Jacquilynne's Profile

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The Awful Reign of the Red Delicious

That flowchart sounds amusing -- do you remember where it was?

Sep 10, 2014
Jacquilynne in Food Media & News

The Awful Reign of the Red Delicious

Red delicious apples are basically the reason why for years I maintained that I didn't really like apples, so I was delighted to read this article revealing that they do, in fact, suck.

Sep 10, 2014
Jacquilynne in Food Media & News

All the Comments on Every Recipe Blog

I used to have to read every single comment on CHOW recipes as part of my job. I am now officially having flashbacks.

Irrationally far-in-advance bookings: an increasingly general trend

Clearly what is required is admissions essays.

Sep 04, 2014
Jacquilynne in Not About Food

Irrationally far-in-advance bookings: an increasingly general trend

I'm not sure that I agree that allowing people to walk in to a restaurant that other people made a reservation for a month in advance is somehow a better model. Perhaps it spreads the opportunity around a little more to people with less set schedules, but it reduces the opportunities for people who truly are willing to prioritize the experience in their lives. If I'm willing to commit to attending the restaurant a month in advance, and will re-arrange my life to make that possible, and you aren't, why should the system attempt to satisfy you? My money is as the same as yours, and I'm apparently more dedicated to attending the restaurant (or just have a less chaotic life, I suppose).

Mostly, though, it seems like that just ups the number of days when people have to pound the phone lines hoping to get in.

Dutch auctions would be a fun pricing model, but I suspect people would get awfully angsty about the price variations. But wouldn't that just mean all reservations go to the people with the most money to blow? A 1% solution isn't very populist. It is possibly fairer, though, because it does privilege the people who are most dedicated (financially) to going to the restaurant.

(Please note: I do not necessarily take this issue as seriously as this post might suggest. It is merely a great deal more entertaining than my law school homework. It also happening in the middle of my law school homework, which might possibly be having an effect on the tone.)

Sep 02, 2014
Jacquilynne in Not About Food
1

Irrationally far-in-advance bookings: an increasingly general trend

I think it's as much as anything about the fact that dining in some restaurants has become a major event, rather than a way to consume dinner. People buy theatre and concert tickets weeks and months in advance and then plan around those things, and the experience at a lot of high end restaurants is meant to rival those experiences in specialness, rather than being something you just do because it's Friday and it's date night, and there's nothing playing at Cineplex that you want to see.

Think about the stories you hear about entire concert tours for major artists selling out in 10 minutes, months and months in advance -- that might be 20K fans per venue for arena tours, which means in 2 nights, about as many people see Beyonce as can dine at French Laundry in a year. I think Beyonce seems like it would be a fun time, but I'd way rather have dinner at the French Laundry.

There are restaurants who are trying different solutions -- only opening reservations a month in advance at a set time, selling tickets at varying pricing levels to even out demand, holding what amounts to lotteries for the seats, opening more restaurants, just demanding ever increasing prices until they find out exactly how much the market will bear. But those all have drawbacks, too.

There isn't really a perfect solution to 'more people want to be in our restaurant than we can possibly serve.' Most of the ones that have been tried either inconvenience people or cost them more money, and those are really the only additional barriers a restaurant has available to tamp demand down a little.

A Personal Announcement

I'm the midst of lots of cleaning up and transitioning here as my last few hours wind down, so this will probably be my last Site Talk post. *sniffle*.

I wanted to say thanks to everyone for your well-wishes here. It was nice to hear from everyone, even -- and possibly especially -- people that didn't always hear from me about good things. In my role, you don't always make friends, but even when I was hand-slapping and finger-wagging, I always loved that I got to work with the smart, passionate, opinionated hounds every day.

It's been an amazing 10 years for me, since I started as a volunteer moderator, and then became the community manager for Chowhound, and while I can't claim to have loved *every* minute of it, I've loved an awful lot of them, and liked most of the rest.

As I said before, you'll probably see me around the site board in the future, but this is me, signing off from Site Talk.

-- Jacq

A Personal Announcement

Oh, Robert Lauriston, I'll miss you, too.

Secure those recipes.

I tried (and eventually failed) to do a family cookbook a few years ago. I did get submissions from a few people, including a distant cousin in Saskatchewan. I knew I was in for a treat with her recipes when the first of them began with the words "On the day you slaughter the cow..."

A Personal Announcement

I have some exciting (for me) and terrifying (also for me) news to share with you:

I'm going to be attending law school, starting in the fall semester.

