About Amanda

October  2, 2011


Amanda has designed a seventeenth-century-style herb garden at a French chateau, developed the Twitter app Plodt, and appeared in Julie & Julia, playing herself. She was recently named one of 50 women game-changers in food by Gourmet.

Amanda grew up in a family where everyone, including her father, cooked. In college, she worked at a bakery on Saturday nights and drove a truck around Boston at dawn, delivering the bread. She later picked grapes in France, made pretzels in Germany, and cleaned rabbits in Italy.

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As a longtime staffer at the New York Times, Amanda has written more than 750 stories, created the columns Food Diary and Recipe Redux, and was the food editor at the Times Magazine. She has written the award-winning books Cooking for Mr. Latte and The Cook and the Gardener, and edited the essay collection, Eat, Memory. Her latest book, a New York Times bestseller and the winner of a James Beard award, is The Essential New York Times Cookbook.


Amanda lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Tad Friend, and their twin son and daughter, who by age 2 had eaten both pigeon and uni, whether they liked it or not.

Her foodisms:

  • Eat like you mean it.
  • Dessert at every meal.
  • Always invite one funny person to dinner parties and sit them in the middle of the table.
  • Guests don't want to have to make decisions, so show them the way.


Her food:

  • Flavor: Meyer lemon
  • Tool: Bone-handled fork
  • Apron: No
  • Desert island meal: Mangosteens and a stiff drink
  • Would like to have dinner with: Stephen Colbert
  • Doesn’t like: Caviar
  • Kitchen store: Divertimenti, London
  • Place: Blue Bottle on Linden Street in San Francisco
  • Book: Cooking in Ten Minutes by Eduard de Pomiane


Follow Amanda on Twitter: amandahesser

Kitchen Tour (version 3.0) from Food52 on Vimeo.

Here are some of Amanda's books and where her works appears:

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