When Amanda and Merrill first started Food52, their goal was to create a space for cooks all over the world to share recipes and ideas. While it’s always been possible for Food52 readers to create a community profile and publish their own recipes on the site whenever they like, we’ve long relied on a network of talented contributors who write articles and develop recipes. If you’re interested in pitching Food52—we're honored!—here's what you need to know.
A pitch is a paragraph-long explainer of a piece you'd like to write or a recipe you'd like to develop (and how you're going to do that and why we need it on our site). It should include a brief overview of what you intend to achieve, as well as interviews you plan to conduct with sources, and any other relevant details.
A few tips
- First things first: Make sure we haven’t already covered this story on Food52. Check the site to see if we have articles on the same topic or a duplicate recipe. If there’s some overlap, but you feel your story is a fresh take, ask yourself: Why should this story be told now? What does it add to Food52’s canon?
- On that note, please don't pitch something that you've already covered on a personal blog.
- Start each pitch with a sample headline for your story. (It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it will give us a jumping-off point!) For recipe pitches, your pitch should include the proposed title of the recipe.
- Tell us a bit about yourself: Have you published written work before on a website or blog? What makes you qualified to write this particular story or develop this specific recipe?
- It should go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: We never tolerate plagiarism, for recipes or written content. All articles and recipes should come from you! Once you start reporting, if you interview someone, you must quote them exactly—never adjust a quote to prove your point.
Did you check out the above list? You rock. Send your pitch via email to [email protected] with “FREELANCE PITCH on [your great idea]” as the subject line.
When to Follow Up
We review pitches as a team on a regular basis and do our very best to reply as promptly as possible. If you haven’t heard back after two weeks, feel free to follow up. For most stories and recipes, we ask that you pitch the idea to just us, not to multiple publications at the same time, unless the story is particularly newsworthy or timely (in which case, feel free to flag that in the subject line).
How to Cook
How to take your cooking and baking from good to great. We want to get technical about it—from the "why didn't I think of that?" substitute for vanilla extract to the smartest way to bake a sweet potato to the art of par-baking a pie crust.
What to Cook
Most often, these stories are accompanied by a recipe, but they can also be stand-alone essays or reported features. Think: a family recipe you’ve cherished for years; a deep-dive on why pasta is essential to regional Indian cooking; or how meatballs cooked in grape jelly and barbecue sauce became “a thing.”
New & Now
Our widest-ranging category, encompassing all sorts of current events. Maybe it's about an upcoming food magazine, or a viral food trend on TikTok, or an ingredient recall. Maybe it's related to upcoming holidays—like how food pros celebrated Diwali in 2020, or an essay on Christmas alone in Paris.
We publish recipes for home cooks—meaning, they can come together during a so-many-errands week, in a definitely-not-professional kitchen. We believe these dishes are the most craveable and repeatable.
Sometimes our recipes are related to Food52 essays or features (like our My Family Recipe or Welcome to My Pantry columns). But if you aren’t pitching with a specific food column in mind, we prefer freelance pitches for stand-alone, or ad hoc, recipes.
Your pitch—no longer than a paragraph, please!—should include: A recipe title and clear, compelling hook (say, a 10-minute dinner for two, a one-bowl birthday cake, a vegan take on a meaty classic). Plus any applicable answers to the questions below:
Do we already have it (or something like it)? Double-check using our site or a Google site search. If the answer is yes, pitch another dish. Or convince us: How does this variation hold its own?
Is this evergreen or seasonal? From pitch to publication, estimate at least two months. That means, if it’s late spring, we’re thinking about late summer slash fall (especially Thanksgiving).
Why are you the person sharing this recipe? Are you an expert in that particular cuisine? A chef looking for work outside of restaurants? A blogger who wants to be part of our community? Tell us about yourself—anything personal or professional that's relevant to this recipe's creation and headnote.
