Founder Files: The End of Party Small Talk

Jojo, Food52’s General Manager and Super Enthusiast, went to an industry party this past weekend where guests were encouraged to choose a sticker that “reflects how you’re feeling.” Options included “not sure why I’m here,” “wearing the wrong shoes,” a…

Jojo, Food52’s General Manager and Super Enthusiast, went to an industry party this past weekend where guests were encouraged to choose a sticker that “reflects how you’re feeling.” Options included “not sure why I’m here,” “wearing the wrong shoes,” and “hoping for the best,” among others.

Photo by Food52
Photo by Food52

As a despiser of small talk, I loved this approach to icebreakers. Some of you may be thinking, “I don’t want to go to any gathering where you’d need icebreakers.” But if you’re an adult on planet Earth, you’re likely to end up at all sorts of dinners, cocktail parties, and weddings where you don’t know people but you’d like to get to know them via something more interesting than: “What do you do?” I hear only New Yorkers ask that, but there’s surely an equivalent lazy opening line in other environs.

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Founder Files: Our Finest Rhubarb Recipes, a Spring Veg Prep Trick & Diner Lingo

Photo by Amanda Hesser

Photo by Amanda Hesser

Above was my Mother’s Day dinner—…

Photo by Amanda Hesser
Photo by Amanda Hesser

Above was my Mother’s Day dinner—roasted salmon over greens, potatoes and asparagus, followed by a rhubarb, strawberry, and mint cake. Note the asparagus without any frippery! Simply steam it and top it with butter and coarse salt. We trade in asparagus techniques here at Food52, but don’t forget to eat them straight now and then, with your fingers, spear by spear.


Catch the Rhubarb Before It’s Gone

We have an unusually deep database of great rhubarb recipes, so I’m here to direct you to some of our finest, most of which came from community members (you can upload your own great recipe here).

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Founder Files: Snacks on a Plane & More Snack Talk

This past Saturday, I did The Great Saunter, a 32-mile walk around the shoreline perimeter of Manhattan, hoofing it up the West Side’s promenade, across Inwood Park with its cherry trees and sprightly spring blooms, and down the East Side with views of…

This past Saturday, I did The Great Saunter, a 32-mile walk around the shoreline perimeter of Manhattan, hoofing it up the West Side’s promenade, across Inwood Park with its cherry trees and sprightly spring blooms, and down the East Side with views of the many bridges that staple the island to Queens and Brooklyn. It’s a spectacular way to take in one of the world’s great cities, appreciate its urban planning, and get your steps in for the month. (The Saunter takes place every first Saturday in May and it sells out quickly so get on the mailing list now.)

An 11-hour walk is also a great excuse to pre-obsess about snacks. And my friend Liz, who got me to Saunter in the first place, packed the best one: Spherical Saunter Snacks Bites.

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Plane Food: The Snacky Things (& Creature Comforts) Our Community Never Flies Without

In one of my weekly newsletters, I asked readers to share what snacks and other plane prep products they take on flights. The Food52 community delivered, and I’m excited to share!

But first, a quick aside: Several of you referred to a story about plan…

In one of my weekly newsletters, I asked readers to share what snacks and other plane prep products they take on flights. The Food52 community delivered, and I’m excited to share!

But first, a quick aside: Several of you referred to a story about plane snacks that I wrote for the New York Times in…gulp…2002. This could mean you have a great memory, or that I wrote something memorable, or that I’m old. Let’s not think too much about it.

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Founder Files: Ham & Biscuits, a Kitchen Fire & Great Vases

Tad and I went to a party for Amor Towles’s new story collection, Table for Two, at his home in Manhattan. He served two plump, beautifully glazed hams next to a basket of fresh biscuits—reminding me, an over-planner, that keeping it simple is often th…

Tad and I went to a party for Amor Towles’s new story collection, Table for Two, at his home in Manhattan. He served two plump, beautifully glazed hams next to a basket of fresh biscuits—reminding me, an over-planner, that keeping it simple is often the best way to go. So let’s plan a ham and biscuit party right now:

On the Menu

On the Table

At the party, I talked to another author, who I won’t name, otherwise I’d be justly accused of name-dropping. We were talking about throwing parties and he told me that he and his husband used to host what they called Fridays at Home. They opened their house every Friday evening from 7 to 9 p.m. to whoever on a long list of friends could make it. Around 8 p.m., they’d take a headcount to see who was still around and then they’d order takeout to feed them. And they often played something called (I think) the Complaint Game, where everyone had the stage for 1-2 minutes to lodge a complaint about life. Who doesn’t love a chance to complain, especially with an audience! (The most common gripe? People meandering on sidewalks and subway stairs while texting.)

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Founder Files: Bringing a Familiar Face (& Tastemaker!) Back to Food52

Jojo is back in the house!

Back in 2014, after we’d launched our Shop and it took off, Merrill and I realized we needed to bring on an experienced team. Industry friends kept telling us to hire Jojo Feld. So we did. It didn’t take long to see her stre…

Jojo is back in the house!

Back in 2014, after we’d launched our Shop and it took off, Merrill and I realized we needed to bring on an experienced team. Industry friends kept telling us to hire Jojo Feld. So we did. It didn’t take long to see her strengths. She had an eye for great products that no one else was selling. Partners loved her. And she was a team builder.

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Founder Files: Flight Supplies, Spaghetti With Fried Eggs & New Sheets

Dear Food52 Community,

I was just in Portland, OR, where the sun decided to make an appearance, and Denver, where it decided to snow in late April. Now back in Brooklyn with its cherry blossoms and garbage. Read More >>

Dear Food52 Community,

I was just in Portland, OR, where the sun decided to make an appearance, and Denver, where it decided to snow in late April. Now back in Brooklyn with its cherry blossoms and garbage.

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Missing Nabisco’s Chocolate Wafers? Make This Chocolate Crust Instead

Earlier this year, Nabisco discontinued its Famous Chocolate Wafers, one year short of
the cookie’s 100th anniversary. Makers of icebox cakes and chocolate crusts were incensed, and you know what happens when a bunch of bakers get outraged? They riot i…

Earlier this year, Nabisco discontinued its Famous Chocolate Wafers, one year short of the cookie’s 100th anniversary. Makers of icebox cakes and chocolate crusts were incensed, and you know what happens when a bunch of bakers get outraged? They riot in the streets! They organize sit-ins! They protest their local grocers!

Well, not really, but I wish they did. Bakers are much too practical for that. They lodged complaints on the internet for a few days and then got in their kitchens and angrily figured out substitutes.

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