You may have noticed it’s been quiet around here for the past week. I have been one busy bee. I just got back from Camp Blogaway and tomorrow I’m headed to Eat Write Retreat followed immediately by a trip to California to work with CA Strawberries. It’s a very hectic time and I love it. I am one lucky girl to be traveling to all of these cool events. Before I head back out of town, I’m eager to tell you about a very special trip I took last week to New York. I was lucky enough to be selected by Anna Curran from Cookbook Create to attend a special tour of the test kitchens at Bon Appetit, The Daily Meal and Food52.
We began our tour at Bon Appetit headquarters where we met Food Editor Dawn Perry, Web Editor Matt Gross, Restaurant and Drinks Editor, Andrew Knowlton and Editor in Chief, Adam Rapoport.
They told us a bit about the daily operations at Bon Appetit and how the recipe testing process works (I was dying inside; what a dream job!) Their test kitchens consist of one large room with numerous small kitchens that represent the environment where readers will most likely prepare the recipes. There’s no fancy equipment here. They want to know exactly how magazine readers will experience cooking the food. Recipes are tested anywhere from 3 to 12 (!) times until perfected or occasionally nixed.
We then had a chance to see their gorgeous demo kitchen where we were treated to horseradish deviled eggs (amazing), fresh pea hummus crostini with pea tendril garnish and homemade ginger ale. I loved listening to Andrew Knowlton describe what it’s like to be a professional restaurant critic. Such an interesting job!
Next we headed over to The Daily Meal headquarters (let me just tell you- getting 15+ excited, gabbing food bloggers onto the NYC metro system is no joke). There we were able to meet Executive Director Coleman Andrews, Executive Editor Arthur Bovino, Video Producer Ali Rosen, Executive Director of Community Development Sharon Gitelle, Cook Editor Anne Dolce and several others from The Daily Meal team.
They showed us around their test kitchen where videos are often made for the website. We were treated to wine as well as Sautéed Fava Beans and Greens. Simple to make and very flavorful. It was interesting to hear about their process for creating what sounded like a massive amount of quality website content involving recipe development, video production and writing articles. While visiting the test kitchen, many of us contributed to a video with tips for blogging. Check it out!
Next we walked over to Food52 to see their gorgeous new office space and test kitchen. Meeting Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs was such a treat for me. And can I just say how jealous I am of that workspace? Look at those windows! The natural light is to die for and the kitchen is absolutely elegant. So much thought was put into little details such as the custom wood shelving and marble countertops. I don’t mean this to sound like a sales pitch- I was really in awe of how lovely everything was.
While we chatted with Merrill about the day to day operations at Food52, two of the editors prepared for us a light, smooth pea soup with garlic cream and pickled ramps. It was wonderful and I can’t wait to get my hands on the recipe. I’ve been a fan of Food52 for such a long time and I loved hearing about how the website was developed and how it has evolved over the years. I was in total fangirl mode and it was such a joy to be there.
That about sums it up! Thanks so much to Anna, Leiti and Emily from Cookbook Create (check out their site for custom cookbooks). Thanks to our gracious hosts at Bon Appetit, The Daily Meal and Food52. Also, thanks to all of the other food bloggers in attendance! It was wonderful to meet everyone. Please take a moment to visit their sites!
Caroline from Taste Love & Nourish (my new bestie)
Alejandra from Always Order Dessert
Melinda from Kitchen Tested
Amie from The Healthy Apple
Carrie from Poet in the Pantry
Diana from Appetite for China
Kimberly from Foodie City Mom
Daina from The Hungry Fan
Jen from Champagne Problems
Lisa from Nutcase Crunch
Mary from Love the Secret Ingredient
Sloane from Allergic Girl
Clay from UltraClay (our awesome photographer)