Levi Roots’ “Reggae Reggae Sauce” Controversy Ends

London-based Jamaican reggae musician, chef, and entrepreneur Levi Roots—also known as the “Condiment King” or “The Singing Chef”— has been enmeshed in controversy for some time now, ever since he won a product award at the 2009 World Food Awards for his Reggae Reggae Sauce. Subsequently, ownership of the “secret” recipe was contested by fellow-Jamaican cafe owner Anthony Bailey. According to Caribbean 360, Roots has been allowed to hold on to ownership rights for his famous sauce. [See previous posts Jamaican Products Shortlisted for the 2009 World Food Awards  and Levi Roots now tabloid fodder.] Here are excerpts with a link to the full article below:

Brixton cafe owner Anthony Bailey has lost his High Court fight to be recognised as the creator of the recipe for the sauce made famous by Dragons’ Den contestant Roots. Bailey had claimed that Roots had derived the sauce from his “unique and secret recipe”. However, Judge Mark Pelling QC dismissed Bailey’s claims for breach of contract and breach of confidence.

The judge said Bailey’s recipe was “riddled with imprecision”. He said: “There is nothing special either about the ingredients or the methodology of making them into a sauce.” Judge Pelling questioned whether the recipe was “ever secret”.

[. . .] Bailey, who moved to England from Jamaica and runs the Blessed West Indian Takeaway in Brixton, south London, had made the claim alongside financial adviser Sylvester Williams. Bailey told the court that he had “devised his own jerk sauce” and recorded his recipe in the West Indies more than 25 years ago. However, Roots, 53, who also lives in Brixton and was born in Jamaica, contested the claims, which he said were a “cynical and dishonest attempt to take advantage of his ingenuity and hard work”. He said he “started experimenting” with sauce recipes in 2005 and invented the “Reggae Reggae” title either later that year or in early 2006.

Lawyers said they estimated the legal battle had cost more than £1m in total and the judge said Roots was entitled to have his costs paid. Although the judge ruled in Roots’s favour, he told the court he had concluded he “could not safely rely” on either the evidence of claimants or that of Roots. In his ruling, Judge Pelling said: “Mr Roots accepted that… the suggestion contained in literature prepared in connection with the product that the product was based on his grandmother’s recipe was untrue.

For full article, see http://www.caribbean360.com/index.php/news/520632.html#axzz1flRSxJaX

4 thoughts on “Levi Roots’ “Reggae Reggae Sauce” Controversy Ends

  1. Pingback: Rastafari Uprising

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