Last month, Burger King broke the Internet when it announced the release of it’s latest snack-food, fast-food mash-up: Mac ‘n Cheetos. The item—which features sticks of deep-fried macaroni and cheese battered with Cheetos-flavored crumbs—seemed to provoke the perfect reaction of revolt and intrigue needed to go viral.
And though the fast-food chain claims that it began working with Cheetos roughly a year ago on the new item, today reports surfaced that BK may have lifted the recipe from a prominent food named Kyle Marcoux, also known as the Vulgar Chef. The cook, who happens to double as a factory worker and metal guitarist, posted a video titled “Cheetos Crusted Mac N/ Cheese Fries” to YouTube in September of 2015.
“At first I was like what the fuck? Like...you're fucking Burger King," Marcoux told Foodbeast, who first broke the story Friday. "It actually is a little flattering that a company as large as BK would take an idea from a fat, drunk, illiterate food blogger who is basically an Internet food troll. Kind of sad if you ask me."
Marcoux says he’s no stranger to plagiarism. The chef claims to have been ripped off numerous times by Buzzfeed in the publication’s recipe videos, and believes he’s the reason the site now credits independent food bloggers for their work. Two weeks ag,o the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field, and Giordano's Pizza were also accused of lifting the Vulgar Chef's recipe for a "Chicago Dog Deep-Dish Pizza" and selling it at games.
But even if Burger King, Buzzfeed, and Giordano's did steal the Vulgar Chef’s creations, Marcoux knows that there’s little he can do to protect his work outside of copyrighting each individual recipe.
The chef told Foodbeast that he’s not necessarily hoping for money—though "a large pot of fucking gold” would be nice”—as much as a larger shift in the food industry, one where bloggers and chefs will finally be given the credit they deserve. (Keep in mind that the Vulgar Chef is, well, vulgar.)
"If I could write an open letter to the fast food bitches I would tell them I love them and their artery clogging food, and if they want any help creating new exotic menu items to drop me a fucking email," he said. "Don't just skim through my blog and try to sneak one over on me. All of us food bloggers want at the end of the day is credit."