Community Members Who’ve Made Food52 a Home (Plus, Their Recipes We Love)

Where would we be without our community? Short answer: Nowhere.

October 18, 2019

Food52 is 10 years old! To celebrate a decade of all things kitchen and home, we’re rolling out our top recipes, tips, and stories for another victory lap, along with some of our very favorite memories over the years. Go on, take ‘em in!

When Food52 began its journey—as Amanda and Merrill write here—we were trying to build a business around a crowd-sourced cookbook. Building a community was not necessarily the plan. However, in a matter of months, maybe even weeks, that changed: You helped us figure out what Food52 would become.

Over the years, our community has become an indispensable force: submitting recipes for contests, sharing kitchen wisdom on the hotline, organizing community potlucks, shuttling goodies across the country for our holiday swaps, delivering delicious buttery scones to our office (we've never forgotten, mrslarkin), and more recently, helping us shape every single Five Two product.

(Psst: We'd also like to mention the time you made us wish we lived in Texas.)

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“This community generously offers so much knowledge, so much cleverness, and so much inspiration. Again, thank you, all of you, for your contributions and kindness. ;o)”
— AntoniaJames

And while it’s impossible to thank each and every one of you, we did want to share a few community members who have made Food52 a really special, inclusive, joyful place over the years. It's a great way for us to reminisce—and a welcome reminder that food, in its most potent form, has the power to unite us and demonstrate that we care about each other.

Thank you for hanging out with us for a decade.

"To us, Mrslarkin, aka scone lady, is a friend for life! She has come to countless events, cheered on our writers and members (generously complimenting other people’s scone recipes!), contributed so many exceptional recipes (have you tried her Cinnamon Scone Bread? Run, don’t walk!), and has been an unwavering supporter of Food52 as a place that brings people together." —Amanda Hesser

KitchenButterfly wins the prize for traveling the longest distance (all the way from Nigeria!) to visit us at our offices in New York—and she’s done this multiple times. Ozoz has always been a positive, generous contributor and a champion for other community members (plus, she brings great snacks). She truly embodies the notion of eating—and living—joyfully.” —Merrill Stubbs

“Austin-based Aargersi has long been a voice of pure joy, humor, and sass on Food52—and throws the best community pool parties (some of them may or may not have featured cannonball competitions). She also hosted the supergroup Ginger’s Kitchen (named after her late terrier, Ginger), a band of community members who created recipes together to enter into our contests.” —Kristen Miglore

“I so enjoyed working with Lastnightsdinner on a piece about her Roast Chicken With Mustard & Grapes (“We're pretty certain we could eat this one every day." –Amanda & Merrill). Her recipes—and she's been contributing to the site since our very first year—are everything I want to eat right now, like this fried provolone and tomato sandwich, linguine with sardines and fennel, and fettuccine with chicken liver ragu.” —Emma Laperreque

HalfPint calls herself a “Financial Analyst who does a little cooking,” but the wit, wisdom, and cooking know-how she brings to Food52 are far from “little.” HalfPint always seems to know exactly what to do, from repurposing your extra egg whites to using up the last few capers in the jar. And luckily for us, she’s been kind enough to share it all with us over the years.” —Brinda Ayer

Pierino was such an influential part of our community for so long (since August 2009!). We could always count on him for strong conviction about the right and wrong ways of cooking a dish. When it came to pizza he was no different. We were so deeply saddened by his loss.” —Joanna Sciarrino

"AntoniaJames has been with us since the beginning, sharing Genius tips and plenty of inspiration (she literally hikes a mountain with her family every Thanksgiving and serves a feast)." Kristen Miglore

“I really appreciate Stephanie B. and Smaug because they're often in the comments section before anybody else, even answering technical questions another reader might have about a recipe. Stephanie is an avid home cook, scientist, and proud Wisconsin-er, and Smaug makes his own ice cream once a week (which is undeniably cool).” —Eric Kim

