Vice President of Technology
You're as likely to find Karl reading up on computer programming or user interaction as you are to find him in the kitchen — which is why he feels particularly lucky to have paired his passions both in starting Real Time Farms and in joining Food52. Born and raised in Ann Arbor, Karl graduated from the University of Michigan with bachelor's and master's degrees in computer engineering. In 2005 Karl and his wife Cara left home for the Bay Area, where he spent nearly five years at Google working on AdWords and then on the team that launched the very first Android device. For the most part, Karl cooks using great ingredients and simple recipes. Occasionally, though, you can find him spending hours slow-cooking a pork shoulder in his back yard.
Amanda joined Food52 after doing software dev for several years at an investment bank. One day she realized she enjoyed creating new foods for her coworkers more than investment banking, so she enrolled at the French Culinary Institute to study for her Culinary Arts degree. Amanda loves to tinker with electronics and food in order to understand the underlying science and is not afraid to get messy. She writes the blog YumYumPanda and, when the weather is warm, can be found out on the water paddling with her dragon boat team in Flushing, Queens.
While on his way toward a PhD in philosophy, Michael changed course and began a new career writing code for startups. However, he has never wavered in his love of food, at least as far back as his first word: "More!" As a teenager, Michael talked his way into summer volunteer work at some great restaurant kitchens in the Bay Area, including Chez Panisse. Later, he made the excellent decision to marry the only woman he'd met whom this impressed. He has been known to make his own bacon and liqueur, to expend unreasonable effort in pursuit of great coffee, and, if left to his own devices, to consume an entire pound of brussels sprouts in one sitting. Find out more about Michael at his personal website.
UI Designer & Developer
Ryan is the pixel pusher here at Food52. A seasoned builder of websites of every size, function, and flavor, he joined the team to cook up a fresh interface for our site. As both designer and developer, he's working on creating the best possible experience for you. When away from the MacBook, his favorite meal to prepare for kinfolk (and himself) is a hand-kneaded, oven-blistered Neapolitan pie. To create something so superb from the simplest of ingredients is nothing short of a miracle in his book. Paired with a hoppy craft ale and fine company, life just doesn't get any better.
Senior UX Designer
Beatrice's background in web and print design has fueled her fascination with the way people interact with technology. She strives to create engaging digital experiences that makes peoples' lives easier. She has been cooking since she could reach the stove, and later went to work for a food magazine which led her to enroll at The Culinary Institute of America. Beatrice spends a lot of her time experimenting with homemade recipes like yogurt, ice creams, and breads. She also loves craft beer and has been dabbling in brewing her own beers. She writes a blog at scrambledsideup all about brunches and loves to shoot and style food photography. When it gets warm outside she's ready to get the grill and smoker going!
Head of Business Development/E-Commerce
Some people were born with a silver spoon in their mouths; Christina's was wooden. With an Italian heritage on one side and a Lebanese heritage on the other, good food was never hard to find. From a young age, Christina has cooked for her family and friends — even when her "kitchen" was only a George Foreman grill plugged into her dorm room. After living in New York for 10 years and working in various non-food corporate strategy jobs at Credit Suisse and IAC, she took her passion for food to the web, launching a food blog and supper club called 8.ate@eight. Undeterred by the lack of counter space and miniature appliances, she prepares dinner for eight people in a very small NYC kitchen and has made it a larger mission to encourage others in the Big Apple to make cooking at home a priority. When she's not foraging for lusty Food52 Shop offers, you can find her at the farmers' market buying $8 eggs — the best meal money can buy.
Director, Ad Sales
Lauren is our first on-staff ad sales guru, charged with creatively engaging with advertising partners. She has been in the media and sales business for 10 years, working on both the agency and publisher side and holds her MBA from Babson College. Born in Canada, she grew up in the States and has lived in Japan and Costa Rica. She's a huge advocate of seasonal eating and adores her year-round CSA membership which she blogs about here: LaurenLivingLocally. Lauren recently moved to the "burbs" for the first time, taking up residence in Bronxville, NY with her husband and their (adorable) son Hudson.
