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New York Times Cooking Site Beta Test

  • ninrn Jun 17, 2014 10:36 AM
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The NYTimes is trying out a new cooking site: http://cooking.nytimes.com/ For now anyway, prospective users are being asked sign up as beta testers for it.

There's not that much to the site yet. It's got all the NYT recipes, and you can save them to a "recipe box", but the search feature has serious glitches. For example, I tried to look up some recipes by the exact title used when they were printed in the Times (e.g. Sam Sifton's "Trini Chinese Chicken") and they didn't come up in the search results. If I search for them via the main Times search engine they do though, and, now that I've signed up, once I reach a recipe page through the homepage or Google search, the link does come up to add it to my recipe box.

There are also some guest editor types who have their own recipe boxes you can look at, and I guess they'll post articles and recipes in the future. I expect (hope) they'll add more features in time.

Right now the upside is that if you sign up as a tester, it seems like you won't be blocked from recipe pages by the monthly 10-article limit the general NYT site has for non-subscribers. Otherwise, it's clearly a work in progress.

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  1. Yeah, I signed up for it when they first announced it. So far, the best thing I can say for it is that the photos are terrific. Might have potential. At least I can stop saving to Pepperplate the recipes that appeal to me. Unfortunately, the archives don't go back all that far. I was searching for a Pierre Franey recipe that I lost track of and searching his name brought up nada. I guess they're not posting anything that doesn't have an accompanying picture.

    4 Replies
    1. re: JoanN

      Too bad people who have cooked the recipes can't rate them, or make comments like 1/2 tablespoon of salt should be 1/2 teaspoon, etc. In fact, we can't even add comments, right? In which case, won't we bring them into pepperplate anyhow?

      1. re: smtucker

        Once I became leery of the future of Pepperplate, I began to use Pinterest to pin the recipes I sort of wanted to try and only added to Pepperplate (and then backed up) recipes I was sure I wanted to keep. Of course, I now have recipes all over the damn place and can never find what I'm looking for. Oy.

        1. re: smtucker

          This would be great feedback to send in, smtucker.

        2. re: JoanN

          True, it seems the only "classic" recipes included are those they featured recently in their pages, Especially those classics they've updated.

        3. Thanks!

          1. Looks promising.

            I've always had pretty good success with NYT recipes actually.

            1. Thanks for this; I hadn't seen anything on this yet. No doubt they'll be trying to sell it separately, much as they just started doing with The Opinion Pages.

              1. I signed up but didn't cgeck it out much.....then they wanted my opinion. Guilty face emoticon.

                1. WAY too much Bittman at the moment, but I look forward to the expansion of their cooking site.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: linguafood

                    *Always* way too much Bittman, to my taste. Wish he would take up painting .....
                    (In my own defense, I remember when he participated in our COTM and found him to not be not nice).

                  2. Well, I sent my first feedback on the beta to the NYT.

                    6/24/14: after reading Sam Sifton's Diner Burger recipe on the site, I wanted to see the Tavern-style Burger recipe, too. I Searched for: Sam Sifton burger; Answer: 0 recipes for “oriental pork salad”. A search for a Tavern Burger got me to the recipe.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: mcsheridan

                      The NYT has a shocking level of search engine clumsiness for this day and age.

                      1. re: ninrn

                        Ummm... Like chow's search?? ;))

                    2. Odd thing about the NYT search engine, the one that universities pay for access to all NYT articles. It works. It's a dream of a search for anything in the past couple of centuries.

                      The down side is that I have to go to a library that pays for access, but it's out there.

                      If anyone has such access, it would be really really interesting to see if the general search function works for the cooking part of NYT Inc.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: shallots

                        Do you mean LexisNexis? Or is there an NYT only special, more intensive search engine?

                        1. re: ninrn

                          I'm not at the library, but ours has had a specific portal into the NYT separate from the bigger portal that is general. As our university has added newspaper historic content, using the specific portals has brought up info from advertisement content to fillers at the bottom of columns of very long articles.

                          I am hesitant to state that it's that way this week as the da***d thing seems to change formats twice a year.

                      2. How do I submit feedback on the new Food beta?

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: jackd32

                          Didn't they send out an email recently asking for feedback? I didn't take the survey as I hadn't used it much beyond saving recipes so far....

                          1. re: jackd32

                            Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page at: http://cooking.nytimes.com/, and in the lower right hand corner you'll see a little note that says: 'Have Feedback? Contact us to let us know how we’re doing.' Click on the highlighted 'Contact us' link.

                            1. re: jackd32

                              Follow ninrn's lead, but don't hold your breath on replies. Those take weeks, but at least they *are* noting the submissions.

                              1. re: mcsheridan

                                The Times has about 2 million unique online readers every day. I think expecting anything but an automated reply to feedback is a bit unrealistic, but that doesn't mean they don't read it and take it under consideration. I bet for a pilot project like this they do.

                                1. re: ninrn

                                  Oh, I *got* replies; two, in fact, and not from bots. When I said "those take weeks" I was speaking from my experience.

                                  1. re: mcsheridan

                                    Wow, that's pretty great. Makes me think the site will get better. Thank you.

                            2. I just signed up, too. Lots of fun stuff to sift through. We'll see where it leads and how much it costs when the beta period is over.