“I'm always thrilled to see Inpatskitchen participating in our recipe contests! Her deep store of creativity never ceases to impress me. (She's also the contributor of what might well be the most perfect cheesecake recipe ever.)” —Ella Quittner

"I love seeing BerryBaby pop up on the Hotline because she has such handy suggestions. She's also the only community member who uses emojis in her comments, and it always makes me think, 'Huh, I didn’t know our site supported emojis.'” —Eric Kim

EmilyC is a legend. Her almost 200 (!) recipes on the site are gems—each and every one of them—packing huge flavor into ridiculously low-fuss, high-reward packages. Her contributions to our immensely popular cookbook, Mighty Salads, are beyond clever, like using mayonnaise as the ultimate vegetable marinade, and roasting whole salads on sheet pans for ease and convenience.” —Brinda Ayer

And finally, a note from Amanda about having your sister as an active community member of your site!

"My sister Rhonda, and Merrill’s sister, Abbie, were likely our first two community members. Having my sister on the site meant getting candid user feedback whether we liked it or not ('Yr search engine stinks.' 'How about you guys use spell-check?'), but she was also one of our strongest defenders.

I will also say this: While I was the one who went to cooking school, Rhonda continues to be a better cook than I am. She cooks like our grandmother did, always able to turn a few scraps of food into something delicious." —Amanda Hesser

Which of these recipes would you want to make today? Tell us in the comments below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • coffeefoodwrite
  • Alex Smith
    Alex Smith
  • Rhonda35
  • Aliwaks
  • PHIL

Written by: Food52


coffeefoodwrite December 31, 2019
Such a wonderful group of people & a great community!
Alex S. December 28, 2019
This is one of my Go-To-Sites. I mainly read, research recipes and buy great products. Thank you for the great stories Eric and all my other friends. So glad there aren’t snipers out there, and great food! Alex S.
Rhonda35 December 27, 2019
Ohmigosh, I am so flattered to be mentioned in the same article as the "big dogs" of the Food52 community! You know I'm your #1 fan, forever and always! Congratulations on 10 years; you've built a truly inspiring, knowledgable and generous space to land in the often-harsh Internet world. xo
Aliwaks December 27, 2019
Though I haven’t been active for a few years Food52 remains my go to for Ideas for new recipes but even more so check up on old friends ..... 10 wonderful years with my food fairy god family!!
PHIL December 27, 2019
So nice of you to pay tribute to these great members. They have been tried and true contributors for as long as I can remember. All of them very talented and knowledgeable cooks and pretty good writers too. Happy Holidays to all.
SophieL November 7, 2019
I love the Food52 site - so inspiring, creative, generous, gifted people here. I just saved BerryBerry's Cocoa, Chocolatey Muffins to make for my Holiday Swap swapee. I'm sure I'll find a dozen more goodies to make and send. Thanks!
AntoniaJames November 5, 2019
Thank you, Editors, and many thanks, especially, to those of you who included me in your comments.

I will celebrate my own ten years on Food52 this Saturday. I'll be organizing an anniversary potluck in my new home in Boulder County soon.

I suggested here on the site, in November 2009, that we have a potluck (it seemed so crazy, and daring, at the time) and then went and organized the very first one -- I think it's the first . . . . I was told it was the first, in any event -- and quite a few more over the years, in my home in Piedmont, CA.

What an extraordinary community we have here. So many of you have become wonderful friends. This community generously offers so much knowledge, so much cleverness, and so much inspiration.

