolo]. A few years back I had a young chef who worked with me for a while. Then he went off to work for another great chef. And what do I find when I open that chef's latest book? A recipe for raviolo aperto! I'm not saying that I should be paid royalties every time the raviolo aperto recipe is used - just that I should be credited as its creator."

Like any self-respecting Italian chef, Marchesi is quick to drag Michelangelo in: "A cook is an artisan, but so were the great artists ... like Michelangelo."

But master chef Nico Ladenis is quick to pour cold water on such pretensions: "One man's open raviolo is another man's skewed lasagne," he sniffs. Nico presides over Chez Nico in Park Lane, and belongs, like Marchesi, to the exclusive circle of Michelin three-star chefs. "Applying copyright law to recipes is the most preposterous suggestion I've ever heard," he begins. "Cooking has always been about imitation. The most a great chef can hope for is to have created one original dish in his life."

The idea that the world of haute cuisine will soon be alive with the sound of litigation might be expected to warm the cockles of any lawyer's heart. But Kevin Garnet QC, one of Britain's leading copyright lawyers, is sceptical. "Under existing British law, in order for copyright to apply, you have to be able to slot your creation into an existing category - it must be an original literary, artistic or dramatic work. A book of recipes would qualify, therefore, but not a dish created by a chef in a restaurant." Garnet suggests the idea is as doomed as a recent attempt to copyright sporting manoeuvres such as the Fosbury Flop.

But there are those who think Marchesi is on to something. Robin Weir, co-author of Ices: the Definitive Guide, would welcome a code of practice in which recipes are at the very least credited to their original creators. He advises those who believe that they have stumbled on the recipe of a lifetime to write it down and post it to themselves by recorded delivery.

It has to be worth the price of a stamp. Just think of what you would stand to gain if Steven Spielberg ever bought the film rights to your "Smoked John Dory on a Bed of Coriander, Lightly Dusted with Powdered Myrtle Root and served with a Calvados Sauce".

Arts and Entertainment

eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade

radio
Arts and Entertainment
The light stuff: Britt Robertson and George Clooney in ‘Tomorrowland: a World Beyond’
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Radio
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
I am flute: Azeem Ward and his now-famous instrument
music
Arts and Entertainment
A glass act: Dr Chris van Tulleken (left) and twin Xand get set for their drinking challenge
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
MIA perform at Lovebox 2014 in London Fields, Hackney

music
Arts and Entertainment
Finnish punk band PKN hope to enter Eurovision 2015 and raise awareness for Down's Syndrome

eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
William Shakespeare on the cover of John Gerard's The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes

books
Arts and Entertainment

Game of Thrones review
Arts and Entertainment
Grayson Perry dedicates his Essex home to Julie

Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treat

tv
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the original Swedish version of the sci-fi TV drama ‘Real Humans’
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Hugh Keays-Byrne plays Immortan Joe, the terrifying gang leader, in the new film
filmActor who played Toecutter returns - but as a different villain in reboot
Arts and Entertainment
Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jessica Hynes in W1A
tvReview: Perhaps the creators of W1A should lay off the copy and paste function spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Power play: Mitsuko Uchida in concert

classical
Arts and Entertainment
Dangerous liaisons: Dominic West, Jake Richard Siciliano, Maura Tierney and Leya Catlett in ‘The Affair’ – a contradictory drama but one which is sure to reel the viewers in
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Herring, pictured performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival two years ago
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
Music freak: Max Runham in the funfair band
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
film 'I felt under-used by Hollywood'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?