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Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs Launch food52

food52 (Business Wire) - 14 September 2009

Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs Launch food52

New Online Community Celebrates Home Cooks and their Recipes

BROOKLYN, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Food writers Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs announce the launch of food52 (, a new online community that creates a virtual kitchen where like-minded cooks and food enthusiasts can showcase their talents, discuss recipes and techniques, and connect with each other. Food52 will open to everyone on Tuesday, September 15, 2009.

food52 provides its users with a forum for sharing and storing recipes, uploading cooking photos and videos, and finding original, vetted recipes from other home cooks. The user-generated database is curated by former New York Times food editor Amanda Hesser and freelance writer Merrill Stubbs as well as the site’s community, making it more useful and trustworthy than other recipe sites. food52 also features daily blog posts by Hesser and Stubbs, in which the two write about cooking, share their own recipes, highlight the work of rising young chefs, and promote their favorite food blogs.

"food52 grew out of an insight Merrill and I had while working together on my upcoming cookbook of recipes from the New York Times: many of the best recipes come from home cooks," said Amanda Hesser. "Online, however, the ingenuity of home cooks has been largely overlooked. food52 was created to give voice to and inspire those who are cooking at home and who care about what they eat."

Through weekly recipe competitions food52 will create the first crowd-sourced cookbook. Hesser and Stubbs select the finalists, and then the food52 community votes to determine which recipes go into the book. Users will also help choose the title, cover design, and photos for the book. The first cookbook will be completed in 52 weeks and published by HarperStudio. All finalists will receive the cookbook and a collection of OXO cookware. Chambers Street Wines pairs all finalists’ recipes with wines on the site, and offers users a ten percent discount on all purchases.

In October, food52 will host the first annual Tournament of Cookbooks, in which sixteen of the year’s best cookbooks go head to head in a bracketed competition, vying for the coveted Piglet trophy. Judges will include Dan Barber, Grant Achatz, Gail Simmons, and Gwyneth Paltrow.

"At food52 people will find a cooking site that they can trust," said Merrill Stubbs. "They’ll find recipes vetted by an engaged and experienced community with whom they can connect in a meaningful way. We want food52 to be a place where we all become better cooks together."

About food52

food52 ( is an online community that celebrates home cooks and their recipes. The website creates a virtual kitchen where like-minded cooks and food enthusiasts can showcase their talents, discuss recipes and techniques, and connect with each other.

Founded by Amanda Hesser, a former New York Times food editor, and Merrill Stubbs, a freelance food writer, the site will create the first crowd-sourced cookbook. The book, whose recipes will be determined in weekly competitions, will be published by HarperStudio.

About Amanda Hesser

Amanda Hesser was hired by the New York Times as a food reporter in 1997. In 11 years there (the last 4 as the food editor of the Times Magazine), she wrote more than 800 stories for the Times and launched the magazine T Living.

Hesser’s first book, The Cook and the Gardener, won the IACP Literary Food Writing Award. Cooking for Mr. Latte, her second book, was based on a monthly column she wrote about her courtship with her husband. Hesser also edited Eat, Memory, a collection of food essays by some of America’s best novelists, journalists and screenwriters. Her next book, a collection of the most noteworthy New York Times recipes from the 1850s to today, will be published in 2010. Hesser plays herself in "Julie & Julia."

About Merrill Stubbs

Merrill Stubbs grew up in New York City, and after graduating from Brown University with a degree in Comparative Literature she honed her cooking skills at Le Cordon Bleu in London. Later, she worked in the test kitchen at Cook's Illustrated and as a private chef and cooking instructor. She also did a stint working behind the counter at Flour in Boston’s South End.

In addition to working with Hesser on the cookbook for the New York Times, Stubbs writes for the Times’ T Living, Edible Brooklyn, Body+Soul and, and she is the food editor at Herb Quarterly.




Rebecca Palkovics, 267-229-2477