Rather than just complaining about the overly complex rules, I thought I would be constructive and offer a simpler alternative with 1 rule: It's a specific restaurant or brand and the recipe is hard to find. All the chefs I know love deconstructing or reverse engineering recipes, not just for the challenge but it's a great way to demonstrate your tasting skills and knowledge of food.
My reasoning behind why the other rules are not needed (besides simple being better if it still accomplishes the same goal):
- A clear description of the desired result (what's special about the above).
As already stated by @Aaronut "Everybody's going to have their own perception of what makes a Five Guys hamburger unique". This applies just as much to the OP. The OP may not even be qualified to describe what makes it unique or have any idea of how to put it into words. What I like about Marmite is, well, it tastes like Marmite.
- Some evidence of prior homework being done and a description of what's missing or what failed in the original attempt ("I tried X recipe but it's not hot enough").
The whole idea of reaching out to experts first is to avoid the failed attempts. IMHO, what we should really be looking for is the willingness to try the suggested answers and report back to the community. Something you can't determine when the question is initially posted.
Also, in the original discussion about restaurant mimicry we have this Q&A:
@Robert - ok I see where you're coming
from. Having thought about this a bit
more, endless questions for biscuit
and cake recipes would be a bad thing.
I agree, more targeted questions
pertaining to a recipe should be
encouraged. That said, how about if a
particular recipe was hard to come by,
for example if preparing a dish by
Carême or Escoffier? I think that
should be fine? – Kev Jul 12 '10 at
Well that would make sense... since asking about an Escoffier recipe
would perforce mean talking about
actual techniques used in his time. –
daniel Jul 18 '10 at 8:58
The Cholula recipe is hard to come by.
Aren't the quality of the answers just as important as the question? If someone posts a recipe request for a hard to come by recipe and the answer is just a recipe and there is no further discussion after a reasonable amount of time, then by all means close the question. Likewise if no one answers within a reasonable time. The community itself decided the question wasn't phrased in way that was interesting enough, rather than a moderator stepping in ahead of time.
If instead, the question generates interesting discussions about technique and reverse engineering the recipe, and the community works together to find a definitive answer then wouldn't that be a good thing, regardless of how the question is phrased?
As it is now, the question gets closed before that good thing ever gets a chance to happen.