Jessica Seinfeld, wife of comedian Jerry Seinfeld, has been enjoying the spotlight lately, due to her recent release of a neat cookbook that helps parents boost the nutritional content of their meals by hiding vegetables in standard dishes.
She has been making the usual talk show rounds promoting the book and talking about how the recipes came to be.
On Friday I started to read about another book written by Missy Chase Lipine, which had some recipes that bared a striking resemblance to those listed in Jessica’s book.
The New York Times is reporting that Missy’s book ‘The Sneaky Chef’ also suggests that parents could hide spinach in brownies, avocado in chocolate pudding and sweet potato in grilled cheese sandwiches.
They go on to say that :
Steve Ross, president and publisher of Collins, said the company had rejected Ms. Lapine’s book because it was too similar to another title on its list. He said the publisher agreed to meet with Ms. Seinfeld when she submitted a similar proposal two weeks later because of her name and her agent: Jennifer Rudolph Walsh of William Morris.Ms. Lapine’s publisher contacted HarperCollins this summer after an early brochure for “Deceptively Delicious” showed an illustration of a woman holding carrots behind her back, similar to a drawing on the cover of “The Sneaky Chef.” Collins changed its plans for the cover, although, Mr. Ross said, that could have been because “it just looked too awkward to have her holding a plate of brownies with one hand and carrots” in the other.
Jessica’s take on this:
“I can’t explain a coincidence like this, but I applaud it and I wish there were 10 more books like mine because I’m not in this for a competition, I’m in this to help families.”
Here is my take: Jessica has been very open about having worked closely with a chef and nutritionist during the production of this book.
While these recipes seem clever to parents who have kids that eat properly, they are normal fare for moms who have kids that will not eat veggies.
Long before this book was being promoted, my son’s eating therapist suggested for us to try some of the same things that Jessica is talking about in this book. She has been pureeing vegetables and adding them to her kids lunches, dinners and snacks for 10 YEARS!
Does that mean this book is ripping off our therapist as well? Not likely…
Could it not be possible for 2 people in a world of 6 billion to think of the same idea? Possibly…
In a telephone interview, Ms. Seinfeld said she had come up with the idea more than two years ago in her kitchen while puréeing butternut squash for her youngest son and cooking macaroni and cheese for her husband and two oldest children. “I’ve been obsessed with this for the past two years,” said Ms. Seinfeld, who worked with a chef and a nutritionist on the book. “I don’t need to copy someone’s idea. I’ve got enough going on in my life.”
Mr. Seinfeld (Jerry), who joined his wife on the phone, said, “Let’s be realistic — my wife isn’t in this for the money or the publicity.” He added, “I really don’t think we have another Watergate here.”
A portion of Jessica’s royalties will be donated to Baby Buggy, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing New York City’s families in need with essential equipment, clothing, and products for their infants and young children.