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Expert Advice: 10 Secrets from the Girls from Food 52


Expert Advice: 10 Secrets from the Girls from Food 52

May 10, 2013

When we learned that Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, the founders of Food52, were about to launch Provisions, an online kitchen-and-home shop offering their take on the best that’s out there, we wanted to know more. What’s their go-to kitchen tool? What’s in their pantry cupboards at home? What do they whip up at the last minute for dinner? Here’s what they had to say:

Photography by Nicole Franzen for Remodelista (except where noted).

Remodelista: Kitchen pantry staples you are never without?
Merrill Stubbs:  Lentils, Worcestershire sauce and Pomi chopped tomatoes.foods.
Amanda Hesser:  Anchovies, capers, Hellmann’s mayo, Pomi chopped tomatoes, chocolate, parmesan cheese.

RM: An easy dinner fix you’ve been trying of late?
MS: We’ve been doing a lot of grilling as the weather has slowly gotten warmer, and I’ve been making guacamole as a sauce/side for everything from fish tacos to veal chops. I find it complements a lot of different kinds of foods.
AH: I‘ve been making this Crispy Lentils with Ground Lamb dish.

food 52 test kitchen knives

Above: Kitchen knife storage in the Food52 kitchen office.

RM: Three kitchen tools you can’t live without?
MS: Mini Whisk, mesh strainer, and my favorite wooden spoon.
AH: A sandwich spreader, Microplane Grater, and thin-tined carbon steel fork.

Le Creuset pots Food52

Above: Le Creuset Cookware on display at the Food52 office kitchen.

RM: Favorite pan/pot?
MS: Amanda and I both have the same shallow braiser (in Dune) from Le Creuset–and we now have one in the office kitchen too! It’s great for braised dishes, and just as handy on top of the stove for making risotto.

RM: Your go-to dinner party dish?
MS: In the summer, I make a version of Lobster Diavolo inspired by a dish served at ‘Esca in New York–spaghetti with tomato, chilis, and fresh mint, topped with big chunks of steamed lobster. I’m looking forward to tomato season!
AH: I like making braised dishes that I can cook a day in advance and reheat. This time of year, I like to serve braised lamb with lots of herbs and garlic.

RM: Salt of choice?
MS: Kosher for cooking, Maldon for serving.
AH: Same as Merrill!

food 52 kitchen aid mixer

Above: Stackable enamel storage canisters by Riess of Austria.

RM: Easy child snack?
MS: Homemade pita chips, sliced veggies or fruit, granola bars.
AH: I take sliced Serrano ham or prosciutto, lay it atop a lettuce leaf, and roll it up. Our kids love the salty meat with the sweet, leafy green.

RM: An under-appreciated ingredient, we should know about?
AH: Anchovies make the world go round.

S M Food 52

Above: Merrill and Amanda.

RM: Go to wine or cocktail?
MS: Rose! Preferably from Provence.
AH: Lillet on ice with a slice of citrus.

RM: Guilty pleasure?
MS: Oreos.
AH: Fritos.

If you missed it, check out our Steal This Look on the new Food 52 office that we featured earlier this week.

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Frequently asked questions

Who are the girls from Food 52?

The girls from Food 52 are Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs.

What is Food 52?

Food 52 is a food and home cooking community where people can find recipes, products, and ideas for cooking and hosting.

What are the 10 secrets from the girls from Food 52?

The 10 secrets are: Cook what you love, use the right tools, embrace the seasons, find your own style, use your senses, get organized, embrace the mess, curate your space, don't worry about perfection, and have fun.

What does it mean to embrace the seasons?

Embracing the seasons means to use ingredients that are in season and appropriate for the time of year. It allows for fresher and more flavorful dishes.

What does it mean to curate your space?

Curating your space means to design your kitchen and home with intention, selecting items and decor that reflect your personal style and needs.

What is the importance of using your senses?

Using your senses, such as smell, taste, touch, and sight, can help you to create a more well-rounded and enjoyable cooking experience.

What are some tips for getting organized?

Some tips for getting organized include decluttering your space, setting up systems for storage and labeling, and planning ahead for meals and grocery shopping.

Why is it important to embrace the mess?

Embracing the mess means allowing yourself to experiment and make mistakes while cooking, which can lead to more interesting and creative dishes.

What is the main message of these secrets?

The main message of these secrets is to approach cooking and hosting with a sense of creativity, joy, and authenticity, rather than striving for perfection or adhering to strict rules.

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