Thursday, April 7, 2011


Thieves come in any industry in all forms, (even the magazine industry). Top Chef All Stars illustrates this point. Lesson: Do not steal. The victor will always prevail. ALWAYS!!!!!!

Mike reading Richard Blais' notebook with ideas fully described and drawn out

The infamous chicken oyster on an oyster Mike cannot look Richard in the face without an insipid laugh of guilt
Karma in full effect
Richard Blais...the true winner of Top Chef All Stars Photography courtesy Bravo

A few weeks ago, Richard Blais was announced as the winner of Top Chef All stars.

A few episodes prior to his winning (Episode 11: for the Gulf), competitor Mike Isabella surreptitiously 'borrowed' a clever dish that Chef Richard Blais had meticulously written down in his notebook. (We will save everyone the lecture of not sharing your ideas with a competitor during a competition, but we digress). So what, right? Wrong.

As the other chefs pointed out (most notably fan favourite Carla and Antonia), this defies 'chef law'. (Read the quotes below).

Moreover, it ruptures, and breaches another very simple , perhaps more intangible law: a little thing known as karma.

Yes, perhaps, Mike's mildly smarmy and perhaps slick slight of hand may have bamboozled the judges (Paula Deen in this case) for a short time (Isabella won this quickfire challenge), deception and misappropriation of a dish (or of any intellectual property) does not soon go without some justice. Maybe not today, or tomorrow, but it does always come back to the perpetrator.

Antonia: "he wins with a dish that was 'inspired' by another chef; this is bad chef etiquette"..."Richard had the dish written in his book, and they just talked about it this morning...he said it's my idea of doing a chicken oyster on an oyster shell

Tiffany: "gasp"

Carla: "that's chef law man. There is man law and then there is chef law. You don't take another chef's idea. That's a no no."

Antonia: "serious chef law"

Richard: "Mike's dish looks a lot like something that's in one of my notebooks. ...I'm waiting for him to look at me from across the room and he won't look at me. It's plagiarism(to camera: "that's my dish")

Mike: "(smug)if it was his dish he should have done it right?"

Richard: (upon his win) " I didn't think I could do it. I don't want to be cliche, like where there's a will there's a way but....I willed this....."

What does the moral of this story say to you folks?

We are reminded of two beautiful quotes (below) that sums up where OUTRIGHT thieving (in all forms, in all industries). As with chefs so with Magazines, results in:

“A thief passes for a gentleman when stealing has made him rich” - Dutch proverb

"Borrowing is not much better than begging; just as lending with interest is not much better than stealing.” - Doris Lessing

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