No more secret recipe

recipe cards - top secret

As we’ve discussed previously, some people share their “secret” recipes but others like to hold on to them. Bakery owners have obvious reasons to fall into the latter camp. So you can imagine the dismay when a San Francisco-area baker discovered that someone broke into his bakery and stole his recipe binders.

Ry Stephen, a 28-year-old pastry chef, recently opened Mr Holmes Bakehouse. The shop has been open three months and is quite popular, with people waiting in line to buy his West Coast phenomenon, the cruffin (a riff of Dominique Ansel’s cronut). Apparently cruffins are beyond delicious, as one night last week, a thief stole the recipe for the pastry, along with 230 other recipes, from binders stored in the bakery’s kitchen. Nothing else in the store was taken: the thieves left behind money, baking equipment, an iPad and computers.

While Stephen is upset, he doesn’t think that the thieves will be able to recreate the cruffin from the written recipe. He notes that not all of the steps are listed, nor is the source of the butter (however, the NY Times spilled the beans on the butter, which is imported from Isigny-sur-Mer, France). While Stephen trusts his employees and doesn’t believes any of them is the culprit, he’s not as sure about his competitors. “There is a spirit of learning among pastry chefs,” he said. But, “there are always one or two who are trying to take everything and not give back,” he said. “That part disappoints me.”

This heist comes on the heels of the French Laundry burglary, where thieves made off with wine worth about $300,000 USD. (Most of the wine was later recovered.) Whether or not this robbery signals a trend, one thing is certain: it’s good for business. Stephens’ bakery was already busy, but now the lines for cruffins are even longer. “If someone stole it, it’s got to be good,” said Ashley Edwards, a restaurant manager who was waiting in line.

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