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America's Test Kitchen recipes

It seems if ATK doesn't like anybody using there recipes if you're going to change them.

and read this interview with Christpher Kimball

I don't know about you, but I rarely follow a recipe. I pretty much use them as a general guidline.

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  1. Moral of the story is that you should just write up the recipe with your changes and call it your own.

    I resent that CI/ATK/CC doesn't give subscribers web access.

    1 Reply
    1. re: irishnyc

      You would think they'd be pleased to have their recipes referenced and linked on food blogs. It seems like good free promotion to me, but apparently CI/ATK/CC doesn't agree.
      I do agree with one of the commenters who suggested they do not allow for modifications because then they can no longer protect the recipe via copyright.
      They must know what an expansive community food bloggers are and it's a shame they couldn't be more diplomatic and avoid turning off a large group of people to their company.
      After reading some of the coments left on the post I almost feel bad for Deborah the PR woman for CI/ATK/CC. Almost.

    2. The links are the same. Is the Christopher Kimball interview buried on that page somewhere?

      FWIW, between this and the other thread (about trying to unsubscribe to CI) and the lack of web access for subscribers, I think I'll pass on anything from this "empire". And their recipes are really mixed--some good, some just ordinary.

      AND that stupid bowtie irritates the heck out of me (petty, I know).

      3 Replies
      1. re: nofunlatte


        I think this is the article. Unfortunately he comes across as a real snoot.

        1. re: ArikaDawn

          This is the right link for the interview.

          1. re: ArikaDawn

            Thanks! He certainly is a consummate jackass, though. And apparently in complete denial about the role that creativity plays in cooking!

        2. I think they are saying that they don't want you to modify the recipe, print the new version, and then cite that you derived the recipe by being inspired by their recipe. That is different from modifying it for use in the kitchen and never printing anything. I've used many of their recipes, and I often modify them to suit what I own, have on hand, or like to eat. Some of their recipes just don't turn out even if I have all the right equipment (even down to that it is the expensive stuff) and I don't sub out a single ingredient. Perhaps this is due to brand variation for salt content and the like or interpreting "high heat" to your stove. There are so many little ways that something can seem the same, but still not be the same. Others are wonderful as written.

          I don't really understand what appears to be being said about the recipes in print, though. I would have thought it was legal (and ethical) to say that something in their magazine inspired you to create a recipe a certain way, and then for you to give your recipe.

          1. Good grief, those people continue to be insufferable. I guess the answer is to blog that your dish took as its starting point "a recipe found in an unnamed magazine presided over by an irritating man in a bow tie."

            1. I thought the Cook's illustrated/test kitchen lady was pretty nice and polite considering the juvenile attitude she got back in return.

              They do have a different investment in their recipes than some other places do. I also thought Kimball's response was funny. Maybe I have a sick sense of humor.

              1. I have to admit I got a subscription to the CI website and I love it. I've learned a lot reading there and I've yet to make a recipe of theirs that gets less than raves. Having said that, Kimball sounds like a real pip! He appears to contradict himself in the Washington Post interview. First he says never deviate from CI's tried and true recipes. Then he seems to be suggesting that when he actually used someone else's recipe (Julia Child's Ginger Cake), he thought the amount of molasses in it was wrong. He doesn't say whether he changed it, but he certainly implies he did. The only conclusion I can draw is that he thinks only he is smart enough to know when to modify. The rest of us are dumb sheep! Ugh. I wish I didn't like the site so much; I'd cancel my subscription when it comes up for renewal. Oh and yes I change their recipes when it suits me. And they still come out great. Take that, Christopher!

                1 Reply
                1. re: SharaMcG

                  Reminds me of an episode of ATK - the equipment testing segment was on Chef's knives. One of the models was an Alton Brown Chef's knife. The equipment tester (I forgot his name) said something like, "You know who Alton Brown is, a great chef on Food Network." Kimball was not pleased with that line, his face tightened and did not say one word in response.

                2. I also participate in a food blogger message board. We had a long thread about this. We talked about copywrite issues. An ingredient list cannot be copywrited. Many of us decided that if we use their recipes in the future, we will make our changes and call them our own. It's legal.


                  1. The more and more we hear things, the more this company's reputation plummets. On top of which they seem to have a Jekyll and Hyde aura to them. I'm tempted to stop watching their television show -- which I really enjoy -- because of the unctuous ways they handle all their other ventures.