Goodbye to Chowhound, the Internet’s First Food Hub

Sometime in the mid-2000s, a man invited me to kill his ducks. He had a few males from his latest batch of babies, and they couldn’t live in the middle of the city with his laying females. If I came and helped slaughter, he would split the meat with me…

Sometime in the mid-2000s, a man invited me to kill his ducks. He had a few males from his latest batch of babies, and they couldn’t live in the middle of the city with his laying females. If I came and helped slaughter, he would split the meat with me. I agreed. But driving home with a lap full of duck, I needed to figure out how to cook and preserve the meat and the innards, so I turned to the only place on the internet at the time that would have just the kind of weird, wonderful recipes I needed: Chowhound. There, people pointed me toward five-hour roast duck, and to someone else with a similar problem wondering what to do with way too many pounds of duck liver.

Before there was Food52, before there was Serious Eats, before any food websites fully embraced that people wanted to know more about food than what newspaper recipes and reviews had been doing for years, there was Chowhound. Since before Y2K, its simple message board interface gathered food nerds and connected them to others in their area and around the world—helping them find a place to buy Burmese tea leaves in Seattle or eat soup dumplings in Cincinnati; guiding them through recipes for duck prosciutto or Uruguayan provoleta.

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10 Black Food Bloggers to Follow

Black Lives Matter. We at Food52 are devastated by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Dreasjon Reed, and so many others. We stand in solidarity with the Black community, and we hope that this coverage will serve as…

Black Lives Matter. We at Food52 are devastated by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Dreasjon Reed, and so many others. We stand in solidarity with the Black community, and we hope that this coverage will serve as a helpful and important resource to further antiracism work in our community.


This line from Wilson’s 2017 piece for VICE called to mind a company value: “We save everyone a seat.” This past winter, we spent some time as a team revisiting and renaming our guiding principles. But perhaps, in the same way that the abbreviation “DEI” can feel wrong, unsuitably small, there’s importance in taking a moment to unpack that promise we made as a company. In other words—once everyone is seated, what happens next?

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