Psst: Did you catch that contests are back?!

We've had a lot of content lately, and with Piglet about to begin I just wanted to make sure you didn't miss that contests are back (and better than ever with a $500 prize for the Shop!). Read all about it here:

Lindsay-Jean Hard


Lindsay-Jean H. October 25, 2017
Hi all, I’m reviving this thread with an update! In the coming days, you may notice we’ll be temporarily taking down contests from the site’s main navigation bar. This is happening to make space for all of our Thanksgiving and holiday goings-on—but don’t worry, the contests will be back! They’re an important part of Food52’s history, and they’ll continue to be an important part of our future—so they’ll be returning in a smarter, easier-to-understand format in 2018. Stay tuned for more on that: We’ll be back with the details in January, and we thank you for your patience.
inpatskitchen October 9, 2017
It seems to me that the Community was most enthusiastic when the contests involved publishing the two Community Cookbooks. Maybe it's time to go back to that format? After all, the chance to be published is exciting!
Becca (. October 9, 2017
I have a question- the last contest I can see was from 5 months ago. Even if these are just quarterly, aren't we do for another?
Lindsay-Jean H. October 9, 2017
Hi Becca, apologies for the confusion. I'm sorry to say that we haven't been seeing a great response to contests and are once again working on a plan for them. Please stay tuned!
ChefJune October 9, 2017
Lindsay-Jean: I'd like to suggest that having MORE contests would yield more participation in them. There has been SO much time between them in this new iteration that frankly, I'm thinking a lot of us lose interest. You HAD a community that was really into the contests, but with the new format being so sparse, it's hard to get up much enthusiasm.
Just my 2 cents...
Lindsay-Jean H. October 9, 2017
I'm with you ChefJune! I'm hoping we can come up with an iteration that strikes a happy balance. I know it hasn't been a speedy process, but hopefully we'll be able to pique your interest and level of enthusiasm with contests again soon.
ChefJune April 12, 2017
I was really hoping for some word from Amanda or Merrill. Crickets. I guess they've gotten so successful now they don't need us...
Merrill S. April 12, 2017
Hi ChefJune, and everyone else here. Sorry we haven't weighed in sooner -- we hadn't seen this thread until now. We hear your concerns, and as always any conversation that generates this much feedback becomes a topic of discussion for us internally. As Lindsay-Jean mentioned above, anything (like, for example, altering the labeling of featured recipes) that requires technical work requires prioritization and cannot happen overnight; we ask for your patience here. As for contest frequency, one of the reasons not mentioned above for why we shifted to a quarterly schedule is that as of late, we have not been getting the same volume of entries for each contest as in the past. Executing a recipe contest from start to finish is a very big lift for our editorial and creative teams (not to mention the community testers who generously volunteer their time), and we want to be respectful of this. We're hopeful that fewer contests will lead to more robust entry numbers, and a better ability on our part to really dig into those entries and vet/feature a large pool of community recipes with each contest that runs. And, as Lindsay-Jean noted, we will continue to pull community recipes on a regular basis to feature in articles, on the home page and on social media. - Amanda & Merrill
ChefJune April 13, 2017
Thanks for responding, Merrill.
It seems to me if you're going to have so many fewer contests that a more general topic than "Dates" would be attract more entries. I, for one, wasn't interested to create anything along those lines. I don't think of dates as a savory ingredient. And it seems I'm not alone.
ChefJune April 10, 2017
Stretching out the contest as you have done with this Date contest makes it VERY uninteresting - at least to me. I understand if you don't want to have a contest running all the time, but my suggestion would be to stage a contest, choose a winner, announce it, and then do whatever other activities you all have planned. This current contest is stringing out to forever. Boring.
Bevi April 10, 2017
I too feel that only 4 contests a year are too few. The prize pales in comparison to seeing and trying more recipes, and being reminded of recipes that have been archived but not brought to the forefront without being entered in contests. Also,I miss the newest recipes link as well as being able to see the number of views that a recipe has.
sexyLAMBCHOPx April 8, 2017
Why are recipes by Food52 Community Picks? It's misleading. Wouldn't it be more appropriate to call the staff or Food52 Picks? One more comment... Every time I read through the home page for content and attempt to read an article the photos interrupt and take over the written word. My eyes glaze over. The photos are rarely related to the actual topic and it's just a click-through. And the site model is now reminding me of the kitchn. I will now attempt to find the community "Heirloom" posts on my own - its not intuitive.
ChefJune April 10, 2017
SLC: I suggested the very same thing a while back. But I guess they're married to this "Community" idea. To me, when the staff picks it it's not the whole Food52 community...
Lindsay-Jean H. April 12, 2017
The labeling of recipes is on our radar, unfortunately, we don't have a quick fix for it. I appreciate you bringing up the issue again, and I'm sorry that it's not ideal at the moment.

