Think of the platonic ideal of diner breakfast: The coffee is strong — it’s poured nearly before you sit down. The server is no-nonsense, and looks about as old as the serveware; both, still, are warm and charming. The eggs come out in 90 seconds.
Recipes, writing’s unlikely marriage of art and science, have dominated food writing for hundreds of years. Recipes gave you the keys to new dishes, new ideas, and new ways of cooking. They handed you a formula and bolstered your confidence as you ventured into the unknown. Even though there are countless factors in a home kitchen that can change whether or not a recipe will work, we still clung to the promise that a recipe provides a map to a delicious destination.
As a founder of a site built on recipes (we have 40,000 of them on Food52), we’re devoted to the form. And yet, we’ve been observing a profound shift in home cooks’ relationship to recipes. …
It’s time to crown a Piglet Champion! In the finals, Roberta’s Cookbook and The New Persian Kitchen throw their last punches, and David Chang, Peter Meehan, and our community panel award the trophy.
“I’m looking for something that’s going to blow my hair back, that I’ve never seen before. Maybe that’s never going to happen, but what I’m ultimately after is that White Heat-like woaaaah. I want someone to challenge me to be like, “You better f*#king work harder, Dave.” — David Chang
Head here to read the full judgment and see the final decision, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section of the judgment! One lucky commenter will have a shot at scoring a copy of the winning book.
Photo by James Ransom