After a while I got time to visit this site again.

I'm surprised there is a lot of questions about food and cooking being closed.

I saw this question asking how to make a beef and it got closed as off topic. Sure it should be closed, beef is not food and is not cooked, why should it be in a food and cooking Q&A site?

This question was closed by hobodave, the guy that has a fancy square in his name, aka dictator, errr moderator.

I thought that closing a question like that was going against what I imagine that a Food & Cooking Q&A site should have. But that is just my silly mind.

Ok, is in the faq. Stupid rules are rules. Those guys who visit this site every day and contribute with many helpful answers must know what they are doing.

I know there is some questions about that and I could say some words over there. But I'm writing this because after I got upset with questions closed I saw this question. For those who don't want to follow the link is a not closed question by hobodave asking for a recipe. Did I mention who asked the question? Yeah, the guy with the fancy square who closes this kind of questions. I was shocked. I'm shocked.

Now I see that this site have the same rules I read in George Orwell's Animal Farm

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."

  • 12
    +1 for questioning the apparent hypocrisy. This needs to be addressed. -1 for being superior and snarky about it. That was unnecessary.
    – Dinah
    Commented Sep 4, 2010 at 15:37
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    I'd also like to point out that merely reading the comments to hobodave's question would have led you to the "restaurant mimicry" discussion and the rationale for keeping that question open. Not only was it debated at the time, but it was before hobodave or any of us were moderators. These charges of hypocrisy are bupkus. Over time we've established very specific guidelines for what kinds of recipe questions are allowed and the Tso question fits easily within them; the "beef fry recipes" question doesn't even come close - it's not even requesting recipes for a single dish!
    – Aaronut
    Commented Sep 4, 2010 at 16:41
  • 3
    Because this distinction appears to be a frequent point of confusion/dispute, I've added a FAQ addressing it: What types of recipe questions are allowed?
    – Aaronut
    Commented Sep 4, 2010 at 18:40

3 Answers 3


Daniel, I understand that you are frustrated. Please, though, realize that statements like, "This question was closed by hobodave, the guy that has a fancy square in his name, aka dictator, errr moderator," are not going to win people over to your side, for the most part.

Cooking and recipes are tied together, it's true. But I don't think your point is to clarify the fuzzy line between what are and are not on-topic requests tied to recipes, as you have already linked to the existing discussions.

It looks to me (correct me if I'm wrong) that the point of this post is to bring up the fact that the moderator who most often closes recipe requests, hobodave, does himself have a recipe request on the site.

The recipe requests that are being allowed, to the best of my understanding, are those posts that are looking for help emulating a dish served by a particular restaurant. For example, "What is a recipe for Italian Dressing?" is off-topic while "Having trouble replicating Olive Garden's Italian Dressing," would be on-topic. Rather than looking for all/any recipes for General Tso's, this request was for help emulating a certain version, and I think that's on-topic.

In addition, when he posted the General Tso's question, hobodave noted, "I realize this is a recipe request, but I'm hoping that the supplemental information will be enough to let it through." And, the community allowed it. At the time that question was posted, no one was a moderator, including hobodave.

You, like any user, have the right to vote to close any question (edit: once 500 rep is achieved). Likewise, you have the right to open a discussion on meta addressing why a particular question should or should not be closed.

And I do agree that the General Tso's question could be considered off-topic. I think it's okay, but I'm just one of many people in this community.

I think a far better way to address this would be simply to ask, "Why was this recipe request not closed as off-topic," rather than the far more inflammatory statements you have provided here. Please consider editing to help everyone keep the discussion civil.

  • Strictly speaking, you need 500 rep to vote to close, so Daniel may earn this in the future, he can't right now Commented Sep 4, 2010 at 15:06
  • Then he can leave a comment or a mod flag stating what's wrong with the question @Rowland Shaw
    – Ivo Flipse
    Commented Sep 6, 2010 at 7:00

This issue has already been addressed admirably by Robert in his answer to Restaurant mimicry questions allowed?

It's really quite simple. Recipe questions are off-topic if they're just asking for any ole' recipes. Recipe questions are on-topic if they're about fixing (or trying to recreate) a specific recipe.

We've outlined this as best we can in the FAQ, which is why we even have an on-topic category for "Recipe comprehension, improvement, and repairs."

How many valid answers do you think you could come up with for hobodave's question? If it's more than 2 or 3, I'll eat my hat.

So, no, there's no hypocrisy here, and in the future, please learn to search for related questions and dial down your incredibly belligerent tone.


Just my 2pence worth but, "Over time we've established very specific guidelines for what kinds of recipe questions are allowed" is all well and good, but this should not be to the detriment of the site.

If there's a way to turn around a question and make it worthwhile rather than closing it (such as the admittedly belated comment I left) it should be aimed for. Engaging the OP in a dialogue to obtain a better question rather than summarily closing the question would be my preferred approach.

  • Rob, this would be a better place to give your feedback, as well as read a very good post by Aaronut: meta.cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/693/…
    – hobodave
    Commented Sep 4, 2010 at 23:46
  • @hobodave, whilst I suspect that the reaction will be somewhat along the lines of "people should post better questions, or face getting them closed", I have expanded this answer as one on the question you linked, here: meta.cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/693/…
    – Rob
    Commented Sep 5, 2010 at 10:36
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    As I've stated before, engaging the OP in a dialogue and closing the question are not mutually exclusive options. Several questions have already been closed and reopened after the OP made a few edits. Other questions are simply flawed from the start and can never be edited into something on-topic/objective enough. The way I see it, closing is a form of dialogue, and typically an effective one.
    – Aaronut
    Commented Sep 5, 2010 at 15:06

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