A visit to Food52, the cooking website founded and run by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, will open your mind to all that a food-centered community can be—namely, an innovative and intelligent yet very approachable take on everything from the latest kale recipe to how to best support your local food producers. Hesser and Stubbs tell me that the inspiration behind Food52 was simply this: “We wanted to create a food site that was comprehensive, collaborative, and inspiring—a site we’d want to hang out at ourselves. There wasn’t a food site filling this void.”
Food52 is unique in that it operates with the basic, and correct, notion that not only do people actually want to cook, but they also want to be challenged to do so at as high a level as they do every other aspect of their lives. “Many food sites can be condescending—they assume that you need to be convinced to cook, that everything must be sold as easy and quick and accessible. “We believe that most people know a lot about food, and in fact, they have things to teach us, so we talk to them as equals—and we infuse this equality and shared discovery and inspiration into everything from design to photos to the writing.” It’s this approach that has made Food52 such a success. Hesser and Stubbs have tapped into a community of food-lovers who value the importance of a well-cooked meal and a perfectly crafted drink; by aiming high in everything they do, and inspiring even the most novice of home cooks to want to do great things, they have created a place that lives up their manifesto: “How you eat is how you live.” Clearly, everyone at Food52 is living, and eating, well.