Bona Fide Farm Food

February 16, 2011

There are thousands of cooking blogs -- each week, we bring you highlights from the best.

Cardamom and Orange Scented Kugelhopf

He churns out simultaneously traditional and inventive recipes each week like butter. His photos are top-notch -- and by "top-notch", we mean so good that even us jaded food media vets are left awestruck. Ex-restaurant chef, father of two, self-proclaimed "hobby farmer" and home cook extraordinaire -- in short, a Renaissance man for today's food world. 

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Thirschfeld's daughter  Thirshfeld's daughter fishing

On food52, you know him as thirschfeld -- he's answering foodpickles, dropping thought-provoking essays into his recipe headnotes, and generally inspiring the lot of us. Tom Hirschfeld seems to pack 25 hours into a day and still wear the calm smile of the idyllic farmer. But, as Hirschfeld himself points out, there really is no such thing: "If you have ever spent much time around a farm, then you know first hand the romantic notions people project onto rural life are often dreamy and unrealistic." And so, Hirschfeld documents real life on the farm on his blog Bona Fide Farm Food, yet another fruit of this jack-of-all-trade's labors.

Hirschfeld's aim is to get back to the land and cook "the way our grandmothers and great-grandmothers may have on the farm. That farm may be in India, Mexico or France but the food there is made with just as much love as your grandmother's." Friends, this is bona fide food made with great ingredients (Hirschfeld grows and raises practically everything he cooks himself) prepared using good recipes and a healthy dose of integrity.

Carrots  The Homestead

With photographs to rival, well, just about anybody, a visit to Bona Fide Farm Food's homepage feels a bit like a trip to the homestead itself. From Living High on the Hog (where this Charcutepaloozier documents his meaty progress) to the leafier spoils of The Garden Basket, the site is a direct reflection of its founder's personality and aesthetic that we've come to know and love on food52.

The recipes are the real deal too -- with precise and instructive directions, historical tidbits, and photographs that leave you jonesing for, say, Pan-fried Trout with Prosciutto, Pine Nuts and Crispy Sage, Pancetta-Wrapped Dove with Baby Turnips, and even the Southeastern Pennsylvania heart-stopper, Scrapple (see below, left, for the prettiest specimen we've ever seen). 

thirschfeld's Scrapple  Tom Hirschfeld

We can't wait for more Contemplations from this world-class recipe wrangler and are duly inspired by his Chef du Jour section -- in fact, we'd posit that if David Chang and Alice Waters (two of his credited sources of inspiration) had a love child, it would be thirschfeld himself.


See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • thirschfeld
  • DeArmasA
  • MyCommunalTable
  • wanderash
  • Sagegreen
Food52 (we cook 52 weeks a year, get it?) is a food and home brand, here to help you eat thoughtfully and live joyfully.


thirschfeld June 14, 2011
For any interested I finally have a subscription button I am happy with. So if you want to subscribe here is the link to my site
Blissful B. June 15, 2011
Done! Thanks.
DeArmasA February 19, 2011
Nice and well deserved shout out!

btw, with Chris making more batches of albumen, I'm gonna need a staple recipe that calls for 18 egg yolks so they don't go to waste... any ideas?? ;-)
MyCommunalTable February 19, 2011
I have been looking for you in the spotlight. Glad to see it shining here. Your blog is great. Your food is even better. Thanks for sharing and teaching me so much.
wanderash February 18, 2011
A well deserved spotlight!!!
Sagegreen February 17, 2011
So great to see your blog! If we ever do get serious about a Food52 road trip to the west, you know we will be a key highlight!
Sagegreen February 17, 2011
.....meant to write you know you will be a key highlight...long day.
Kayb February 17, 2011
Well, well deserved spotlight, and congrats on the blog shout-out too -- wonderful recipes, wonderful photography, wonderful writing. And that recipe for the Guinness whole wheat quick bread? I make that EVERY Saturday morning; my son thinks it's the finest thing in the world! Congrats, and keep churning out those glorious recipes!
vvvanessa February 17, 2011
zomg! that picture of the girls together with the bunny ears on? oh, my heart! and the recipes ain't bad either!
Kelly C. February 17, 2011
Yes, this is great stuff. bona fide is the perfect name.
Blissful B. February 17, 2011
This just made me think of the movie, "O Brother Where Art Thou." Holly Hunter was comparing the 2 men in her life & she said, "You're no account. He's bona fide." It was a great movie & Tom is definitely the latter.
Oui, C. February 17, 2011
Congrats on this shout-out, it is absolutely well deserved and (if I dare say) long rock, man! Love your blog and your gorgeous food, keep it all coming! - S
WinnieAb February 17, 2011
You're awesome nice to see your blog featured here!
mrslarkin February 17, 2011
Thirschfeld, you're like the Yoda to my Food52 world. When I create recipes now, I often find myself thinking WWTD? (what would thirschfeld do?)
pierino February 17, 2011
T Rex, you the man!
Blissful B. February 17, 2011
Tom, would you consider adding a feed to your website? I'd love to add your blog to my Google Reader.
thirschfeld February 17, 2011
I am getting ready to change a few things that being one. I use a mac and use iWeb but once you get a host server many of the things on iWeb don't work, rss feed being one, comments being the other so hopefully soon you will see some changes
Blissful B. February 17, 2011
When the feed's up & running, would you leave a comment here? That way, we'll all get notified. Thanks!
monkeymom February 17, 2011
we are so lucky to have you here at food52, but I'm also so glad to find you elsewhere as well! your new blog is gorgeous. thank you for all the inspiration!
Daphne February 17, 2011
Just one reason or recipe why I'm such a fan... Sunday salad with apples. I open the recipe and there sits the most stunning photo. Speechless, I realize after staring at it for a minute that it must have been captured in the fleeting morning light. Beautiful! I wonder if it had been taken that same morning? When I go on to read the story, I feel like we've had a conversation, confirmation! Thank you thirschfeld for this and so much more!
melissav February 16, 2011
Well deserved shout out. You're an inspiration to all of us on Food52!
nancyjbrownlee February 16, 2011
As I look at your ALWAYS amazing photos and ever so yummy food I count myself lucky to actually get to taste it from time to time. I marvel at your journey and how you have used your life experiences and turned them in to a thing of beauty.
Laurat February 16, 2011
What else to say except YOU ROCK, Hirsch!
Greenstuff February 16, 2011
Excellent choice. I like the setting, the story, and (of course) the food. Oh and those lovely photographs of young foodies.
cheese1227 February 16, 2011
You already know I am a huge fan and it's great to see you getting some glory for your work!