Things that make you go hmmm....

Apparently I'm behind the times on this one, this story has been out for a few days.
Whaddya think? Seems a bit fishy. That other woman's book is awfully similar!

Jessica Seinfeld's recipes stir up plagiarism accusations

Rush & Molloy: Jessica Seinfeld's cookbook publisher is steamed at accusations that her recipes are another writer's leftovers."

Jessica Seinfeld

Jessica Seinfeld

Jessica Seinfeld 's cookbook publisher is steamed at accusations that her recipes are another writer's leftovers.

Seinfeld's new "Deceptively Delicious," about hiding healthy ingredients in foods children will eat, is already the best-selling book in the country, with print runs of 2.5 million through January.

But chef and baby-products mogul Missy Chase Lapine came out in April with a book, "The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals." Lapine baked her spinach brownies with Al Roker on the "Today" show; Seinfeld shared her spinach brownies with Oprah on that show last week.

Mothers on Oprah.com and parenting sites have noted similarities after perusing the puree-spattered pages of both. Some wondered whether the wealthy Seinfeld didn't have cooks who helped cook up her recipes.

Seinfeld writes about having an epiphany that, "While I was cooking dinner, pureeing butternut squash for the baby and making mac and cheese for the rest of us, I had the crazy idea of stirring a little of the puree into the macaroni. ... The colors matched -you couldn't really see the squash in there -and the texture was perfect."

Lapine, who founded the Baby Spa natural products line, writes: "If you want to hide something in macaroni and cheese, you have to match the color of the dish. You could easily introduce white bean puree in the mac and cheese."

Seinfeld and Lapine both have recipes for mashed potatoes with hidden cauliflower, grilled cheese with secret sweet potatoes, green eggs made with pureed baby spinach, and carrot-laced tacos.

Lapine stayed hidden herself when we called, but Craig Herman, an executive at her publisher, Running Press, said ominously: "I won't be able to comment until next week."

But Seinfeld's publisher, Steve Ross, was buoyant as he noted that Collins U.S. had six printing presses going full time to keep up with demand and told us: "Jessica Seinfeld's work is completely and entirely original and stems from her own personal experience cooking for her own three children and husband. We all know children will see healthy food and run in the other direction. We have full confidence in the originality of Jessica's recipes. We have been involved in creating the content of this book for almost two years."

Ross did admit that Lapine's agent had submitted her book to them "in May of 2006, but it was rejected." The parent HarperCollins imprint had yet another book in the genre, "Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children," Ross explained.

As for whether Seinfeld actually toils over a hot stove, Ross said: "Well, I can tell you that she cooked [mac and cheese and meatballs] for us, and it was delicious. And we've heard from Jerry that he's been a guinea pig."

A spokesman for Seinfeld said, "She admits she didn't invent pureeing. But she never saw the [Lapine] book. And she worked really hard on hers."

Now check this out!

You can find this book at Amazon.com.

You can read all about Missy Chase Lapine at The Sneaky Chef.com.



hello sunshine! said...

I've been reading about this too - the whole thing seems really sketchy! Seems to me like J.S. rode in on someone else's coattails and only got published because of her famous husband!

Alexis Black said...

I know only a little about Jessica, having worked in the development office of her college alma mater, but what I do know tells me right away that this book is likely a copycat. She is not a particularly motivated individual nor can she speak for herself. She relies heavily on the fame of her dear hubby...can't say as I blame her.

WorksForMom said...

I heard about this drama too. The only thing I can relate it to is other cookbooks. I mean Betty Crocker has a whole slew of copycats too and that wasn't and isn't a controversy? I have a friend who has both cookbooks and said the recipes are different.

I don't have either, so I really don't know...

Anonymous said...


Point #1 - Ms. Lapine showed her book to HarperCollins (Ms. Seinfeld’s publisher) 6 months before Ms. Seinfeld. Ms. Lapine’s publisher had already made Ms. Seinfeld’s publisher change the book cover (which easily resembled Ms. Lapine’s book cover).

Point #2 - Ms. Seinfeld has the same agent from the William Morris Agency as the Harvard sophomore student who recently lost her book contract for copying another’s novel.


Coincidence? You be the judge!

Anonymous said...

TWO books which are:

both cookbooks
shown to the same publisher
in the same year
with the same UNIQUE recipes
on the same UNIQUE cooking concept
by authors who live in the same city
with nearly IDENTICAL book covers
both pitched to OPRAH

IS JUST A COINCIDENCE. No way, I smell a rat!

Tickled Pink & Green said...

I don't know what to think. The only thing that would make me think Jessica is not guilty is they certainly don't need the publicity or the money.

But who knows? I did notice that Lapine is going to be on the Today show Thursday. Someone tune in and tell us what happens.

Mom Chatter said...

This is such a crazy controversy. It really does make you wonder what the whole story is... and I'm sure that we will never know it! I've tried several recipes from Lapine's book... not too shabby. Don't plan on checking out Seinfeld's because it's all just too suspicious!

Candace said...

hmmm! maybe Jessica is really the "sneaky" chef in this sitch...!
good investigative reporting!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Ms. Seinfeld has a NEW book out; it’s called, “The Joy of Cooking with Cinnimon.” Early readings show that the recipes are similar to well-known cookbook, “The Joy of Cooking,” except that cinnimon has been added to every recipe. Jerry Seinfeld has already scheduled for Letterman next week.

Let’s take a quick look at the William Morris agent who brought Jessica Seinfeld to Harper Collins. Her name is Jennifer Rudolph Walsh. Name sound familiar? Probably not. But, she is also the agent of Kaavya Viswanathan who is the Harvard sophomore who was proved to have plagiarised her best selling book.

Website Content and Copy: Caffeine Court, 2007-8.|Blog Design by JudithShakes Designs.