Kristen is the quiet force of Food52, writing, editing, cooking, styling, selecting photos, disciplining misbehaving spammers, and taking care of our messes with patience and humor. She got the food bug from her parents. During high school, Kristen input menus for her father's online restaurant guide (he and Kristen's mother also have a cookbook site). But then she rebelled and worked as an economist for a few years until, she says, "I got fed up, googled 'Food Studies' on a whim, and moved to New York … to study food, whatever that means." Kristen sailed through the Institute of Culinary Education and got her Master's in Food Studies at NYU. After paying her dues at Saveur and Martha Stewart, she took a deep dive in the start-up ocean with us. In addition to her posts on Food52, Kristen's lively and graceful writing can also be found in The Wall Street Journal and The Atlantic. Through her we've learned about Sugar Bush Squirrel and Bluebird's doughnuts. And though she's often trolling the net, Kristen is so efficient that — as Food52 legend has it — one day when heading to work from the East Village, she slipped on ice and tumbled badly, but managed to text us before she got back up. Now that's dedication! She unearths Genius Recipes too — watch for her column on Wednesdays.
Whole Foods Market Cooking Senior Editor
A graduate of ICE, Maddy started out testing recipes for us on weekends, writing blog posts, and heading up our Wildcard-vetting process with gusto (she even designed a fancy database to help scout out the hidden recipe gems). She wound up getting more Food52 than she ever imagined and now oversees the action at our partner sites at Whole Foods Market Cooking. She digs antiquarian cookbooks and thinks Calvin Trillin is the funniest food writer of all time.
Before she got this gig, Kenzi threatened to bake lemon macarons for the staff at Food52 until they let her intern. They relented before it got to that point, but for the record, she has her KitchenAid at the ready if they should ever change their minds. Oddly enough, Kenzi grew up as a very picky eater; for a while there, she wouldn't touch anything not involving peanut butter, jelly, and bread. With time and a bit of perseverance on the part of her parents, she realized what she had been missing, and started fanatically making up for lost time. She began working in restaurants, cooking, and serving like her culinary education — and rent — depended on it. She likes sticky rice and eating ripe avocados with spoons (if not her hands, when socially appropriate).
Marian grew up in New England, where family bonding included licking bowls clean of brownie batter and eating her father's signature hot dog omelets. After a brief stint as a consultant, Marian realized that cubicle life was not for her, so naturally she became a yoga instructor and bought a one-way ticket to India. While traveling through Asia and Europe for seven months, she ate a lot of food and rediscovered a love for writing but did not, in fact, find the meaning of life. She has only lied to the Food52 staff once, and that was when she told them that she was living in New York so that they would hire her as an intern. She is very grateful to work with people who love avocado toast as much as she does and sometimes laugh at her jokes.
A student at the University of Pennsylvania, Brette's journey at Food52 began when she profiled Amanda for a creative nonfiction class. She's been working here ever since. Now a junior, Brette works from wherever her studies may take her — Philadelphia, Rome, Scandinavia, New York — managing social media accounts, writing and editing blog posts, and regaling the staff with tales from afar. A proud food nerd, she has worked doing research with Penn professors, studying things like ethnic foodways in West Philadelphia and chocolate consumption in China. She is happy to have found (many) nerdy cohorts at Food52.
Contributing Editor and Real Time Farms Blog Editor
During two fantastic years in Japan, Lindsay-Jean conquered language barriers, foreign appliances, and curious new ingredients, and successfully managed to create vegetarian dishes in a teeny Japanese fish broiler. It's been impossible to drag her out of the kitchen ever since. She earned both her BA and MA from the University of Michigan and is a devoted Michigander, despite detesting cold weather and snow. When she's not working on Real Time Farms or Food52, you might find her giving her vegetable plants a pep talk or out for a run with her husband and their daughter.
Small Batch Editor
Anna published her first restaurant review at age 7 in her hometown newspaper, The Buffalo News. Ever since, she has been pursuing a larger audience for her writing (Buffalo is a very small city, after all). This endeavor has taken her to New York, where she studied at Sarah Lawrence College and became an intern at Food52. She now edits Food52's Small Batch column and occasionally contributes writing to the site. She loves making snacks and planning parties, both of which are often recorded on her blog, Cup & Hammer.
Jennifer — aka "Jenny" — is an old friend of Amanda's (set her up on a blind date with her now husband, Tad). She and Amanda bonded over food and used to cook dinner together every Sunday. Now Jennifer is in Washington, D.C., where she covers Congress for The New York Times and throws the occasional five-course dinner party and Food52 potluck. She dreamed up the idea to write a column on weeknight cooking for Food52 and we happily obliged. Look for her posts, which appear on Mondays under "Jenny's in the Kitchen." Check out Jenny's novel, Beverly Hills Adjacent.
