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May 9, 2011 07:04 AM


I would like to suggest bringing in experts of various kinds so that we may ask direct questions to them.

I suspect you would have to put some kind of time limit on them as these experts couldn't afford to keep coming back and answering questions for years or even months.

A possible list of people might include;
Shirley Corriher
Alton Brown
Anita Lo
Mario Batali
Jacques Torres
A sous vide expert
A pastry chef
A chef that is presently trying to promote their latest book.
I'm sure their are lots more possibilities

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  1. This was actually done at least once - a "master gardener" hosted a thread on the gardening board and answered questions about indoor herb gardening. I enjoyed it a lot and would definitely like to see more threads like it.

    1. We've done that before, and it can be really cool! There was another recent thread about this same topic here:

      1. I also recall a female cookbook (baker) author and Mark Bittman taking questions on CH early last year...

        2 Replies
        1. re: HillJ

          From time to time on various COTM or other cookbook threads authors of the books have posted clarifications/answers to questions/ tips regarding the recipes we were cooking from their books. It's a wonderful experience for all and much appreciated.

          A few who come to mind are Mark Bittman (How to Cook Everything) as mentioned by HillJ, Virginia Willis (Bon Appetit Y'All), Grace Wong (Breath of a Wok & Stir Frying to the Sky's Edge). There are more, I'm sure.

          1. re: Gio

            I saw at least the Virginia Willis one and it was great. So the OPs request is a been there and continuing to do that :)

        2. On CHOW, under their Obsessives video comments, the pros being interviewed take Q&A from the community.

          3 Replies
          1. re: HillJ

            HillJ -- every once in a while the people being profiled in the Obsessives might jump into the comments section, but we don't have anything formal in place.

            But in general I love the idea of having expert threads. Bill and Nicolette Niman participated last year, too. And so did Michael Ruhlman. I'm glad people are bringing it up, it's definitely something we'd like to do again. And those are good suggestions, Hank Hanover.

            1. re: davina

              hi davina, you know I didn't realize it was unplanned jumping in on CHOW. How fortunate for all of us some of the Obsessive pros did. Perhaps any one of them might be open to the idea of a scheduled, full scale thread on CH...and I also loved Hank Hanover's list!

              What I do recall recommending for these types of learning opps last year was to have the guest through introduction post a few questions or highlights they plan to cover or hope to discuss in their opening OP. This helps CH's come prepared and focused to dish! Sometimes the discussion doesn't start "cooking" from the very first comment because the expert hasn't set question parameters for the limited time provided.

              Also promote the heck out of it! Even new threads can get lost around here!

          2. I wouldn't think there would be any shortage of people willing to come on to a thread.
            I would even think a knowledgeable sales rep for a sous vide set up would be welcomed with dozens of questions.

            On another thread, someone came on to try and answer a question. They said they worked at Kitchenaid. We glommed all over that guy/gal asking him questions.

            Any of those Chopped or Top Chef participants would be welcomed with dozens of questions.

            Now, I have a stupid question. What is this "Obsessives" thing you folks are talking about?

            4 Replies
            1. re: Hank Hanover


              Obsessives is a video series on CHOW.

              And, while I agree it's exciting to hear from some well known and popular folks in the food world (I enjoyed your list!) I am always happy to read/hear/see people who are locally known but just getting a national forum to share their talents, artisanal folks sharing their small area of expertise, people truly driven to find a new way to approach a common food, folks passionate to the point of obsessive. Unknown painters whose canvas is food!

              Check out Food Curated dot com

              1. re: HillJ

                It would be neat to talk to the people that know something special. They don't have to be the hottest chef right now. The hottest chef is probably too busy working 100 hours a week to participate.

                Watching a question and answer video is nice but, afterwards, I would like to go to a thread and ask that person a question or two.

                1. re: Hank Hanover

                  Watching a question and answer video is nice but, afterwards, I would like to go to a thread and ask that person a question or two.
                  That is exactly why I suggested to davina that some of the pros taped for Obsess. would make for great guest speakers on CH topics. Like a companion guide.