Original original poster here.
It always bothered me, which is why I remembered it. The thing is, he always has seemed like such a nice guy. Although, I can kind of see his point, if someone takes the same quality ingredients and prepares them exactly the same way, they will get the same result.
My folks used to used to adore these famous Hot Dagos served for lunch at this bar in the MSP area. After we moved away, mom said she wished we could make those. Dad poo-poo'ed the idea. Mom wrote anyway (pre-email). She got a letter back saying they never gave out their recipes, but they are retiring so they sent it. THAT recipe I am certain is authentic. Not just because of the background, but because the first ingredient was "5 pounds pork butt". If you were going to change something, I would think that would have been it. Mom and Dad also said they tasted just like they remembered, and people used to line up around the block to get these.