This week the food world was rocked by a kerfuffle over a set of questionable canapés allegedly developed by Alinea chef Grant Achatz. But the Chicago Tribune’s Phil Vettel appears to have finally put the story in the can: Yes, those are Achatz’s snacks.
The recipe for Keebler crackers topped with sweet potatoes and raisins appeared on Kellogg’s Snackpicks site as the work of a "Chef Grant Actatz," prompting people to wonder if the company was using a fake name to capitalize on the Alinea chef’s celebrity. But another recipe on the site for ham and curry toppers, using the same Keebler crackers, was credited to Achatz as well, and his name was spelled properly.
According to Eater, Achatz’s partner Nick Kokonas discovered the recipes and took the matter to Twitter, as you do, saying, "That certainly is not our food and it's amazing to me that Kellogg's would put that on there without contracting with us first."
Accusations of malfeasance flew, but the Tribune’s Vettel appears to have finally gotten to the bottom of it this morning:
"Back in 2006, a somewhat-less-famous Achatz indeed had a relationship with Kellogg Company and developed two recipes for the Keebler Town House brand," Vettel writes. "However, that agreement apparently had a short time window, which had expired long ago."
Kellogg’s has removed both recipes from its web site, and according to Vettel, that would appear to be that.
But with all those screenshots running around, it shouldn’t be too hard to get the recipe for Achatz’s "Sweet Potato Toppers" with puréed sweet potatoes and Bourbon-soaked raisins. So now the question remains: Has anyone actually made these things, and can they give us a report?