A Manhattan pizza war

UWS pizzeria accused of stealing a recipe from Soho restaurant

  • The pizza in question. Photo courtesy Made in New York Pizza

  • Chef Frank Badali, formerly of Prince Street Pizza, now at Made in New York Pizza. Photo courtesy Made in New York Pizza

  • Made in New York Pizza opened on Amsterdam Avenue in December. Photo courtesy Made in New York Pizza

A battle over a pizza recipe is heating up in the city between two men named Frank.

Frank Morano, owner of Prince Street Pizza in Soho, is alleging that his former employee and longtime chef, Frank Badali, is using the recipe for Prince Street’s renowned spicy pepperoni slice at his new job at Made In New York Pizza on Amsterdam Avenue and West 80th Street.

Badali worked at Prince Street for seven years, where he developed the recipe for the Spicy Spring slice, a Sicilian-style pizza with pepperoni, garlic and tomato sauce. In September, he left Prince Street and a few months later joined Eytan Sugarman, who opened Made in New York Pizza in December.

Morano contends that Made in New York Pizza’s Spicy Pepperoni slice is a knockoff of theirs and has hired attorney Charlie Baxley to represent him. Baxley declined to comment on the ongoing litigation.

However, Sugarman disagrees with the notion that the recipe was copied.

“Frank developed the recipes while he was there {at Prince Street],” Sugarman said. “Having said that, it doesn’t make it their recipes.”

According to Sugarman, the recipe has been changed and now uses different sauces and a thicker crust.

“I’m not sure why all of this is happening,” Sugarman said. “I’m a great fan of theirs. It’s a great brand. I don’t have a single bad thing to say about them. If you’re a pizza aficionado you will be able to taste the difference.”

Sugarman said that he has not been served any legal papers and to his knowledge, the only thing Badali received was a letter in September right after he quit telling him he could not use the recipes at other restaurants.

Sugarman, who has never met Morano, feels this will blow over and people will go back to simply just enjoying pizza.

“I’d like to have a good relationship with them,” he said. “It’s funny how it’s gone so super viral and it’s become such a big funny story. It’s made more people try our great wonderful pizza.”

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