Anyone else who has had their EP nominated recipes volunteered to be tested by 'usernames'?

By 'usernames' I mean individuals with absolutely no information about themselves on the site, who've never contributed a single recipe, or a foodpickle answer & are seldom, if ever heard from, except the times they offer to test a recipe.



SKK August 13, 2011
Thank you, Amanda! Well said. The message from food52 editors was also very clear and gave a look at the back end of this ground breaking site and how to communicate in a way that supports what we all want. I must say I am amazed there is another redesign coming up because this site is so incredible now.
Amanda H. August 13, 2011
You guys are the best! We *love* that you put so much thought into your contributions on the site. Even those who decide that testing EPs isn't a good fit for them, we appreciate how much care they put into deciding just how they want to participate and add to the community. So thank you all for that.

Also, we wanted to let you know that we've been thinking a lot about finding a place for site-related discussions. They're super important, and while we've made our position clear about their presence here on foodpickle (and please don't take it as grumpy or insensitive, we're really just trying to run a tight ship so the site's sections are clear to people less familiar with it), we would like to find a place where the community can have rich conversations like the one above.

We're in the process of a major redesign of the site -- lots of cool stuff coming your way in late September(ish)! -- and most everything is locked in for that, so a place for site conversations might be a ways off, but we want you to know that it's on our minds, and we'll figure it out in the coming months. Thanks for your patience -- and thanks for being here and hanging out with us. Have a great weekend.
Food52 August 12, 2011
Several of you have mentioned loving the openness and transparency of this community, and we agree! However, this conversation is really not one meant for Foodpickle, which is intended for questions about food and cooking, not about the site. We always appreciate your candid thoughts, but again, we ask that you direct them to [email protected] in the future.

That said, there are some things we'd like to clear up. First, we hope that you'll trust us to keep an eye on the Editors' Pick process and make sure it's fair: we monitor EP reviews very closely and send out reminders when reviews haven't come in by the deadline. It is only very infrequently that reviews don't come in at all, and we would notice if there was a pattern of not reporting in, from a new member or otherwise. Our policy is not to post the review if the recipe isn't recommended as an EP -- just because you don't see a review doesn't mean one didn't come in.

We always welcome new testers, and we often see people who don't fill out their profiles right away but quickly become engaged in all facets of the community -- EP testing is one of the activities that make some people really start to feel excited about the site. Some of you mention feeling "lucky" to have your recipes tested by friends; we know that many of you have become friendly through this process, but we've actually asked in the past for everyone to try to test recipes of those they don't know very well in order to maintain impartiality. Obviously, this isn't always possible, but we encourage you all to branch out -- it'll make the whole process just that much more fun!
wssmom August 12, 2011
As another relative newbie (late 2010) to Food52, testing recipes has been da bomb! Like drbabs says, I've not only become a better cook for learning new techniques and flavor combinations, but a more adventurous one! Even the recipes I've tested that haven't turned out so well have been good learning experiences. Plus, the comments from the people who have been gracious enough to try mine have been so instructive and supportive. I feel I have so much more to learn from all the people in this amazing community, to which I am so delighted to belong.
ChefJune August 12, 2011
I have hardly ever been chosen for EP testing, so I'm not a good one to say about the testers. But one of the reasons I've tested so few recipes is because if I'm not sure I can deliver in the time frame needed, I'd rather not get myself into a bind.

I have tried a lot of the recipes here, though, and I have to say that most of you are much more adventurous cooks than I am! I've been really impressed with the level of creativity and the recipes. ;)
sexyLAMBCHOPx August 12, 2011
Hi LLStone. Just wanted to introduce myself. I often comment on recipes but rarely submit any because of work restraints. I've also only tested one and it did take a lot of time and took it very seriously. Ever since then, I'm very hesitant to do so again unless I know I have the time. I wanted to submit my tempura batter dill pickle spears with spicy Ranch dressing as a State Fair contest submission, but couldnt put it together because my kitchen was just freshly painted (can't stand the smell of paint) and been working extra long hours, so I often miss out on some of the fun.
SKK August 11, 2011
sdebrango, whoops - didn't take pictures when I tested. Proud when I take pictures of the more than 1 and less than 5 recipes I have submitted and I use my cell phone and can actually upload the some of them.

sdebrango August 11, 2011
LOL, well its been a while since I've taken a picture of a recipe I tested, I was a little over enthusiastic I guess.
SKK August 11, 2011
And have to say I LOVE testing recipes. Haven't tested many and this is ok, the testing is part of the learning and community.
boulangere August 11, 2011
Sheesh, SD, I'm doing well to get photos taken AND posted of my own stuff. You're way ahead of me!
boulangere August 11, 2011
LLStone, it's very kind of you to (a) update your profile and (b) understand why it might be significant to a recipe writer to understand where you're so to speak coming from.
LLStone August 11, 2011
As a comment and follow-up, a tester should absolutely test the recipe that they agree to / sign up to test on food52. In no way were my comments excusing those who don't. In both cases where I tested, I turned in my notes and they were duly noted on the recipe. And after this conversation, I'll update my profile so that I don't look so anonymous. :)
sdebrango August 11, 2011
LOL, I did the same thing panfusine I took pictures of the first few recipes I tested. I still have pics of your artichoke kofta and mahkani sauce on my computer. I love that recipe!!
Panfusine August 11, 2011
Same here! I actively got into Food52 only in February and first volunteered to test a recipe in the 'best carrot dish' I remember executing it like running an experiment in the lab, and still adhere to that (although I stopped taking pics of each & every step of the process!). The one time I cd not get fresh morels for an EP test, I shamelessly latched on to the lady who found some in her garden & she was so gracious to try it out & send in her tasting notes!
I'd absolutely welcome a negative verdict, but I'd like to know that at least the tester did make a sincere effort to execute on what they volunteered for.
drbabs August 11, 2011
Recipe testing is open to all Food52 members, and there are no rules about how much information you have to provide to be a member--you can just create a name and you're in. We were all unknown newbies in the beginning, and we've grown into such a warm and welcoming community that who wouldn't want to be a part of it?

