I had the distinct pleasure of being invited to an event tonight for http://www.food52.com/
food52 is a beta site that crowd-sources recipes, celebrating the serious home cook, with weekly recipe contests (52 of them, get it?!) The end game will be a compilation cookbook to be published in 2010 by HarperStudio. The site is a treasure trove of original recipes and having met the catalysts tonight, Amanda Hesser, Merrill Stubbs and staff...I commend them for spearheading what is becoming a real community.
Amanda Hesser is the former food editor for the New York Times, and has authored a book, The New York Times Cookbook. Merrill Stubbs is a freelance food writer, recipe tester and collaborator.
Tonight, I was an interested, casual observer. I'm more of a baker than an original cook..so I am in awe of the folks I met tonight. They think outside the box, where I follow recipes and might add a minor flourish. I wing some dishes on my own and I'm getting more comfortable, having fun and trying new things like jicama and celery root, slow roasting and braising, but I still rely on a meat thermometer, rather than knowing "doneness" by pressing the meat.
My former housemate Jennifer Hess, who's blog I follow http://www.lastnightsdinner.net/ invited me, as her hubby Mike stayed home in Rhode Island with their ailing cat, Kali. Jen was a food52 contest winner this summer for a pork recipe that was featured with photos in no less a publication than the NY Times. Jen was asked to come down from Providence to demo her very cool summer cocktail, the Tom & Ginger, in front of a crowd tonight in a wonderful apartment in Chelsea, NYC. Who else would think to take some leftover liquid from pico de gallo and turn it into an insanely good DRINK?
Check out http://www.lastnightsdinner.net/ and http://www.food52.com/
Bonus for me...the Home Depot in Chelsea was a few blocks from the event..so I did a quick spin through and picked up a taping knife, mud pan and self adhesive drywall tape... stay tuned for my wall repair post in a day or so.