Crowdsourcing Tonight’s Dinner?

Today’s New York Times has an interesting article about crowdsourcing recipes, creating a wiki where users can enter their favorite recipes and anyone can change them. Personally, I don’t think that’s such a great idea; I’m the first one to admit that I rarely follow a recipe exactly as written, but I’d never think that my version should replace the original. Even if I think mine is better, I know that’s only my own opinion. I’ve got no right to just erase another cook’s work.

The article also talks about a crowdsourced cookbook project run by food writers Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs called food52. This is an idea I can get behind: Each week there are two categories announced, and anyone and everyone is welcome to submit recipes to those categories. Two finalists are chosen, and Amanda and Merrill cook those two and post video. Then we, the readers, get to vote on a winner, which will be included in a Food52 cookbook. In a happy coincidence I received a little package from them today:

What they don’t tell you on the site (or at least not that I’ve noticed) is that if your recipe is a finalist, you get a nifty prize from the people at Oxo! A while back my recipe for Gazpacho with Honeydew and Peppadew was a Cold Soup finalist. I didn’t win, but this is a swell consolation prize, all right. A cutting board (who doesn’t need another cutting board?), a colander with legs that convert to stand in the sink or stretch across it, and a gorgeous, sturdy strainer. That last item would’ve come in handy for the recipe I’ll be blogging about later, Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Fried Sage and Shaved Chestnuts

But back to the subject at hand: What do you think about this whole recipe wiki concept? Have you used them? Have you (or would you) changed recipes?