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Food52 Takes Crowdsourced Cooking Content Into Apps

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Food52, the cooking site founded by New York Times food writer Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is moving into apps just a couple weeks after the publication of its crowdsourced cookbook. Food52 has a new holiday cooking iPad app and a free cooking hotline iPhone app.

Food52’s iPad app, “Holiday Recipe and Survival Guide,” is $9.99, built on the Inkling platform published by Open Air (the company behind Speakeasy Cocktails). It includes 75 recipes from the site, 100 minutes of video, and event-planning guidance. In one 24-minute tutorial, Hesser and Stubbs walk users through building a modern gingerbread house.

Each recipe links back to Food52’s Hotline, where users can ask each other questions about recipes in a sort of modern-day version of Butterball’s Turkey Talk-Line (still running, by the way). Food52 also released a free standalone Hotline app.

Food52 tends to attract more experienced home cooks, but Stubbs hopes the apps will draw in less seasoned cooks too. “I think the fact that it’s beautiful and interactive gives it broader appeal,” she said. “The recipes, as a whole, are more approachable than the recipes on the site.”

HarperCollins’ William Morrow published the first Food52 cookbook (it was originally slated to be published by Bob Miller’s experimental imprint HarperStudio, which closed in 2010 when Miller went to Workman) and a second cookbook will follow next year.

Full disclosure: I am a regular visitor to Food52 because the recipes are fabulous. These roasted almonds will make you very popular at cocktail parties.