I take recipe testing very seriously, and I've become a much better cook because I've learned new techniques and flavor combinations from all of you. Recipe testing IS work, and there's a deadline and writing that has to be done, and you know that the person who wrote the recipe really cares about what you said. I've given positive reviews and the recipes weren't chosen as EP's--I don't know why--and I've had one recipe nominated but not chosen. I wrote the tester privately and asked her for feedback and never got it. Oh well. There's another game next week--it's all fun. I have also tested recipes that just didn't work for me--and I always send the author private feedback if that's the case. And I volunteered to test a rhubarb recipe last year and couldn't source the rhubarb in time. I eventually did make it and put my feedback in the notes, but it didn't make Editors Pick, and I felt badly about that.

I don't know what happened in your case, Panfusine, but have you considered writing the tester a private message and asking what happened?
sdebrango August 11, 2011
BTW, i am a newcomer also have only been on here since April of this year. I love how welcoming everyone is. its like my big culinary extended family and i would love one day to meet everyone.
sdebrango August 11, 2011
Lori everyone has there comfort level as to how they want to participate on this site and I love how open and honest you are. The beauty of this site is that everyone is welcome and it is all inclusive. You are not comfortable testing and prefer working without time constraints and you deserve respect for that. Not everyone chooses to fill out a profile and thats fine also. Lately there has been a rash of, for lack of a better word "pranksters" posting recipes that are not real and the worry for some is that these people are volunteering to test recipes with no intention of ever testing it. It's frustrating when you take the time and put in the effort to create a recipe have it nominated and then the tester doesn't bother to test or send notes to the editor, This is a wonderful fun site which is why we all spend so much time here.
boulangere August 11, 2011
lorigildsby, you're the one who made it to Martha! And continue to be so humble about it. LLStone, what an extremely thoughtful response. I, too, love the level field that food52 is. We all learn from each other. Panfusine, thank you for such a deep question.
lorigoldsby August 11, 2011
I've only been on this site since March and I have had 4 EP's. I did not know any of the testers but I appreciated the ones who had recipes posted so that I could see their culinary points of view. I would love to meet each of them one day while traveling, and I must say that each time I was nominated, I did hope that some of the cooks I admired would pick my's a little like being lined up to be chosen for red rover...completely unnerving until you see your name being called up!

But one of the things I love about this site is the warm welcome "newbies" receive! I feel like I have new people to watch for when they pick my recipes...I look forward to "returning the favor"! But I would love one of the many cooks I admire/am a fan of, to test one of my future recipes!

Voted the Best Reply!

LLStone August 11, 2011
My name is Lori (LLSt0ne), and I love to cook and try new recipes. I am not a recipe developer, although I am a huge recipe tinker-er. I love the food52 website and, honestly, I am on it daily. I feel like I know Amanda, Merrill, HLA, AntoniaJames, mrslarkin, sdebrango, aargersi, and many others just by trying your recipes! I did, though, enlist to try two EPs. I felt kind of bad about it, being an unknown and all, but thought that as I continued to test recipes you might all get to know me. But, I decided, I did not like testing recipes at all! My preference is trying the recipes at home that appeal to me, because I do not like the judging aspect of it nor do I like the imposed time frames. It felt like work, and I have a full-time job. While testing may not be for me, I love the notes that are posted by both the seasoned cooks and newcomers. The best thing about food52 is that it is inclusive, which ensures that it gets new ideas, recipes, foodpickler answers and some new opinions about EPs. And, maybe, some of the newbies without profiles are just figuring out where they want to be on this website.
boulangere August 11, 2011
Yes, I've noticed many hollow usernames cropping up lately. I've also been fortunate in that those who have tested my recipes are people I respect enormously. As for testing recipes myself, I tend to choose carefully, if quickly. It's all a process. Very apt question, and thank you for posing it. Bon voyage!
sdebrango August 11, 2011
I have been thinking about that panfusine, although I have been lucky like pierino, I have often wondered what will happen when someone with less than honorable intentions does this. Its unfortunate that this has happened to your wonderful recipe and maybe the editors would let someone else test it and give it a shot at an EP. We all love this site and have a lot of fun but take it seriously also.
SKK August 11, 2011
I have only had two recipes tested so I am not a good sampling. What your question raised for me is how I count on Food52. And what I depend on in my ongoing learning is people whom I respect based on their their recipes, comments on other recipes, foodpickle answers, and the information they provide about themselves.

Their is an openness and transparency what I count on.

I love the question you ask because it will take us to the next level of this incredible site.

pierino August 11, 2011
That's a very interesting question Panfusine. I've always been lucky by having my own recipes tested by people I consider to be friends. But also they've been fair and honest in their comments which I appreciate. You are not going to hurt my feelings so bring it on.
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