#IWNY Visit: Food52

Food 52 cookbooks one & two at their offices

During Internet Week New York 2013, my colleague Anna Curran of Cookbook Create - a site that helps you create custom cookbooks - lead an exclusive group of bloggers on a visit and on-site chat with the masterminds Merrill Stubbs & Amanda Hesser behind the brilliant Food52 site.

Food52’s first book quickly became one of my kitchen staples and I had already been using their recipe crowd sourced website awhile when Stacy Harwood, friend and fellow Bennington College MFA colleague, curator of the Best American Poetry’s blog and I made a video about hosting a food allergic person with a Food52 recipe for fried chickpeas. Here’s that video. (Music by James Carney.)

Food52’s first book is *not* a food allergy friendly focused book nor website; Food52 *is* focused on good solid recipes submitted by home cooks that, to my eyes and needs, are easily adaptable to a food allergic person’s needs.

Here’s part of the Food52 “manifesto”: We love spending time in the kitchen, and we believe that memorable cooking doesn't have to be complicated or precious. It's about discovering that frying an egg in olive oil over high heat gives the white a great crackly texture, that slashing the legs of a chicken before roasting allows the dark and white meat to cook evenly, that maple syrup adds not only sweetness but depth to an otherwise ho-hum vinaigrette. I wholeheartedly agree

Here’s even more about what Food52 does and who they are but really all you have to do is flip through Food52’s gorj food photos and read the recipes that have a “twist that makes it genius and unexpected” as Merrill says. It’s easy to see that you can make a lot of these recipes at home and safe for your needs.

Put on some jazz as I take you on a quick tour of Food52 and my afternoon with them.

A wall of kitchen tools and butterflies upon entry to the Food52 offices

Bookshelves in the Food52 offices from reclaimed wood, sourced in Queens, NY

A warm reception from Food52's Amanda in light blue, Merrill in black and Cookbook Create's Anna in purple

Merrill looking on at Food52 senior testers in their purpose-built test kitchen, all objets d'art are real and used

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The group looking on at demo of test kitchen, me in journalism mode, taking notes (This photo copyright Clay Williams)

Food52 knife rack

Tea and coffee station, with cubed brown sugar

Flowers on the Food52 walnut wood workstation

Thank you to Food52 and Anna Curran of Cookbook Create for the lovely afternoon.


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