Copycat restaurant recipes, or “restaurant recipe clones,” are very easy to find on the internet, at least if you are looking for recipes from your favorite chain restaurants. However, there are copycat recipes then there are vaguely similarrecipes. Many online recipes try to either improve the recipes from restaurants, substitute ingredients, or make them more healthy rather than to meticulously recreate every flavor and detail. You cannot know how reliable they are until you cook them. In some cases, you may be able to tell a lot from any accompanying photos. A good recipe clone should look the same as well as taste the same.
Some of the most successful chain restaurants, however, publish their own cookbooks or give some of their recipes online. If you check out the restaurant’s website, you might find one or two.
Some examples of well-known restaurant cookbooks are:
- Mccormick & Schmick’s: Seafood Restaurant Cookbook
- Carrabba’s Italian Grill: Recipes from Around Our Family Table
- Chevy’s Fresh Mex Cookbook
- California Pizza Kitchen Cookbook
- Panera Bread Cookbook
- Morton’s The Cookbook: 100 Steakhouse Recipes for Every Kitchen
- Tavern on the Green: 125 Recipes For Good Times, Celebrating The New York Legend
For an example of Carrabba’s see Cavatappi Amatriciana Side Dish from Carrabba’s (not an exact clone but slightly tweaked).
…to name just a few.
In addition to cookbooks from the restaurants themselves, there are, of course, copycat restaurant cookbooks which feature multiple recipes from multiple well-known restaurants. Although various authors produce these kinds of cookbooks, the leader of the pack, and the gentleman probably responsible for getting all this copycat stuff started, is Tod Wilbur, the kitchen clone recipe king. If you’re looking for restaurant recipes, he’s the guy to deliver.
Wilbur, has written more cookbooks than I would care to list in one article, and he also has a website, YouTube channel, and is the host of CMT’s Top Secret Recipe, as well as appearing on numerous TV shows, some of which, like Oprah, and Dr. Oz, I’ll have to forgive him for, as despite the misinformation spread in these shows, his recipes are among the most accurate, if not the most accurate, you can get. You can see some of his TV show episodes, other TV appearances, and his own videos on his YouTube channel.
Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2
- California Pizza Kitchen
- The Cheesecake Factory (see Cheesecake Factory’s Ahi Carpaccio explanation)
- Hard Rock Cafe
- Joe’s Crab Shack
- Olive Garden
- Outack Steakhouse (are they REALLY Australian?)
- P.F. Chang’s (see P.F. Chang’s Famous Chicken Lettuce Wraps)
- Red Lobster (yes, cheddar bay biscuits)
- Red Robin
- Romano’s Macaroni Grill
Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3
- Bahama Breeze
- BJ’s Restaurant
- Bonefish Grill
- Buffalo Wild Wings
- Cheeseburger In Paradise
- Cheesecake Factory
- Cracker Barrel
- Famous Dave’s
- Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse
- Gordon Biersch
- Hard Rock Cafe
- Joe’s Crab Shack
- Longhorn Steakhouse
- Mimi’s Cafe
- Olive Gardon
- On the Border
- Outback Steakhouse
- P.F. Chang’s
- Pizza Hut
- Red Lobster
- T.G.I. Friday’s
- Trader Vic’s
I’m not sure why you would want to cook recipes from some of these places, but they are there if you want them!
There are a great many recipe clone websites built on Blogspot for many of these individual restaurants. I cannot attest to how long the originators will get away with this, before the restaurant slaps them with a cease and desist order for using the company’s name in their domain. As for the recipes, as far as I can tell, they are copies of the recipes from Todd Wilbur’s books and perhaps some others, although I cannot say for sure. This is not illegal, by the way, as you cannot copyright a recipe, only its expression.
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