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Chef Agrees To Return Recipes To Bakery After Lawsuit

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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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UPDATED 04/18/12 12:52 p.m.

EVANSTON, Ill. (CBS) — A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed by the owner of an Evanston bakery, who was suing a chef who quit and took the recipes with her when she left.

Susan Davis Friedman, owner of Fraîche Bakery Café at 816 Noyes St. just west of the Northwestern University quads, tells WBBM Newsradio that the pastry chef, Maryann Huppert, has agreed to return the recipes.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports

Friedman says Huppert quit two weeks ago and took some unique and irreplaceable recipes with her, most notably the recipe for the Cinnamon Bomb, a café specialty. She also took some cupcake recipes, the lawsuit said.

The recipes were critical to the success of the business, the suit said.

Friedman claimed the recipes were her property, but Huppert said she got the recipes from books and the Internet.

A Chicago Tribune report Tuesday said Huppert 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.

But in a subsequent Tribune report, Huppert said the whole dustup was “ridiculous.” She told the newspaper she took the recipes when she was asked to come get her belongings after resigning, and then they sued her to get them back.

But Huppert told the Tribune she planned to return the recipes. Friedman told WBBM Newsradio the same, and said customers will be able to once again order the Cinnamon Bomb.

Friedman declined to comment on the settlement because of a non-disclosure agreement, but said Wednesday morning that she had her recipes back, and she was happy.

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 Fraîche 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.”

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