New Highly-Rated UWS Pizza Spot Embroiled in ‘Recipe-Theft’ Dispute

Made in New York Pizza opened on 80th and Amsterdam last month to rave reviews on Yelp, but its owner is now facing controversy after his former employer claimed that he had swiped the pizza recipe.

Frank Badali worked at Prince Street Pizza for years and apparently helped create the recipe for that restaurant’s pies, Eater reported. At Made in New York Pizza, which Badali opened with a partner named Eytan Sugarman, he serves a “spicy pepperoni” that Prince Street owner Frank Morano says is a ripoff of the “Spicy Spring Pie” at Prince Street. And Morano tells Eater he’s headed to court over it.

“Morano claims the former employee is breaking a confidentiality agreement by reproducing the recipe elsewhere and wants him to stop doing so, legal documents show,” the site reports. “‘This is a copy cat that is trying to capitalize on Prince Street Pizza and their success,’” Morano’s spokesperson says.”

Not so, says Sugarman.

“When asked about the alleged recipe conflict, Sugarman sent over a statement saying his restaurant has made ‘noticeable changes and improvements’ to the recipe to ‘distinguish our pepperoni square from Prince Street’s.'”

FOOD, NEWS | 39 comments | permalink
    1. Leon says:

      I’m not an IP lawyer but I have trouble seeing how this recipe is protected. And they are not even really competing as the locations are far apart. Much ado about nothing. And I don’t even like pepperoni!

      • Rodger Lodger says:

        You’re right, you’re not an IP lawyer, but you have an opinion on contracts law, which is what this dispute falls under.

        • Leon says:

          I believe the owner of the downtown restaurant is claiming that the recipe is his IP that is being copied. Sounds like IP law to me (though again, I’m not a lawyer).

          Why does everyone around here have to be such belligerent know-it-alls? Go have a slice of pizza and relax!

        • pizzaisgood says:

          Which is virtually impossible to prove. Or maybe some lawyer will stand over the guy and watch him make the pizza? Seems a bit outlandish. Not to mention the fact that the UWS and Prince Street may as well be different cities from a competition standpoint.

    2. Phyllis Salta says:

      Foods have been copied, re- vamped, slightly altered for a million years!! What utter nonsense!does anyone seriously think recipes on the Food channel or ANY restaurant & or celebrity chef are entirely original?? Puleeaze!!

    3. Larry says:

      I think they both stole it from Lion Tigers and Squares on West 23rd

      • Alan Murphy says:

        How? The pizzas are both square but Lions Tigers Squares Pizza tastes nothing like Made in NY or the Prince Street slice.

    4. johnbrownon80th says:

      All we are saying, is give pizza chance.

    5. Josh says:

      I am the greatest food investigator and blogger on the internet. I went to Made in NY on Dec. 16 and recognized the man serving the pizzas as the same pizzaiolo as from Prince’s, and noted the similarities. I just hope this lawsuit does not hinder this new UWS slice shop — easily the best pizza on the UWS, at least up through West 102, where Sal & Carmine’s and close by Mama’s Too, reside.

    6. Ellen says:

      I found the crust too sweet – yes, tasted like sugar is one of the secret ingredients.

    7. DiGornio says:

      Morano, the pizza I make at home is better than yours anyway! It’s so good that it would make your mudda and your grandmudda cry big pepperoni shaped tears.

    8. Doug Garr says:

      Oh, heck, Martha Stewart stole recipes for years and this was an open secret among foodies and chefs. Let’s remember she went to the slammer for insider tradiing, however.

    9. 80RD says:

      Calling it right now, this is all a publicity stunt that they are both in on. As someone said above, they are nowhere near each other geographically and would never really be competing for business. Meanwhile, both locations are now getting press across numerous outlets that discusses the supposed “fight”, but also establishes the notion that this pepperoni slice is something super special. On net, all these stories are very positive for both businesses as everyone is now thinking, “wow, these pepperoni slices must be something special.”

      • Juan says:

        Great point. I saw Roger Clark on NY1 did a story on it this morning and they showed him trying a slice at each place and saying how great they were. Incredible free PR.

    10. Heike Schilling says:

      the Made in New York Pizza is at the corner of W. 80th and Amsterdam, not 81st.! I live on W. 80th between Amsterdam and Columbus

    11. Sean says:

      I see this as great publicity

    12. UWSHebrew says:

      Bitter nonsense. The employee never signed any documents regarding recipes or anything else for that matter. A judge will toss this in two minutes.

    13. Susan C says:

      Tried their pizza the other day, after reading the raves. Meh. Little Italy is better. Much better.

    14. George CPW says:

      There is an old Italian saying that is especially apt in a lawsuit about pizza: “A lawsuit is a fruit tree planted in a lawyer’s garden.”

    15. Keith Marder says:

      This is the best thing that could have happened to him. He won’t lose any lawsuit and is getting so much publicity for this. The pizza, by the way, is great. Hope this doesn’t bring lines. Mama’s Too, I’m looking at you.

    16. David says:

      Because an UWS pizza place and one on Prince Street are of course direct competitors?! And of course, let’s not forget we’re talking about Pepperoni pizza cut in a square. Hardly seems like a patentable item.

    17. Pizza Rat says:

      Is this the new Seinfeld episode, “Pizza Nazi”?

    18. Mel Stone says:

      I was in the restaurant yesterday about 4 PM and Fox news was interviewing the owner. Could this be Fake news??? Couldn’t hear much but after the interview the news caster was combing her hair at the table. I politely pointed her to the restroom.

    19. Mary says:

      Any of you hear about the stabbing on 100th and Broadway this afternoon? It was in front of another pizza shop.

    20. Uws pizza sluth says:

      I was suspicious when I noticed that the pizza contained sauce, cheese, pepperoni….. but then I realized that they were both copying….. every single pizza place ever.

    21. AC says:

      There is no such think as bad publicity.

      This place is racking in the dough! No pun intended!!!

    22. Izzy says:

      This seems like a huge publicity stunt. Every pizza place on the UWS is scrambling to make a mark now that Mama’s Too is the darling of the NY Times.

    23. ML says:

      You may think that you’re highly intelligent when you insert a hyphen between highly and rated, but you are committing an egregious grammatical error. NEVER hyphenate an adjectival (-ly) adverb and the following (-ed) adjective. EVER.

    24. sam says:

      The basis for the lawsuit is misappropriation of a trade secret. Kind of like if one of the employees of Coca Cola who had knowledge of the “secret formula” went to work for Pepsi or another beverage competitor and used that secret Coca Cola recipe. It all turns on the facts of the case, but there is clearly a basis for the action.

    25. Maven says:

      Had it yesterday after seeing them on NY1. Way too greasy, obnoxious amounts of salty pepperoni too… not the type of recipe You steal.. this was CLEARLY altered.

    26. Susan says:

      Oh come on Prince Street. Its not like anyone who buys pizza on the UWS contemplates or even knows about your place. And vice versa. I can see if you two were in the same neighborhood. But you’re literally miles apart and everyone buys pizza in their own neighborhood.

    27. SSSZ says:

      And about Ray’s Famous Pizza and Original Ray’s, Famous Ray’s, and Original Famous Ray’s? How can you copyright pizza? All pepperoni is spicy.