Voted the Best Reply!

meganvt01 April 6, 2017
I almost posted a comment on the frequency of comments then decided to search to see if my topic had been discussed yet. I really agree with some of the previous posters - the reduced frequency of contests really makes me miss the community aspect of Food52 that I joined for so many years ago. I appreciate that the site has evolved over time - but when I search most recent community picks - the recipes are largely contributed by the staff of Food52 (nothing against their recipes - they are fantastic). However, I worry that Food52 will be transformed to just another food site (like serious eats or saveur) where recipes are sourced from professional staff. I notice that recipes are added - like shayma's curry today - but not featured - they sort of get lost in the content on the front page and i'm not at all clear why that recipe was suddenly featured or picked? What happened to wildcard picks? I really looked forward to those Mon/Weds because they came with a little bit of an explanation as to why they were selected.

I also really agree with Pat - the prize is not at all a motivator - for me the frequent contests with varied goals really pushed me as a cook to think creatively and challenge myself. And I loved being a recipe tester - now with that happening only 4 times a year, its likely that many will miss out on that opportunity. Thanks.
Lindsay-Jean H. April 6, 2017
Hi Megan -

I'm sorry to hear you're disappointed, but I assure you that the community is of utmost importance to us! As I mentioned above, with more frequent contests we felt like we were unable to do the recipes in them justice, which is why we reduced the frequency of contests, but are now doing more single recipe posts to feature Community Picks. In addition to the recipes showing up on the homepage, they do get posts (there will be a story on that curry later today) and an easy way to keep up with them is to check the Heirloom Recipes Topic Page: (since they often aren't the most recently uploaded they may not show up on the first recipe page). We want to hear from the community about the ones you all think are great, you can share them with us at [email protected].

Also an FYI, when we announce the next contest, we'll also be announcing the contest themes for the rest of the year so everyone has more time for testing, perfecting, and uploading lots of recipes for contest consideration.
ChefJune April 10, 2017
You can say that the community is still a priority, but the fact that you have reduced the frequency of the contests to only 4 times a year says otherwise. Some other of your longest-time participants have voiced this same opinion, but I for one am not reassured by your insistence. Actions speak much louder than words. I'm sad.
Lindsay-Jean H. February 21, 2017
Celebrating home cooks and our community is absolutely still a priority! The way the contests were set up before wasn't doing the recipes and the stories behind them justice, we wanted to give even more of a pedestal to the cooks and their recipes.

