LA Times, Chronicle Remain ‘Gold Standard’ for Recipe Testing

Who knew? According to a fascinating overview in the Washington Post, when it comes to the esoteric domain of food editors testing out recipes before publishing the guidelines in daily newspapers, the San Francisco Chronicle and LA Times continue to lead the way.

In the case of the Chronicle, it’s all because of Michael Bauer. After the journalist came over from the Kansas City Star in the mid-1980s, he was able to convince the Bay Area paper to build a test kitchen and culinary complex that is “the envy of the industry.” Meanwhile, over on the LA Times side, there is some rich kitchen history:

Russ Parsons (pictured), veteran food editor at the Los Angeles Times, joined a paper with a long tradition of recipe testing, dating to the early 20th century. These days, the Times has a sprawling test kitchen overseen by manager Noelle Carter, a professionally trained chef.

But even with the firepower of the LA Times kitchen, things can sometimes still go wrong. As was the case in 1998 with the paper’s published recipe for vanilla-baked apples with bourbon sauce, which merited an explosive correction.

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