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The Wednesday Chef

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There are thousands of cooking blogs -- each week, we bring you highlights from the best. This week, a like-minded project in the honor roll of food blogs.

The Wednesday Chef

Once upon a time Amanda & Merrill gathered and tested thousands of well-stained recipes clipped by New York Times readers from the newspaper over the past century (or so). And thus, The Essential New York Times Cookbook was born. Ergo, the joy of a piece of newsprint -- oil-spattered and watermarked -- that bears the secret to your favorite salad, cake, or casserole is near and dear to our hearts. 

The Wednesday Chef began under similar auspices: to cull and test the recipes Luisa Weiss had clipped from newspapers and other publications from years of poring over food journalism. Weiss relocated from New York to Berlin (a city she affectionally covers with her Berlin blog) and decided to tackle the task (aside: the best of blogs, this column finds, have a project or purpose propelling the posts).

Edna Lewis's Sour Milk Griddle Cakes  Friday Link Love

Why Wednesday? Well, that's when most newspaper dining sections come out, of course (duh, you knew that). While Weiss claims that, in her mind, the name has lost its caché, given the success of her blog and its departure from the original project, we think it has a throwback charm that reminds us of manila folders full of tasty hopes of meals to come.

A former cookbook editor, Weiss has a literary palate that's led her to uncover some of the best recipes in print. The Inspiring Reads section of her site confirms: this is a cook who reads, and reads well. Her epic comment threads are testament to a truth about food journalism to which we all subscribe -- recipes have audiences, especially the ones she chooses (try Mark Bittman's Tomato Paella -- an A&M fave that's perfect this time of year -- or David Lebovitz's Gateaux Bastille, which any follower of this Chez Panisse pastry chef gone Parisian culinary expat knows is iconic.) Just as books build communities of readers, recipes build communities of cooks. And thus, The Wednesday Chef and food52 are two peas in a pod. Just reciprocating the love.

Nigel Slater's Peas with Olive Oil and Mint  Jane Lear's Apple Crisp

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