Sparks fly over Deon Meyer cookbook

2011-11-07 09:49
Leighton Koopman
Cape Town - Chicken pie with leeks and potatoes. A steak sandwich. Chocolate pudding. Pasta with smoked salmon and tomato. Macaroni and cheese and baked peanut and caramel cheesecake.

These decadent dishes have caused friction between acclaimed crime writer Deon Meyer, his wife, Anita, and a well-known food editor.

Rumours of plagiarism surfaced after the Meyers supposedly did not give the necessary recognition in their cookbook, Kom Eet! Om die tafel met Anita en Deon Meyer, to Barbara Joubert, food editor of Sarie.

The Sunday Times reported that there are some of Joubert's recipes in the Meyers' cookbook that are similar to recipes that Joubert compiled for Sarie.

Sarie's co-publisher, Marina Smith, told Die Burger on Sunday that they're not going to comment. "We are currently in a discussion with Human and Rousseau (publisher of the book) and choose not to comment."


Joubert is credited in two of the recipes in the Meyers' book.

In the recipe for quick vegetable soup, Anita writes she is "a big fan of Barbara Joubert's recipes" in the magazine Sarie Kos. "She originally listed the use of the Kassler chop, to give the soup meatiness, as a separate tip, but I added it from the beginning."

In the second reference, on roast potatoes, Anita sings Joubert's praises once again. "Thank goodness it's Barbara Joubert from Sarie who took three years to make these perfect roast potatoes and not me."

A Cape Town lawyer - who prefers to remain anonymous - said there is copyright on the text or wording of recipes, but not on the ingredients or method. Thus, you may not quote directly from a recipe without acknowledging the source.

Deon Meyer could not be reached telephonically for comment.



  • donsievanwyk - 2011-11-07 11:04

    Baie van Sarie se resepte lyk anyway asof dit direk uit die Kook en Geniet kom. Eerder vir SJA de Villiers bedank, almal van julle.

  • Leonie - 2011-11-07 13:29

    ja donsie. jy is reg! Gee maar vir kook en geniet die krediet. Kom SJA se kinders kom haal jul pond vleis.

  • colette.rossouw - 2011-11-07 13:34

    How many ways ARE THERE to make certain dishes? Maybe slight variations, but I think we've published or tried it all! I'm sure my roast potatoes are exactly the same as the tannie down the road's. Does that mean i'm stealing her recipe? Pancakes, soup, roast chicken, you name it, all have the basic ingredients and we add our own little ideas/ingredients based on a recipe, or word-of-mouth or eaten it at a friend's house etc. Ridiculous.

  • Mary - 2011-11-07 19:26

    Still, it's surprising that a writer of Meyer's stature didn't know any better.

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