They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and it looks like someone may really want to impress Grant Achatz. The Alinea chef tweeted just a few minutes ago: "Wow. Talk about food related IP issues & misrepresentation! 5 of the 8 dishes are Alinea food" and included a link to a caterer's website.
The page on Miami-based C2 Catering Concepts site features eight different menus ranging from canapes and sushi to meats and sides. Achatz said that more than half of the images represent Alinea food. We consulted Eater's unofficial Alinea expert who confirmed the dishes on the caterer's menu page do look eerily close to Alinea's.
UPDATE: As we were writing this, Achatz said they emailed C2 about the issue. Clearly the images were misrepresented on the caterer's site because all of the images Achatz said were Alinea's have been pulled from the menu page. We emailed C2's owner/chef and executive sous chef for a comment and both emails bounced. And after seeing our post, Achatz emailed us to add: "They downloaded the images from out website. We took those images ourselves. It's not 'close,' it is exact ... because in fact it is our food."
We just heard from Achatz who said:
"We have google searches set up on all the Alinea accounts ... every time something "Alinea" pops up we know within minutes. It's not about reading our own press, it is for exactly this purpose. In today's world, with the Internet, the food world is self policing.
Why they choose to use images of our food on their site I am not sure. But clearly they are misrepresenting themselves and decieving their clients, because there is no way they could execute and serve our food. Yet, by adding the images to their site they seem to be claiming the ability to do so. Or at least taking credit for it, which is wrong on many levels."
The image for the "canape," looks just like Alinea's Hot Potato/Cold Potato; and the "dessert" could be Alinea's "transparency/shattered glass." The "sides" shot? Alinea's "Shellfish Sponge, Horseradish, Celery, Gooseberry." And the meat dish? uncannily looks like an Alinea kobe dish. Don't believe us? Take a look at the pictures ... side by side.
Hot Potato Cold Potato [Photo: Ruhlman.com]
DESC [Photo: Alinea at Home]
Kobe [Photo: Bluegrin.com]