For nearly a decade now, with your help, I’ve been uncovering the recipes that have changed the way we cook. The purest tomato sauce. A category-defining guacamole. The simplest and best roast chicken. A decade. (1)
These recipes are so good, so memorable, and so oops-where-did-the-decade-go? enduring, that over the years we started making not just articles, but cookbooks, newsletters, and videos about them, too. But there’s still so much more happening behind the scenes that we haven’t been able to share—until now.
Because much of those conversations with the chefs, authors, activists, and writers behind the recipes—the off-the-cuff personal stories, completely unrelated cooking tips, and other surprises—won’t fit neatly into an article or video about a singular genius technique.
Think: Carla Hall reflecting on her decades-long biscuit-making journey, Sohla El-Waylly on her now-shuttered diner, Michele Humes on why noodle soup has meant so much to her for the past 30 years. With the challenges we’ve been facing in 2020, these conversations have only become more intimate, and more vital.
So the last few months, with the geniuses’ blessings, we’ve been hard at work creating a podcast—the first from Food52’s new podcast network—to gather and share these unpublished conversations. (2) On The Genius Recipe Tapes, you’ll get to hear these uncut gems, forgotten but no less precious lessons, and hopefully—as we found ourselves doing—you’ll gain a whole new appreciation for these geniuses and their recipes we already know and love.
To celebrate the occasion, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite moments from creating the podcast so far—we can’t wait to share the rest.
Sohla, on her maybe-too-ambitious diner
Michele’s lifelong love of noodle soup
Carla on the biscuit she’s spent decades perfecting
(1) To put that decade in perspective, when we launched the Genius Recipes column, Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” had just hit #1, this was somehow a front-page story on the New York Times, and Food52 was barely older than my now 18-month-old toddler.
(2) This involved recording (and re-recording) in at least 6 different closets, a cross-country move, a lot of Postal Service-style audio file sharing, and the dedication of our indefatigable Associate Editor slash Podcast Network Launcher Coral Lee, but that’s another story for another day.
Is there a genius you’d like to hear from on the new podcast? Tell me about it in the comments!