Tom Hirschfield grew up in Indiana, graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Journalism focusing on photojournalism, and moved to New York sight unseen after making the newspaper rounds for a very short bit. After kicking around NYC for a few years freelancing, 6 to be exact, he returned home. Back in Indiana, Tom did all the things he wanted to do: concrete worker, truck driver, and oil salesman, before marrying the most beautiful and wonderful wife in the world. He went back to school for a degree in education, but switched to culinary school and graduated with a degree in the culinary arts. After working in restaurants for about 10 years, he bought a building, a liquor license, and equipment for his own restaurant — but chucked the whole thing before it ever opened when he had kids to be a stay-at-home dad. His family moved their farm and Tom started taking pictures again after a 20-year hiatus. He started developing recipes, people started to tell him he could write, and that's where Food52 comes in! Tom is currently looking for a publisher. He considers himself the luckiest man in the world to be the dad of two young girls who do their best to keep him young.
Food enthusiast Amy Pennington is the creator and owner of GoGo Green Garden, an edible garden business wherein she builds, plants, and tends edible gardens for city folk in their backyards. In March of 2009, Amy launched UrbanGardenShare.org, a garden website that pairs city gardeners with unused garden space via an online matching site. Amy is a regular contributing writer to Edible Seattle, a bi-monthly food focused magazine highlighting the culinary bounty of the Puget Sound region and SIP Northwest, and has taught both gardening and preserving as an adjunct professor at both Seattle Central Community College and Bastyr University. Her first book, Urban Pantry, was published in spring of 2010 and was chosen as one of Amazon.coms Best Cookbooks Of The Year. She lives in Seattle.
In her former life, Gena Hamshaw was a book editor. In her current life, she is a pre-med, post-bacc student. Throughout all of this, she has been a certified clinical nutritionist, a lover of vegan and raw food, and the voice behind the blog Choosing Raw, where she shares simple, accessible plant-based recipes. She is a regular contributor to VegNews Magazine, and she has been featured in O Magazine, in Glamour Magazine online, and in Whole Living Magazine. When she's not struggling with carbon molecules, Gena can be found practicing yoga or eating kale.
Feed52 Contributing Writer
Miranda loves Champagne, cheese and potato chips, and preferably all at once. In May, she graduated with a Masters in Food Studies from NYU and is now trying to figure out exactly what that all means. It is very fun and scary but mostly fun. She is a proud Portlander-by-birth currently residing on Manhattan's rich and wonderful Lower East Side in a closet that has no closets. She adores her powder pink Kitchen Aid and all the marvelous things it brings into being.
Feed52 Contributing Writer
Erin came to Food2 for the recipes and stayed for the writing. Growing up on butter burgers and custard in the Midwest, her cooking revelation came during a stint at Elle in Paris, France (one bite of goat cheese and it was over). You can also find her writing and tweeting for Sous Style or grocery shopping any given day of the week. She believes sweet tea can cure anything.
Feed52 Contributing Writer
Beginning her journey in Pittsburgh, Jill started cooking before she could even reach her mother's countertop. At the mere age of 10, Jill was determined to compete in the Annual Pillsbury Bake-Off, and entered every day at her local grocery store. She competed, and although her recipe didn't win, she hasn't stopped cooking ever since. When she's not in the kitchen, Jill is most likely buried in a book or hunting down the best cocktails in Boston.
Believe it or not, Drew became a part of Food52 after his wife Jennine (an early Food52 fan) emailed Amanda and Merrill to offer up her husband's directorial talents in exchange for as many snacks as he could score on set after filming. Since that infamous day in 2010, Drew has been directing and filming content for the Food52 website and most recently produced and directed all of the video content for Food52's Holiday Recipe & Survival Guide iPad App. In addition to his work with Food52, Drew is also co-creator of the Teach Me Sushi series of Apps for the iPhone and iPad, is founder of the film company Six Minute Stories, and works with Grammy winning artists (Taylor Swift, Kings Of Leon, Dave Matthews) as the lead mastering engineer at A.L.L. Digital Mastering, NYC. While not known the world over for his cooking skills (and not really having any cooking skills to begin with) Drew does consider himself a rabid cheeseburger aficionado and there is no slab of delicious, cheesy meat that escapes his radar.
Kyle's relationship with food started, as for many, with his mother's cooking. The love of food continues as he wanders markets and foreign cities, investigates new restaurants, and cooks and eats alongside his boyfriend, Peter. He'll try anything once and is more likely to sample the strange than stick with the familiar. Kyle comes to Food52 thanks to his friend and Food52 associate editor Kristy Mucci. He likens the video editing process to cooking, combining the best ingredients and flavor combinations into one wholly enjoyable meal.
