When I first launched First We Feast a year ago, the site design sort of terrified me. Yeah, it was beautiful, and I loved the logo created for us by the incredible Brent Rollins. But the image gallery at the top of each post taunted me. It is, by most Internet standards, really fucking big, and it was crying out to be filled with beautiful, eye-popping food photography, not crappy Photoshop jobs of rappers with croissants (though I did try that).

But sometimes it’s good to pull away your safety net—as Brooklyn Brewery brewmaster Garrett Oliver once told me, fear is a useful emotion. Without any way to get around that massive space at the top of each post, we were forced to work harder to create and source images that would make the site look as not-terrible as possible. And thanks to our crack photographer Liz Barclay, as well as the slew of amazing shooters who took part in our Show Me Your Food Porn series, we were able to succeed from time to time.

Click through the gallery above to see the crème de la crème of the first year of food porn on First We Feast.