Did someone or someplace or something inspire you? Maybe you learned a specific technique or flavor combination from a cook or restaurant or book. Always, always give credit where credit is due.
Any clips? We work with both new and seasoned recipe developers, so clips aren’t deal breakers. But! If you’ve published a recipe or two you’re particularly proud of, please share.
Loving the home you’re in—that’s at the heart of everything we do at Home52. Our merry band of homebodies (editors, writers, contributors) have the tips, tricks, and ideas to help you do just that. We cover all aspects of home and living, from the cleverest laundry hack and the latest decluttering trend, to the retro decor style you're on the fence about and the vintage glassware that you just can’t quit. Home52 is here to help you with daily cleanups and weekend decor projects, big and small—all the ways you make your space sing.
The topics we most regularly cover are cleaning, laundry, organizing, decorating, gardening and outdoor, DIY, and home tours. We also run shopping content to help our community find the products that will make their lives at home and in the kitchen much, much easier—but only if we would buy them ourselves first!
Plus, there’s always room for thoughtful storytelling around how you live—and what you learn. Whether it’s around holiday storytelling, lessons from the homes we inhabit, the home-centered self-care routines we turn to when life gets challenging, or the irreplaceable stories behind our most priceless possessions.
We pay flat rates, versus per word, based on the anticipated length and amount of work. This ranges from $200 for a short article or standard recipe (plus up to $50 in ingredient reimbursements) to $500-plus for bigger projects.
We could never pick a favorite article or recipe (too many!), but here are a few that we’re super-duper proud of. Pour a cup of coffee, find a comfy chair, and give them a read. These are great examples of the sort of stuff we’re on the lookout for.
Food Trends & Hacks
Home Trends & Hacks
A Brief History Of
Home & Kitchen Tours
"Read widely—and ideally, very sparsely in your subject area. This keeps your perspective fresh and your anxiety low. The first writing I did was letters to my family when I was working as a cook and baker in Europe. I wanted to share all that I was experiencing but knew I'd need to work hard to keep their attention—and this helped me develop more engaging and succinct narratives. So...write like your reader is easily bored!" —Amanda Hesser, co-founder
"Read Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird, I tell my students! Not food-writing-specific, but a great text to inspire anyone who likes to write anything, whether newbie or old pro. The best tip I learned from Lamott: to title my first pass 'Very Shitty Draft,' right there in the file name. This gives me license to just get out all my ideas without stressing over how they're worded or whether they sound pretty or even make sense. Then everything gets revised iteratively, draft by draft, into something readable, or maybe even good." —CB Owens, copy editor
"Read, yes—but also write. A lot! Every day, even if it's only for a few minutes. Maybe it's an Instagram caption about your basil plant, or an email to your best friend about sourdough bagels, or a blog about cultured dairy that no one but your mom will read. It doesn't matter. The more you write, the better you write." —Emma Laperruque, food editor
"Keep careful notes, and date them. I date every page and write my thoughts and opinions very freely. Sometimes I develop a concept that I love, but can't get it sold. Keeping notes (and keeping them organized) means I can easily come back to ideas from the past and rework them when the time is right." —Erin McDowell, resident
"When it comes to writing recipes, write down everything little thing you do during your development and testing process, even something as simple as seasoning with salt and pepper or adding another glug of oil. The smallest change can make a huge difference in the end product. Better yet, try writing down your recipe first in a document and cooking directly from it, then tracking changes you make in the process." —Rebecca Firkser, assigning editor
"Try to pitch recipes that teach a core technique or highlight a culture, so readers have something to take away from it long after they have forgotten the recipe itself. Showcase a difficult technique or a hard to find ingredient, but not both. By keeping one aspect of the recipe simple, you'll convince more people to try something new." —Sohla El-Waylly, resident
We're grateful for (and inspired by!) writers who share their wealth of knowledge. Check out these guides for more learnings on the industry—and let us know if there are any online guides that were game-changers for you, so we can keep growing the list.