It's something I've been working toward for a couple of years now, and I'm thrilled (and terrified!) that my personal circumstances have finally worked out to make it possible. It does mean that I'm leaving my position here at Chowhound, though. My last day will be this Wednesday, August 20th.

I'll still be kicking around here in the future, mostly on the Home Cooking board, since my pending overworked, broke student status is likely to mean I'll be looking for inexpensive and easy ways to feed myself. I probably won't be reading Site Talk after Wednesday, though; I mean, I love you guys, but not that much! The rest of the team will still be monitoring Site Talk, of course, so you'll hear from DeborahL, patsully, Chow Engineering and The Chowhound Team in the future.

Additions to locked threads

Yeah, that one is a little surprising. It's always been possible for people to get a post in past the lock if they have the thread open from before the lock, but 4 hours is definitely the longest I've seen.

Aug 18, 2014
Jacquilynne in Site Talk

Weird post layout?

There doesn't seem to be a technical problem here and we don't want this to end up a discussion of this user, so I'm locking it.

Weird post layout?

The poster appears to be typing them that way. I suspect they're either hitting return at the end of the line as they type or typing in something like wordpad that inserts line breaks and then pasting the posts here.

Aug 17, 2014
Jacquilynne in Site Talk

Inviting Professional Voices to the Community

It's always taken a lot more than a spamming run to get a restaurant banned from all discussion on Chowhound. The point of our very occasional bans isn't to punish the restaurant for spamming, but to ensure the honesty of the discussion here.

It's a pain for our members who do want to discuss the place, and tends to be a lot of work to enforce, so it's something we only do if a restaurant is making a concerted effort to manipulate the conversation here and the mods feel that we can't accurately separate legitimate posts from dishonest ones.

Aug 14, 2014
Jacquilynne in Site Talk

Are personal attacks now OK?

Nothing's really changed on this front. If you want to send us an email at moderators@chowhound.com outlining which posts you're concerned about, we'll take another look at them but we'd really rather not get into analyzing specific examples of what you think is inappropriate publicly. I'm going to lock this discussion so we can have the conversation offline.

Aug 12, 2014
Jacquilynne in Site Talk

Are there pictures that are hidden from me?

I've been seeing some weirdnesses in my Feedly feeds, as well, with pictures. I've looked at the XML for some of those items and there's nothing in those posts that we're sending Feedly that I can see. I'm not sure where the pictures are coming from.

Aug 12, 2014
Jacquilynne in Site Talk

Meet the Beer Bottle Dictator

I thought this was a pretty interesting read. One guy approves every single beer label in the US. That's a lot of labels!

Aug 12, 2014
Jacquilynne in Beer
1

Best wording to offer chef services as a gift to bride & groom

Lots of people sign up for all kinds of cooking lessons, well past their 20s. A cooking lesson doesn't necessarily mean starting from how to boil water. Base on the number of cooking classes available, I assume lots of people who cook quite well would still be interested in learning secrets and tips from a professional.

I'd see the market trip the same way. I mean, yes, sure, I can go to the store and buy groceries, but I imagine professionals might have ways of spotting the best produce or an approach to thinking about shopping that's interesting and different from what I do as just an ordinary person.

If either member of the happy couple was a chef, I'm assuming the original poster would have mentioned that.

Inviting Professional Voices to the Community

That's not a recent change in policy. We've long made an exception to 'only one account per person' to allow businesses to have an account in the name of the business, while not also restricting whichever employee happens to manage that account to posting directly as the business. We've made it more prominent in the current version of the FAQ, but it was also mentioned in previous versions. This is what the FAQ said about that before the most recent update:

---
Some businesses establish an account in the name of their business if they need to make rare posts on behalf of their company. This is allowed, despite the general rule against people having more than one registered username on the site. Even if you have this account for your business, posts from your personal account must follow the posting guidelines.
---

The general manager at Jim's House of Ribs might create an account named JimsRibs to respond to comments about the business. A few weeks later, the sommelier might use it to answer a question about the wine list. (Because Jim's House of Ribs is the sort of place that has a very responsive sommelier, obviously.)

But if either of those people also wants to ask hounds for advice about where to eat when they go to New York on vacation or get advice on where they can order molecular gastronomy ingredients for some experiments they're doing at home, it doesn't make sense for them to do that under the moniker JimsRibs. Those personal questions aren't representing the business.

