Amanda Hesser

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Amanda Hesser
Amanda Hesser by James Ransom.jpg
Amanda Hesser in the offices of Food52
Born1971 (age 48–49)

Amanda Hesser (born 1971) is an American food writer, editor, cookbook author and entrepreneur. Most notably, she was the food editor of The New York Times Magazine, the editor of T Living, a quarterly publication of The New York Times, author of The Essential New York Times Cookbook which was a New York Times bestseller, and co-founder and CEO of Food52.


After finishing her first book, in 1997, Hesser was hired as a food reporter for The New York Times where she wrote more than 750 stories. While at the Times Hesser wrote about the influence of Costco on the wine industry, and how the Farmer Consumer Advisory Committee made decisions for the New York City Greenmarket.[1] She was also among the first to write about Ferran Adria of El Bulli in a major American publication.[2]

Hesser was involved in two cases of conflict of interest while working at the Times. In 2004, she awarded the restaurant Spice Market a three-star rating without disclosing that the year before, the restaurant's owner, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, had provided a complimentary jacket blurb for her book Cooking for Mr. Latte. In 2007, Hesser published a favorable review of Vegetable Harvest by Patricia Wells, without noting that in 1999, Wells had provided a jacket blurb for Hesser's book The Cook and the Gardener. In both cases, the Times subsequently pointed out the conflicts of interest with editors’ notes.[3][4]

While Hesser left the Times in March 2008 to focus on the development of Food52 she continued to write the "Recipe Redux" feature for the Times magazine until February 27, 2011.[5][6]

As co-founder and CEO of Food52 she has raised two rounds of investment from parties including Lerer Hippeau Ventures and Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments. Food52 has won numerous notable awards including the James Beard Award for Publication of the Year (2012)[7] and the IACP Award for Best Website (2013). In February 2017, noting that 92 percent of the company was white, she and her co-founder Merrill Stubbs "issued a statement about the ways in which the company intended to redress a lack of racial equality in its workplace." By the following January, "they published a follow-up letter updating readers on the progress of their efforts, stating that their staff had been reduced to being 76 percent white."[8]

Hesser was featured in Food & Wine's 40 under 40[9] list, was named one of the 50 most influential women in food by Gourmet Magazine, and had a cameo as herself in the film Julie & Julia.[10]

Hesser lives in Brooklyn Heights with her husband, Tad Friend,[11] a staff writer for The New Yorker, and their two children.



  • The Cook and the Gardener (W. W. Norton & Company, 1999)
  • Cooking for Mr. Latte: A Food Lover's Courtship, with Recipes (W. W. Norton & Company, 2004) [Collected Food Diary columns she wrote from 2000-2002]
  • Eat, Memory: Great Writers at the Table, a Collection of Essays from the New York Times (W. W. Norton & Company, 2009) [Edited 26 previously published essays]
  • The Essential New York Times Cookbook: Classic Recipes for a New Century (W. W. Norton & Company, 2010)
  • The Food52 Cookbook: 140 Winning Recipes from Exceptional Home Cooks (William Morrow Cookbooks, 2011)
  • The Food52 Cookbook, Volume 2: Seasonal Recipes from Our Kitchens to Yours (William Morrow Cookbooks, 2012)
  • Food52 Genius Recipes: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook (Ten Speed Press, 2015)
  • Food52 Vegan: 60 Vegetable-Driven Recipes for Any Kitchen (Ten Speed Press, 2015)
  • Food52 Baking: 60 Sensational Treats You Can Pull Off in a Snap (Ten Speed Press, 2015)
  • Food52 A New Way to Dinner: A Playbook of Recipes and Strategies for the Week Ahead (Ten Speed Press, 2016)
  • Food52 Mighty Salads: 60 New Ways to Turn Salad into Dinner (Ten Speed Press, 2017)
  • Food52 Ice Cream and Friends: 60 Recipes and Riffs for Sorbets, Sandwiches, No-Churn Ice Creams, and More (Ten Speed Press, 2017)
  • Food52 Any Night Grilling: 60 Ways to Fire Up Dinner (and More) (Ten Speed Press, 2018)
  • Food52 Genius Desserts: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Bake (Ten Speed Press, 2018)


  • "Food 52 Holiday Recipes & Party Planning Guide: A cookbook, instruction manual, and entertaining battle plan" (Open Air Publishing, 2011)

Anthologized works[edit]

  • Women Who Eat (2003)
  • Best Food Writing (2002, 2004)
  • The Art of Eating (2004)
  • Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant (2007)


  1. ^ Hesser, Amanda (2004-01-14). "Apple Cart Upset: Who Runs Greenmarket?". New York Times. Retrieved 2019-07-19.
  2. ^ Hesser, Amanda (September 15, 1999). "In Spain, A Chef To Rival Dali". New York Times. Retrieved November 22, 2011.
  3. ^ Hesser, Amanda (3 June 2007). "Cooking". The New York Times.
  4. ^ "Editors' Note; Editors' Note". The New York Times. 31 March 2004.
  5. ^ Amanda Hesser Blows Her Own Internet Bubble, New York, 3 April 2008
  6. ^ Amanda Hesser Sets Us Straight About Her Plans for the Future, New York, 7 April 2008
  7. ^ James Beard Foundation 2012 Award Winners, archived from the original on 2016-03-04
  8. ^
  9. ^ 40 Big Food Thinkers 40 and Under, Food & Wine, November 2010
  10. ^ Julie & Julia
  11. ^ "WEDDINGS/CELEBRATIONS; Amanda Hesser, Tad Friend". Weddings - The New York Times. September 15, 2002. Retrieved 31 March 2012. Amanda Hesser, a reporter for The New York Times, and Tad Friend, a staff writer for The New Yorker, were married yesterday in Wainscott, N.Y., at the summer house of the bridegroom's family.

External links[edit]