The number of contests have been reduced, but featuring community recipes hasn't! We're now doing more single recipe posts to feature Community Picks (check out the topic pages for Community and Heirloom Recipes). So yes, we are looking for them (and testing and photographing) weekly, but you can always tell us about ones you think are great too! You can always submit them to [email protected] (and I'm always looking for recipes that utilize scraps! send those to me at [email protected]).
ChefJune April 10, 2017
If you're looking for ways to celebrate the cooks in the Food52 community, you could let us know whose recipes have been included in these newest books (ice cream, salad, etc). Seems to me that would encourage purchase of the books as well as celebrate the contributors.
Mrs B. April 10, 2017
The Baking cookbook does not include attribution of all the non-staff community member contributors' recipes (only some of them) in the book itself, which I find appalling. I agree that it would be nice to know whose recipes were selected - although the fairness of that whole process seems questionable, reinforcing altogether the serious and objectionable playing of favourites and promotion of insiders, which frankly has driven me away from Food52.
Rachelwrites April 11, 2017
I can't find Community and Heirloom Recipes. Am I looking in the wrong place? I'm looking under the recipes tab
sexyLAMBCHOPx April 12, 2017
@Rachelwrites. The only way I found "community" and heirloom recipes is clicking on the site map.
Lindsay-Jean H. April 12, 2017
Rachelwrites, you can find Heirloom Recipes here:
Rachelwrites April 12, 2017
Thank you. I guess I'm asking how do I get to that page or the topics page without coming here for the link?
AntoniaJames April 12, 2017
Rachelwrites, do what I do whenever I need to find something here that's not intuitively searchable on the site. Go to Google and in this case, type in exactly food52 + "heirloom recipes" making sure you include the quotes, just as shown, and the plus sign. The link should appear first under the Food52 AdWords ad at the top of the search results page. Hope this helps. ;o)
Lindsay-Jean H. April 12, 2017
Rachelwrites, I know neither is idea, but I personally use both Chops' suggestion of going to the sitemap (found at the bottom of the page) and AJ's of using Google.
Merrill S. April 12, 2017
Mrs Beryl Patmore, you're right -- we committed a significant oversight during the editing process of the Baking book, which led to inconsistent credit given to contributors. As soon as we realized our error, we added a one-page tip-in to the second half of the first print run, as well as the second run, that acknowledged every recipe creator by name. We also sent an apology to everyone who had contributed a recipe. All future runs included the full contributor list within the printed pages of the book. We absolutely regret this mistake, and we have and will continue to pay very close attention to the credits on all of our books.
Ali S. April 12, 2017
Hi ChefJune, Here's a link a post that celebrates some of the faces behind our newest books:
EmilyC February 21, 2017
One of my favorite parts of the contests is having a new set of community picks that has been tested and reviewed (and some photographed by Food52) at the end of each cycle. Since the contests are now quarterly, do you have plans to test/photograph/feature recipes from community members between contests? I love seeing recipes labeled as community picks because I'm more likely to find them (and make them)! : )
inpatskitchen February 21, 2017
Happy to see that the contests are back.....sad that they're only four times per year....would prefer maybe monthly? The prize is wonderful, for sure, but I don't think that's what motivates most of us to enter.
sexyLAMBCHOPx February 21, 2017
I agree! 4x a year? Monthly would be great it's such a highlight of the site. It seems as the "community" participation is so lost within the site.
creamtea February 21, 2017
Agree with you both. I'm sorry it's only 4x/year. I valued the original "celebrating home cooks" angle. It seems to be less important; Chops's observation is on point. I loved the community picks.
MMH April 8, 2017
I agree. I'm not interested in cooking with dates so I'm waiting this out and I'm bored.
zoemetro U. April 13, 2017
I completely agree-the prize is lovely-but I just want the contests back! Even though I never entered, I loved trying new recipes from the community picks each time. I also loved to check all the new entries Avery couple of days. Even 4x a year, has for me, destroyed the comraderie I felt with the community and individual participants. And then the first contest was about dates and then changed. What a disappointment. However, the good news is that I have discovered many new food blogs to feed my obsession with "trying something new."
Madhuja February 21, 2017
I cannot even begin to tell you how much I had missed the contests!! I checked and checked so many times! I am so glad that they are back!
PHIL February 21, 2017
good news! unfortunately I have no date recipes, will wait for the next one.
Lindsay-Jean H. February 21, 2017
You've still got a week to come up with one! :)
ChefJune April 10, 2017
Dates are a very specific ingredient, and not particularly versatile, imho.
meganvt01 April 10, 2017
CJ - agreed on the versatility. Myself and another cook expressed to the F52 team that it was pretty disappointing to see that the contest specifically asked for savory date recipes - and half the CPs were sweet. I didn't include sweet date recipes because I am a rule follower and then I was annoyed afterwards that I didn't do it anyways. Now having to wait for months for another contest - I am afraid I (and many others) will lose enthusiasm.
Lindsay-Jean H. April 12, 2017
Hi Megan, our client had a change of heart midway through the contest and was interested in sweet ones, too. We'd still hoped to keep all of the featured ones savory to honor the original contest language, but unfortunately, we didn't get enough savory recipes to do so and had to pull in some sweet ones. I'm a rule follower too and understand your disappointment and frustration. I'm very sorry. I know it's not much consolation, but please know that we're working hard to make sure something like that doesn't happen again.
Recommended by Food52