What’s in a name? James Cochran slams former employer for leasing out his name

By Joe Lutrario contact

- Last updated on GMT

 James Cochran The Great British Menu

Related tags: Restaurants, Caribbean, Chefs

James Cochran has taken to Twitter to call out his former employer Rayuela for selling the rights to use his recipes and name.

The chef - who is due to appear on The Great British Menu for the first time tonight - left the City-based James Cochran EC3 earlier this year.

Rayuela has continued to trade the restaurant under the same name and has now launched a website that licenses out the chef’s name and recipes to other operators.

Linking to the site, the chef tweeted: “Anyone wanna buy me...www.jamescochran.co.uk​ my ex-employers are the lowest of low trying to sell off my name as recipes plans??!! Wtf?? Who is going to pay £25 a week just to add my name in front of the recipe?? I will give you the recipes for free if your that low!!”

Rayuela has an alternative Twitter handle for its James Cochran-branded business and sent out a tweet aimed at the numerous chefs and restaurateurs who came to Cochran’s defence.

“Please refrain from giving advice if you do not know the ins and outs of the situation. It’s rarely black and white. Check out UK Patent Act 1977 which states that owner of all IP (inc trademarks) will be the employer. @cochran_ja was a paid employee, not an owner. End of story,” it said.

“Trademark was filed long before James surprised everyone at EC3 by handing in his resignation and GBM series finished filming. We wish James well, but we will defend our business vigorously against baseless accusations and defamatory statements,” Rayuela said in a subsequent tweet.

The website offers other businesses the chance to: “Supercharge your menu with our signature recipes”.

The recipes include jerk chicken; crispy cauliflower; and Cochran’s n’duja-wrapped Scotch egg. Prices start at £25 per month for the use of one recipe.

The website - which carries the strapline “Trademarked for a reason” - has a section the sets out the detail of its registered trademark and a FAQs section explains why operators should consider signing up.

“The James Cochran® brand of quality comfort food ticks all of these boxes. With its Scottish-Caribbean fusion, its heritage is second to none. The focus is on delicious, creative recipes with a comfort food bias. It is simultaneously credible in culinary terms, yet without snobbery—how could it not be with these two cultural reference points?”

Cochran is to launch 1251 on the former site of Chinese Laundry on Islington’s Upper Street next week​ and has been contacted for comment.

Related topics: Business & Legislation, Chef, Restaurant

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