Did Burger King Rip Off Mac N’ Cheetos From The Vulgar Chef?

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but one online chef is calling foul when it comes to Burger King’s Mac n’ Cheetos. 

The concept of deep-frying macaroni and cheese leftovers is nothing new, but Kyle Marcoux — better known online as The Vulgar Chef — is now pointing out to FoodBeast that he posted his very particular method for making “Cheetos Crusted Mac N Chees Fries” nine months before Burger King

The Vulgar Chef lives up to his nickname in the FoodBeast interview, using his signature colorful language to vent about what he sees as a national fast food chain cashing in on an item strikingly similar to his creation.

“At first I was like what the f***? Like…you’re f****** Burger King,” he told FoodBeast. “It actually is a little flattering that a company as large as BK would take an idea from a fat, drunk, illiterate food blogger who is basically an Internet food troll. Kind of sad if you ask me.”

Marcoux says that the Mac n’ Cheese bites from Burger King are just too similar to his creation to be a coincidence.

The Vulgar Chef says he’s now added Burger King to his list of companies that have allegedly used his recipes. That list includes chains like Giordano’s and the Chicago Cubs, as well as media companies like BuzzFeed, FoodBeast reports.

He says keeping the list and being vocal when he feels a company uses his recipes is his way of sticking up for all food bloggers. He tells FoodBeast that he would be less upset if the company just came to him personally for help with recipes.

Of course, it’s entirely possible that BK and PepsiCo cooked up the idea of Mac n’ Cheetos on their own. After all, macaroni bites aren’t a new concept. However, using Cheetos dust as part of the recipe might be. We’ve reached out to Burger King about The Vulgar Chef’s accusations, we’ll update this post when we hear back.

You might be wondering, “if you’re so concerned why don’t you just patent your recipes?” But that’s no easy task, and it’s certainly one that Marcoux doesn’t have time for.

“I would literally have to copyright every single recipe I put out. At the end of the day someone is going to rip you off,” he tells FoodBeast. “So, I just keep plugging along and try to be ahead of the curve with my recipes.”

Patenting a recipe or a food composition is only possible under narrow circumstances, according to Legal Zoom.

“The recipe must be useful, novel and non-obvious,” the site says. “This three-prong test means that the greatest recipe in the world is not patentable unless it involves a food formulation or application that has not been used before and cannot be intuited by a cook merely tasting the final product.”

The recipe must also be entirely new, it can’t be an old family recipe or something cooked for the public in the past.

Instead of patenting a recipe, Legal Zoom notes that many restaurants or corporations will protect their recipes as a trade secret. By doing this, the company also doesn’t have to worry about divulging special ingredients during the public patent process.

This, of course, is how Kentucky Fried Chicken has kept the Colonel’s secret recipe, well, a secret for so long.

That, and the New York Times reports, the only copy is locked in a company safe, and the ingredients are said to be known only to a handful of employees who have signed confidentiality pledges.

While it’s possible that The Vulgar Chef could try to protect his recipes as trade secrets, that would almost entirely defeat the purpose of his channel.

Pissed Off Chef Has Proof Burger King Stole His Mac N’ Cheetos Idea [FoodBeast]