In the kitchen: Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs.
Photo by Sarah Shatz.
Take a look at food52, an innovative new website. Created by New York Times columnist and author Amanda Hesser and her fellow food writer and good friend Merrill Stubbs, food52 has the potential to change the internet and how we use it, while helping preserve the print medium.
According to the site, they believe home cooks are the best cooks. They launched the site to connect with them, and at the end of 52 weeks, create a "crowd-sourced" cookbook, in internet parlance.
Really, it's a modern-day version of those paperback, spiral bound community cookbooks our moms used to collect. But without the canned cream soups and with much prettier photos, of course.
Each week, Amanda and Merrill post two ingredients -- this week it's mushroom soup and any recipe using paprika. Home cooks submit their own, best recipes, A&M test them, select two finalists from each category and the home cooks vote online. The winning recipes will be be published in the cookbook.
It's smart, isn't it? The site is fun, well designed, and truly interactive. They post informative, funny videos and excellent tips and techniques. And, instead of subverting print, it celebrates it with what will surely be a beautiful cookbook. The site is a means to the end, and a way for them to collaborate with people who love to cook on everything from the recipes, cookbook design, photos and more.
I'm especially excited about food52 because it speaks to me as a writer, cook, and devoted print person, but also because I had the honor and privilege of serving as a beta tester before it went live.
That means I reviewed the site, made a list of what I like, dislike, added a few thoughts and ideas and sent it to Amanda and Merrill, who couldn't have been nicer or more gracious.
I hope you will support and enjoy food52 -- I'd love to hear your thoughts -- and see one of your recipes in the cookbook!