Recipe Testing Network
04 March 2021
Recipe testing is something that many Guild members take very seriously, so it is unfortunate that fees and advances rarely do more nowadays than cover the basics. The Guild of Food Writers Recipe Testing Network is being launched to link Guild recipe writers with fellow members who would be happy to test recipes on an occasional, voluntary basis. Based on an idea generated by the recent Nuts and Bolts of Recipe Writing workshop, this is is a simple peer-helps-peer scheme, based entirely on goodwill – no money changes hands.
A few pointers if you’re a writer with recipes you would like tested…
The system works best if you start by emailing out a list of recipes you’d like tested (or the recipes themselves) to members of Recipe Testing Network. Ask members to email you back saying which recipes they’d like to test, then confirm who’s testing what, either by picking names out of a hat, or on a first-come-first-served basis. If you end up with recipes that haven’t been selected, you can always email again.
Make sure your testers understand what you’re asking them to do – what level of detail you require. You might just want the recipe to be given a dummy run, to make sure it hangs together, rather than detailed feedback. If you’re worried about something in particular about it, say so.
If you have a deadline, please be very clear about this from the outset.
If it’s for a book, feel free to thank your testers (and the Guild of Food Writers Recipe Testing Network, if you wish) in your acknowledgements.
If you’re volunteering to be an occasional recipe tester…
A reminder that there is no fee involved, either for time or reimbursement of ingredients – you are testing recipes out of goodwill, and for the fun of cooking something new to serve yourself or your family.
When a list of recipes comes through, you are not obliged to offer to test if it is inconvenient.
If you’re not sure about any aspect of a recipe you have been asked to test, check with the writer before ploughing ahead.
When returning your comments, be sensitive to the level of detail that has been requested. It can be daunting for a writer to receive a blow-by-blow account of everything that’s wrong with a recipe, when all they were hoping for was the all-clear.
The recipe(s) you are testing belong to the writer, and have not yet been published, so please do not share them without permission.
If you wish your name to be removed from the Recipe Testing Network, please let Guild Secretary Ruth Watson know immediately.
How it works
If you would like to volunteer to test recipes, send your name and phone number to Ruth – email@example.com.
If you have recipes to test, email Ruth (firstname.lastname@example.org) brief details about your project, and she will send you an up-to-date list of members willing to help out. It is then over to you.
This is a new scheme, so bear with us while we refine it over the coming months. A final reminder that it is not intended to take bread out of the mouths of the many professional recipe testers who belong to the Guild, and earn a living from commercial testing work. It is intended to support writers who could not otherwise afford external testing.