Years ago while in culinary school, I spent a summer interning at Food & Wine. Food writing was my dream future career and I was ecstatic to spend a good part of my work days in their test kitchen. Until this week, even after many years of working in the food world on both the cooking and writing sides, it had been the only test kitchen of a major publication that I had seen.
So I was pretty thrilled to join a behind-the-scenes tour that Cookbook Create was organizing for food bloggers in the NY area. Yesterday, a big group of us visited the offices and test kitchens of Bon Appetit, The Daily Meal, and Food52, who graciously hosted us and prepared samples of recipes they’ve tested for publication. Of course, in addition to peaking inside the beautiful kitchens, it was a great way to learn about how the different publications operate.
Our first stop was Bon Appetit, where we met food editor Dawn Perry, web editor Matt Gross, editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport, and Restaurant & Drinks editor Andrew Knowlton. The test kitchen was kind of an eye-opener. They had eight small galley kitchens they called “bays”, each limited in size and equipment to mimic the average home kitchen. No extra-fancy equipment here; instead of a Vitamix they would use a regular blender to test out recipes, for instance. Microwaves, toasters, four-burner stoves. It was great seeing how the recipes are tested in kitchens not much bigger than my own, with limited counter space. (more…)