Test Kitchen Manager
The day Jennifer started working with us last fall, testing recipes and managing our test kitchen, Food52's Tuesday photo shoots got a whole lot more orderly (and fun!). From her first job at 16 filling cannoli at a pastry shop in Connecticut to the regular family gatherings at her husband's parents' ever-popular Upper East Side restaurant Il Vagabondo, Jennifer has a clear knack for both cooking great food and making sense out of a busy kitchen.
Head Recipe Tester
Stephanie has been testing recipes for Food52 since November 2009 and now manages our small army of testers, in addition to working on social media for the Institute of Culinary Education and doing recipe testing, styling, and photography for the James Beard Foundation's blog Delights & Prejudices. We don't know how she gets it all done — all we know is we're glad to have her around. She's a graduate of the FCI and the Food Studies program at NYU, where she did her Master's thesis on Christmas cookies. Not surprisingly, she's also an accomplished synchronized swimmer. She represents Food52's international contingent, working from her home in Canada.
Veteran of the Saveur magazine test kitchen and French Culinary Institute grad, Victoria hails from New Zealand and has even been known to test Food52 recipes from there, somehow rarely missing a deadline from the other side of the world. She rides her bicycle every spare minute she gets (racking up over 3,500 miles in 2010 alone!), makes delectable croissants, finds knife-sharpening therapeutic, and spends part of her vacation each year working in a butcher shop.
Natalie wants her life to be about one thing: food. In addition to testing recipes for Food52, giving cooking lessons, and recommending recipes to her friends, Natalie is starting her own personal chef service called Broccoli Rose. She loves cooking vegetarian and vegan dishes, but there may be an occasional bacon slice here and there. She also enjoys helping people with special dietary needs by preparing meals that are gluten-free or low in salt and sugar at Broccoli Rose. She hopes to help her friends and clients stay healthy and creative with their food!
Annie is a multi-media food whiz. After graduating from ICE and doing time in the Saveur magazine test kitchen, she's made the food TV rounds, serving as Associate Producer on two seasons of The Cooking Channel's Food(ography) and Research Assistant for The Food Network's Chopped, among others. And now she's tackling the wild world of online food media with us! When we learned that her mom had to plunk her in front of old episodes of PBS's The Frugal Gourmet just to get her to eat, it all added up. Annie is deeply afraid of pigeons and wishes more people would learn to love the fish spatula — it's more versatile than it looks.
Rebecca's earliest favorite-food memories are of eating heaping kid-size platefuls of sour cream (calcium, according to her mother); she also apparently used to lift up a little plastic cup and cry for meat juices at the dinner table but does not remember this. She is strongly influenced by the cooking of her Hungarian grandmother, who made chicken paprikash, palacsintas, and linzertorte like nobody's business. Rebecca attended culinary school in NYC and Parma, Italy, and has a deep fondness for the variety and depth of Italian cuisines. She greatly enjoys testing out the imaginative recipes submitted to the site and is very happy to keep at it in the kitchen while preparing for graduate studies. Her ideal dinner party meal would include a rack of lamb (rare) and a Seckel pear galette; she also loves fresh fruit, lobster rolls, and cocktails with raw egg white.
Anna began her work here at Food52 assisting in our test kitchen, and also tests recipes from her home in Connecticut. (She feels most comfortable in test kitchens and worked for Martha Stewart Living Magazine and loved it.) Her food "life" began when she found herself rushing home from work to watch food TV and cook whatever she could out of her tiny New York City kitchen. After working in corporate America for ten years, she decided to trade in her day job for the night Culinary Arts program at the French Culinary Institute. In her opinion, the crust is the most important component of a slice of pizza and no dish should include food made into foam. She writes a blog, La Vie L'Amour La Cuisine and loves cooking three meals a day for her two budding foodies, Alessandra and Veronica. Her first thought in the morning is what she is going to make for dinner and her favorite words to hear are, "Mommy, this is the best meal I have ever had!"
Ruthy has been in and out of professional kitchens for over fifteen years, ever since her first job wrapping sandwiches at a deli in her hometown of Traverse City, Michigan. After graduating from the Great Lakes Culinary Institute, she bounced around Europe and then the East Coast for a while before finally settling with her husband in NYC's East Village, in the smallest apartment she's ever seen. She loves simple and fresh food, cheese, sunshine at the Greenmarket, working on her blog Omeletta, cheese, and Sauvignon Blanc. And cheese.
