Innovation That Matters

Blog's 52 recipe contests to spawn crowdsourced cookbook

Publishing & Media

There are a multitude of foodie websites and blogs catering to most every culinary whim, but food52 is one with an especially clear premise: 52 weeks, 52 recipe contests, and a crowdsourced cookbook to celebrate the result. Whereas the recent movie and book “Julie and Julia” chronicle a young food blogger’s journey through “365 Days and 524 Recipes” using Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I,” food52 is in many ways its opposite, celebrating instead the recipes of home cooks. Conceived in part by former New York Times food reporter Amanda Hesser—who has also written several cookbooks in her own right—the site is now on its 13th weekly contest, this time soliciting recipes for “your best beef salad” and “your best fruit tart.” Visitors to the site have seven days to submit their favourite recipes for each week’s category. Hesser and cofounder Merrill Stubbs then pick two finalists for each category, testing them and photographing them first; then, for 10 days the contest is opened up to voting. Winning recipes and author bios will go into the food52 cookbook, which will be published by Harper Studio; authors will also receive a selection of supplies from Oxo, the project’s sponsor. Runners-up and other entries, meanwhile, will be highlighted on the food52 site, where users will also have a chance to offer their opinions on the food52 cookbook’s photos, cover design and title. food52 is currently in invitation-only beta—using, interestingly, Paperless Post to send its invites—but will reportedly open up to the public next week. An online store is coming soon, and Hesser and Stubbs hope to follow up the current project with future books as well. One to watch! (Related: Online marketplace for home-cooked mealsCustomised cookbooks stir in online recipes.) Spotted by: Murtaza Ali Patel



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