Aug 12, 2014
Jacquilynne in Site Talk

Inviting Professional Voices to the Community

I've removed those posts.

Unfortunately, no one ever Flagged anything he posted under that ID, so we never knew about it until today.

Shilling is still not okay and Flagging is still going to be important going forward, as well. We'll never be able to read everything, and it's often easier for local posters to spot those kinds of patterns since they're more on top of who is posting what on their favorite boards. So please, everyone, use the Flag button liberally when you think there's something not right. We do want to take a look.

Inviting Professional Voices to the Community

You're still welcome and encouraged to Flag those. Fake reviews are still not permitted and we will investigate them to see if they're shilling.

Aug 11, 2014
Jacquilynne in Site Talk

Wasted food due to guest taking too much -- any solutions?

They used to tell us at Weight Watchers "On your waist or in the waste, either way it's gone, but only if you eat it do you still have to carry it around."

Presumably before your friend had this surgery, she would have taken that much food, eaten it all and maybe had more. So she's not actually using up any more of your food than she was before and she's probably actually using less.

Yes, I can understand how annoying it is to see it go in the garbage, but at least in the garbage, it's not harming your friend's health. Maybe thinking of it that way will make it seem less aggravating?

Perhaps next time she says something like "I'm sure my eyes are bigger than my stomach", you could say "Well, if you don't end up eating it all, we could wrap it for you to take home." Some friends would take that as an invitation to take more so they could get more leftovers, but if she's the kind who would be more reasonable, that might be a gentle way of suggesting the doggie bag before the issue of whether she has thrown it away comes up, and since you'll be responding to something she said, it won't seem like singling her out.

Best wording to offer chef services as a gift to bride & groom

I have to agree with the others -- although I wouldn't be insulted by this gift, I would probably be confused. I'd also be deeply worried about how much food that was up to a chef's standards was going to cost me were I to redeem this gift. It would end up making me anxious about the situation, unfortunately.

On the other hand, as the only gift you gave me, a fully covered meal, whether for 2 or a small dinner party, would seem delightful, so perhaps you could save money by not buying them a thing and use that money to cover the food for your chef's meal instead?

If you do really want to go with 'you buy the food, and I'll cook for you', I'd suggest offering something like this:

"Help planning and preparing your first dinner party as newlyweds. We'll work on planning a menu to suit your budget and your guests' likes and dislikes, and I'll take you shopping to help you find and buy the best of what's available. Then I'll prepare the meal for you and your guests (you're welcome to help if you want to learn how to make the dishes) and best of all, I'll clean up after myself, so at the end of the night, most of the dishes will already be done!"

Inviting Professional Voices to the Community

They would be free to respond openly, provided they can do so in an appropriately friendly manner. Any fake reviews would still be deleted.

Aug 09, 2014
Jacquilynne in Site Talk

Testing a link.

Just a test.

Aug 09, 2014
Jacquilynne in Site Talk

Inviting Professional Voices to the Community

I tried to be as clear as I could about this in my mod note on that thread, but apparently wasn't that clear. It is not that we can't absolutely prove those posters are shills; we genuinely believe they are not shills.

Aug 09, 2014
Jacquilynne in Site Talk

Inviting Professional Voices to the Community

Kneejerk deletion of anything that smacked of advertising was a whole lot faster and simpler than what we're doing now. Trying to help people understand the site and use it effectively is harder than telling them to go away.

Eventually, we'll get much better at that, so that it won't be as time-consuming, but for the foreseeable future, this is going to require more work, not less.

Inviting Professional Voices to the Community

Do not tempt me.

I am always in favor of baby goats.

Inviting Professional Voices to the Community

We've loosened up somewhat on this over the years, but there's no plan to do more loosening on that front as part of these changes.

Aug 08, 2014
Jacquilynne in Site Talk

Inviting Professional Voices to the Community

There's definitely going to be some inconsistency in the coming weeks, as we navigate through these changes.

I mentioned above that we're not immediately deleting ads, but we're not ignoring them, either. There's lots of discussion happening in the backroom with each new example of a previously prohibited post that goes up. We're reaching out to the posters, monitoring the resulting threads, reading the feedback in the flags, and generally taking some time to consider each situation.

Some things will eventually come down, as the kickstarter thread and the gumbo thread did. Hopefully in other cases, we'll be able to get the post and the poster to a place where they're actually adding something of value and interest to the community.

Aug 08, 2014
Jacquilynne in Site Talk