Kate H. Knapp has been cooking since she was stove-high and whisk-strong. She comes from a long line of cooks and bakers, from whom she learned the sweet power of sugar, the thrill of egg whites, the magic of leftovers, and the importance of being fearless in the kitchen. Food is more than daily nourishment to her, because it connects her to those who have cooked before her and helps shape the person she wants to be in this life. Kate works as a copywriter and spends her free time testing recipes, practicing food photography, and going to school for her Masters in Gastronomy. Her recipe for life is a work in progress—needs a dash more of this and a pinch of that—but she couldn't be happier with her ingredients.
Product Development Guy
In a classic New York real estate scenario, Amanda met Peter when she and her husband were looking to buy his apartment. The sale never happened, but years later, they sat next to each other on the subway. He was carrying a baguette from Whole Foods. They've been friends ever since. He recently joined Amanda and Merrill at Food52 to advocate for the user experience, plan ahead for the engineers, dig into SEO and analytics and whatever else needs doing. Peter lives just a few blocks from Amanda, making his perfectly-timed-for-recipe-tasting drop-ins uncanny. He is known around the neighborhood for his chili and pumpkin-carving party, for which hundreds of Halloween-ers descend on his home. Before joining Food52, Peter co-founded Flashlight Worthy Book Recommendations. Before that he led Product Development at Meetup and Zagat Survey with a palate cleanser of work at Vindigo in between. Before that he spent 5 years at America Online before it became AOL doing a variety of product-oriented stuff. Oh, and he worked briefly at the C.I.A. No, not that cooking one.
Chief Auxiliary Assistant, Party Thrower, General-Purpose Dreamboat
Billy is often invited to Food52 parties, and when he isn't he goes anyway. Sometimes he takes snapshots of the proceedings, or lugs ice, or folds plattersful of sliced meats into origami swans, airplanes, or cootie catchers, according to Amanda's imperious whims. He's been known to impersonate Merrill, when she's unavoidably detained because of the baby, in order to "pull the wool over the eyes" of certain friends of the site. He was raised in much the same way as senior editor Kristen Miglore, who is his sister. He enjoys food and the internet, but rarely surfaces on the site because the way he cooks could never be written down. He aspires to the simple precepts of certain purists like M. F. K. Fisher and Edouard de Pomiane, but more often than not must bring water to a boil three times before putting an egg in it while he chooses the best silver spoon with which to lower it in. He lives in Brooklyn.
Christy helps Food52 with their literary endeavors, plotting news ways to share the amazing wealth of recipes and techniques, online and off. She moved to New York after college to work in book publishing and in 2003 set up her own company to help writers manage their careers. She was raised in a home where boiling was the preferred cooking method and parmesan came in a green can, but after moving to Southern California to attend college, she learned the joys of eating real food — even some made inside the oven! After her two kids were born, she began to learn the pleasures of cooking to nurture both palate and spirit, and lives for cooking Thanksgiving dinner.
Co-founder of the Tournament of Cookbooks
Charlotte Druckman is a great friend, unmatched enthusiast, and a journalist born, raised and currently based in New York City. Amanda first "met" Charlotte on Twitter, where the two started brainstorming about an NCAA-style online cookbook tournament. All it took was a coffee meeting at Falai Panetteria on the Lower East Side, and The Piglet was born! Charlotte has covered food (mostly), style, design, travel, fashion, and beauty for various publications, including The New York Times Style Magazine, Departures, Gastronomica, and Travel + Leisure. As of this year, you can find her in The Wall Street Journal's "Off Duty" section (almost) every week. In fall 2011, Cooking Without Borders, Chef Anita Lo's cookbook, which she co-wrote, will hit stands. Currently, she's working on her new book, SKIRT STEAK: Women Chefs on Standing the Heat & Staying in the Kitchen (Chronicle, 2012).
We met Jason through a friend early on, and he's been an invaluable resource as we've evolved and grown. He is currently the president of Mahalo, Inc., a place where consumers can learn about thousands of topics via articles, videos, and question and answer forums. Before he joined Mahalo, Jason advised start-ups on fundraising, M&A, strategy and business development. He was also a senior executive for Barry Diller's IAC, where he was CEO of Gifts.com, and before that, he was head of operations for NYTimes.com. (Yes, he makes us feel like total underachievers!) Jason lives in Santa Monica, California with his wife and two children.