I voted to close despite it's CW status because it was too chit-chatty. I think CW only indicates that there may be many right answers, each to varying degrees. I think it doesn't give license to ask whatever you want, and there needs to still be the possibility of a "right" answer. I think we're here to build a Q&A site, not a discussion forum.

Do you agree with these sentiments, and if not, what am missing? How is what I said above different from the intended purpose of a SE site?

  • 1
    Yeah, it is discussiony. Voted to close; chat'll be up soon enough for this sort of thing.
    – Shog9
    Commented Jul 16, 2010 at 1:25

3 Answers 3


Agree, though some questions of this type can be valid, I doubt this one is.

My grey area metric is, "could the average {cook/chef} learn something from this?" so sometimes it depends how the question shapes up..

If people are explaining HOW and WHY, not just "I love spaghetti!" then it could be useful to learn from. It depends.

  • I voted to reopen for your reasons: Although 2 people said what their go-to meal is and not why, 1 person explained why they don't believe it's the right question to ask, and 3 people said what and why. To me, 2/3 of the replies were helpful
    – Dinah
    Commented Jul 16, 2010 at 13:32
  • I agree with your sentiment, but honestly, the average chef could also learn something from recipe requests, which this community has decided is OT. Wouldn't a more useful metric be "could any of these answers be seen as better than the next"? Even with subjectivity, there needs to be some unit of measurement. Otherwise, it's just a discussion. Commented Jul 16, 2010 at 17:32

I strongly disagree. This is a "must have question" for a cooking site, and its presence absolutely does not add noise. Moreover, as it is a community wiki, it is not a badge/reputation harvesting question. For being subjective, yes it is, but this is not an engineering site and many answer have to be subjective.

In reply to Jeff Atwood answer, some answer could be not useful, however the community will eventually filter the useful one by voting.

  • Look at the answers to the question. That's noisy chit chat. Commented Jul 16, 2010 at 11:01
  • "eventually" is not what we're after in private beta. The poin is to iron out the scope as early as possible. In fact, it the 1st "essential question": blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/07/… Commented Jul 16, 2010 at 12:08
  • @Mike Sherov: I found 4 of the 6 answers be helpful, not noisy chit chat.
    – Dinah
    Commented Jul 16, 2010 at 14:05

Since I asked the question I'll chime in. I asked the question with the intent of it being in a very grey area and seeing where it would fall. However, I think it does in fact fit Jeff's grey area metric. Specifically, I included in the original question text

if there's anything odd or different you do while making it, maybe include that in your response.

That's the learning point. Is a cook/chef going to find a recipe there he's never heard of? Not very likely. But is he going to get an idea of a different way to prepare an old dish? Seems at least plausible to me.

Beyond that, I also see a potential learning point in reading a response and going, "hey, that sounds really good, I haven't made that dish in forever," and then trying it. I'd call it the Food Network effect. An experienced cook/chef doesn't watch a cooking show and find recipes he's never heard of, but he does find recipe's he hasn't made ina while or has never made in exactly that way.

Anyway, if the community chooses to close it that's fine, just giving you my rationale for why I think it's a valid question.

  • Yes, but even "odd" or "different" is subjective as well. None of the answers could legitimately be considered better than another, except for the answer that doesn't even answer the question according to your request (the one that says it's not about the meal, but tailoring it). In my opinion, that's a valid reason for closing. I appreciate your reasoning, I just happen to disagree. Commented Jul 16, 2010 at 17:29

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