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The Best Places to Look for Inspiration, According to The52

August 19, 2015

Last month we introduced you to the newest members of the Food52 family, The52. This week we tell you what makes them tick.

One of the questions we always ask of new Food52 team members is "Where do you look for inspiration?" Answers range from "a challenge" to "crazy non-fiction" and "Bacon. And butter. But mostly bacon," but they're always insightful, and often motivating (aren't you craving bacon now?). So we decided to ask the same question of the newest members of the Food52 family, The52Here are the places, things, and people The52 look towards for inspiration:

Books, Magazines, and Media

I have a great set of beautiful, old design books on hand that I love to flip through for inspiration. If those don't work, then a nice refreshing nature walk usually does the trick. We live next to lake michigan and the breeze and waves always rejuvenates me. — Amanda Jane Jones

Shop the Story

My cookbooks. Of course I often look online, too, but recently, I’ve been trying to spend more time with my cookbooks. I’m trying hard not to blog about recipes that I find on other blogs—if it’s online, it’s been done. I have so many cookbooks, and there are some that teach me something new every time I open them. — Alexandra Stafford

Ottolenghi and Deborah Madison for flavor inspiration (also David Chang's Momofuku when I feel like branching out into less familiar territory). Alton Brown for basics with a side of nerdiness. I also love David Lebovitz. My Paris Kitchen is a recent favorite, and The Perfect Scoop is the reason I needed to take up running. — Carey Nershi

Old issues of Rolling Stone, old Terence Conran books, Pinterest (duh), Instagram, old paperback books!, and magazines. — Elizabeth S. Olson 

Indie magazines and Instagram. The world is awash in interesting imagery. — James Ransom



Nature. My garden. The farmer's market. The health food store. In that order. — Sarah Britton

Weekend adventuring. — Jessica Merchant

What’s growing right now, from the land closest to me. — Lily Diamond

I look to other food writers I admire for inspiration, food magazines, and design blogs (Design Sponge). Travel is also always inspiring—especially when it comes to recipe development. — Megan Gordon



My kids inspire me. They're fresh to the world. Their joy is boundless. Also, their energy. I can't keep up! But if I'm ever stuck, I just run outside with them, hit the baseball, walk in the garden, and then go back to work. — Shauna Ahern

My head chef. — Jeffrey Morgenthaler


All Over


Food52 (!) and local Chicago restaurants, the farmers market, and our pals in the food scene. — Rachel Adams and Lucy Hewett

Absolutely everywhere. — Eva Kosmas Flores

In many places: ceramics, farmers, other chefs, painting, music, film, weather, and spaces.... — Aran Goyoaga

Reading books, going on bike rides and letting my mind wander, playing with my little guys, the site Kottke.org. — Joanna Goddard

My cookbook collection, food blogs, travel websites and magazines, restaurants, ethnic neighborhoods and grocery stores. — Louisa Shafia

Everywhere! Great film direction, European decor magazines, travel, museums. My friends. — Victoria Smith

Everywhere—restaurants, cookbooks, podcasts, Bon Appétit, novels, friends' dinner parties. — Jenny Rosenstrach

If you haven't had a chance to meet the first batch of The52 yet, they'd love to introduce themselves.

Where do you look for inspiration? Tell us in the comments below! 

Top image of the Orpheum Theater in downtown Los Angeles by Ryan Vaarsi via Flickr; second photo by Kong; final photo by Bobbi Lin

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