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Evanston Bakery Owner Sues After Chef Quits, Takes Recipes

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Fraiche Bakery

The owner of the Fraiche Bakery in Evanston is suing a former chef for taking the recipes with her when she quit. (Credit: CBS)

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EVANSTON, Ill. (CBS) — A court hearing is scheduled this week for a lawsuit accusing the chef at an Evanston bakery of taking the recipes with her when she quit.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports, the chef at Fraîche Bakery, at 815 Noyes St. just west of the Northwestern University quads, recently resigned. But the Chicago Tribune reports before leaving for good, the chef grabbed two three-ring binders that included the secrets for the bakery’s signature “cinnamon bomb” pastry and other items, according to a lawsuit.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports

The chef allegedly told another employee that a lawsuit would be required to get the recipes back, and added that the owner should have made copies if she wanted to keep them, the Tribune reported.

Fraîche owner Susan Davis Friedman tells the Tribune the special recipes were developed over a three-and-a-half-year period and are the bakery’s property. Benson Friedman, the owner’s husband and attorney, added that the chef signed a non-disclosure agreement, the Tribune reported.

The Tribune article does not name the chef.

The cinnamon bomb was described thusly by Restaurant Intelligence Agency blogger Matt Kirouac in a tweet back in 2010, “If a doughnut and a muffin had a lovechild, it would be the Cinnamon Bomb from Fraiche bakery in Evanston.”

The pastry also made Time Out Chicago’s list of the “100 best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.”

“Why call this (admittedly tame-looking) pastry a ‘bomb?’” Time Out writes. “Because this moist, cinnamon-dusted cake is unexpectedly addictive. And that’s dangerous.”

The court hearing on the lawsuit is set for later this week, the Tribune reported.

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