We do our best to tell the most compelling food stories possible on First We Feast, but we know that sometimes, it’s best to just shut up and let the pictures do the talking. That’s when we call in our secret weapon: photographer extraordinaire Liz Barclay, who amazes us daily with her keen eye for deliciousness and uncanny ability to talk her way into any kitchen.

This year, Liz stopped at nothing to bring the city’s food—and the people who make it—to life in her images, exploring the art of masa production with writer Scarlett Lindeman; capturing a master of Cambodian cooking in Ithaca, NY; and bringing us inside NYC’s late-night ramen culture. When she wasn’t pounding the pavement for FWF, she somehow found time for dream gigs on the side, like shooting Del Posto pastry chef Brooks Headley’s veggie-burger pop-up for The New York Times, and going behind the scenes at a halal butcher with Lucky Peach.

Click through the gallery above to see Liz Barclay’s best food photos of 2014.