Again, thank you, all of you, for your contributions and kindness. ;o)
mrslarkin October 25, 2019
Thank you for the accolades! I so enjoy everyone’s contributions to this community. It’s really something special.
sdebrango October 22, 2019
I will always be thankful to Food52 and the community of amazing cooks that I consider to be friends. Bevi, Boulanger (Cynthia) Pat (inpatskitchen) Liz Larkin the great recipes that have become staples in my kitchen. Love the Food52 community that has changed (for the better) how I look and think about food. Much love❤️
lastnightsdinner October 20, 2019
Aw! The love is mutual! I may not be here as often as I used to, but I still check in often, and it’s my first stop when looking for new or old favorite recipes. ❤️
HalfPint October 20, 2019
Thank you so much for the shout-out. I feel honored to be included among this wonderful group of people. Everyone at Food52 has taught me to be a better cook and person.
inpatskitchen October 20, 2019
Thanks so much for thinking of me Ella! I'm so grateful for members like sdebrango, boulangerie, AJ, bevi, creamtea and hardlikearmour (best pasty crust ever!) for their thoughtful comments and truly wonderful recipes! I could go on and on...Chops, drbabs, oui chef, kukla, pierino, I said, on and on....
creamtea October 23, 2019
thank you for mentioning me, Pat! I just made 2 tarts from your leek and feta tart recipe--it's still a favorite! I'm such a fan of your recipes and kitchen know-how, so it's extra-meaningful that you mentioned me!
Stephanie B. October 20, 2019
Thanks for the shout out Eric! Ever since I stopped using facebook (with the exception of the f52 baking club) swapping food tips here has been my preferred online social activity.

Nancy, creamtea, AntoniaJames, ChefJune, and HalfPint offer up such solid advice whether it's troubleshooting a specific recipe or coming up with a cohesive menu for a party. LoriT, boulangere, and pieceoflayercake (I don't think he's on much anymore though) give such detailed explanations, they're baking goldmines. I enjoy the side of bone-dry humor Smaug can dish out in addition to his cooking experience (also absent lately). And I'll never forget that time Ttrockwood got a bad Mean Girls joke I made that was otherwise turning up crickets, made me seem like less of total weirdo. When I first started perusing Food52 for recipes, I was in my early 20s and had about as much cooking skill as you would expect, if you had low to moderate expectations. I've learned a lot from community members and I truly appreciate the time they take to help out on the hotline and share recipes.
Stephanie B. October 20, 2019
Oh and I totally forgot to say how much I enjoy BerryBaby's threads - she always has such fun ones, like food trend predictions and holiday favorites. Her banana, peanut butter, and chocolate loaf cake is SO GOOD.
Nancy October 24, 2019
Stephanie B - Happy to learn from all, and that some of my comments have helped. Yes, I DO like menu planning and find it's somewhat like recipe development in that we are working to balance tastes, textures, proportions, sequence.
Bevi October 20, 2019
I am grateful to Suzanne deBrango for all her excellent recipes and also to Boulangere for the way she elevated bread baking on this site. And the wonderful Kukla, who always had a kind word for everyone.
Nancy October 20, 2019
I also value the valuable contributions of creamtea, ChefJune, drbabs, Phil (with his wonderful cheese and salumi boards), Posie then-Harwood, sam1158 (or correct the number if I'm wrong) and too many others to name...
creamtea October 23, 2019
thank you, Nancy. You knowledge shines through with each of your helpful--and speedy-- responses on the Hotline. I appreciate being in such esteemed company--both yours and that of the members you mention!
mcs3000 October 19, 2019
OOF. How can I forget chefgwen and jestei? Every year, Gwen's is on my family's Thanksgiving menu. Jennifer, is one my favorite writers of mine, whether it's food or politics. They are treasures.
mcs3000 October 19, 2019
I love this feature! I remember reading a NYT Mag story Amanda wrote saying how much Helen Conroy's (antoniajames) feedback helped. Similarly, during a book tour stop, Kristen spoke about how much the food52 community has informed and improved her work. My favs are: antoniajames, chardrucks, mrslarkin, cathybarrow (mrswheelbarrow) and emilynunn. I have learned so much from them. I regularly make their recipes and treasure their books.
Andrea H. October 19, 2019
This recap of favorites makes me want to fire up the stove at 6am! Not even finished with my first cup of coffee, yet! Congratulations on 10 years! I look forward to more interesting stories, helpful tidbits and, of course, recipes!!