Friday, April 17, 2009

The Times UK: 50 of the world's best food blogs

From Times Online

February 17, 2009

50 of the world's best food blogs

Change the way you cook and eat for ever with Times Online's guide to the world's tastiest food blogs

Lynne Robinson

This list comprises 50 of our favourite food blogs but is by no means exhaustive. Times Online invites users to submit their favourites for a follow-up article using the comment box below.

1. Orangette The ultimate food lovers' blog. The seductive powers of food writing are not to be underestimated - Molly Wizenberg's words even helped to find her a husband. I cooked for almost 12 hours straight after discovering this blog - recipes range from the simple to the delectable: tomato sauce, hasselback potatoes, chickpea salad, chocolate granola. Wizenberg redeems the most uninteresting food – her cabbage gratin is one of my culinary hits of the year.

2. Cannelle et Vanille The recipes say it all: salted caramel ice-cream, roasted fig frozen mousse, lemon verbena with chamomile crème brulee. This visually stunning site was started by Spanish pastry chef Aran Goyoaga in January last year to satisfy her career-break cravings. Even a snacky peek explains its overnight success.

3. The Wednesday Chef New York-based Luisa Weiss started this blog as a way of documenting her trawl through clippings of recipes from the New York and LA Times. A mix of recipes and humorous anecdotes - her boyfriend thinks he is pre-hypertensive so she reduces the salt to avoid confronting the issue of male hypochrondria - it's a charming blog packed with information (indeed, a whole 700 words about coleslaw).

4. Delicious Days Authored by Munich-based Nicky Stich, this blog has a huge following, currently at number 127 in Technorati's Top 100 blogs (the highest ranking food blog.) Well-conceived, with an international flavour but healthy dose of German influence and easy to navigate sections including a food news feed. DD features the author's own recipes, as well as adaptations from other cookbooks. An invaluable article offers tips for budding food bloggers.

5. David Lebovitz Another megablog, this witty food reportage by the established cookbook author and ex-pastry chef David Lebovitz has up to 25,000 visitors a day. Now based in Paris, he covers recipes, restaurants and interviews with other foodie heavyweights. Head to his FAQ page for all the culinary secrets on Paris you could wish for.

6. Chez Pim Not much of a foodie secret, blog celebrity and big-hitter Pim quit her Silicon Valley job in 2005 to pursue her foodie calling. And a good move it was too; more than 142,000 regular readers have signed up for daily doses of her recipes, restaurant reviews and authoritative all-round food comment. My favourite recent post? An election recipe; chicken soup for the American soul.

7. Matt Bites When blog photos are taken by a professional photographer, it really shows – see his recent molasses-glazed acorn squash, for example. One of the select number of male food bloggers, Matt is charming and humorous, and has a recent Martha Stewart TV appearance to boot.

8. Serious Eats Practially everything you need to know about food can be found on this multi-contributor food website, started by New York Times journalist Ed Levine. The focus is on American foods such as hot dogs, there are restaurant and gadget reviews, food videos and recipes, including an easy recipe every afternoon to inspire that evening's dinner.

9. 101 Cookbooks One of the most established food blogs, five years old and counting; this is the chronicle of a blogger with an overindulged habit of buying cookbooks. This Californian blog is primarily a conduit for savoury recipes, mostly vegetarian, and using natural foods - the most popular include caramelised tofu, black bean brownies and lemon-scented quinoa salad. It's technologically literate, too, with i-Phone compatible recipes, and there is a convenient index of recipes by ingredient, and by category (ie gluten-free, cookies, drinks etc).

10. Smitten Kitchen A combination of writing/photographer skills add up to culinary excellence in this well-established blog, covering recipes cooked in author Deb Perelman's tiny New York kitchen. A Facebook group, Flickr photo pool, and Twitter following – this is a slick operation.

11. Chubby Hubby Everything you need to know about Asian food can be found on this blog, where Singaporean-based author Aun Koh writes about street food, restaurants and recipes, with charming references to his partner in kitchen crime, his wife S.

12. Chocolate and Zucchini If you haven't heard of multi-lingual Chocolate and Zucchini by now, you've obviously been living in gastronomic purgatory. If reading for recipes doesn't always appeal, Paris-based Clotilde Dusoulier has recently started a series on French food idioms, and her blog is full of Parisian gastronomic delights, with a book to accompany it, appropriately titled Edible Adventures in Paris.

13. Rambling Spoon As Asia correspondent for Gourmet magazine, "Food is everything we are," says travelling journalist Karen Coates. The last few months have covered Thanksgiving in Thailand, a round-up of food-related paintings in The Louvre, Paris, and haggis in Edinburgh.

14. The Pioneer Woman Cooks Home-cooking and home-schooling Ree Drummond is a real-life frontier-living cattle rancher. With Little House on the Prairie warmth and passion for the hearth to match, Pioneer Woman has garnered a huge following from responsive readers - almost 800 comments on her latest "Thanksgiving, Deconstructed" post. Impressive.

15. Dorie Greenspan With more than 20 years food writing experience, multi-cookbook author Dorie Greenspan has gourmet credentials. Her passions are pastry and Paris - this continental commuter (between New York, Connecticut and Paris) is an authority on all things bake-related.

16. Artisan Sweets Another blog for the sweet-toothed reader where even beautifully-photographed Rice Krispie Treats can have the reader salivating and running to late-night Tesco for a stash of ingredients. Savoury recipes also feature on this blog, as well as useful video demonstrations, such as how to make perfect puff pastry.

17. Eating Asia A bog-standard visit to Chinatown will never suffice after you have started reading this collaboration between seasoned writer Robyn Eckhardt and photographer David Hagerman. This is one of the most colourful blogs and its photos of ageing street vendors and vibrant street markets from all over Asia are inspiring.

18. Nordljus A bilingual food journal, written in both English and Japanese, the primary language of Nordljus is photography, with snapper Keiko capturing delectable images such as truffle honey ice cream with hazelnut dacquoise and Seville orange sponge, as well as sharing recipes and her musings on an English culinary life.

19. The Kitchn Part of the hugely popular interiors blog Apartment Therapy, this satisfies all manner of kitchen cravings; featuring stylish kitchen tours, recipes and answers to such burning questions as "How to clean a toaster" and "What is the difference between non-stick and cast iron pans?"

20. Becks & Posh Named from the Cockney rhyming slang for nosh, English ex-pat Sam Breach is currently taking part in a self-imposed food challenge to "eat local". Evangelical about eating regional and seasonal produce and infused with a healthy dose of English humour, Breach has clearly adopted California as her home, with food tales and recipes that ooze influence from the Sunshine State.

21. Simply Recipes - superb range of personal recipes

22. Sticky Rice - exotic street-food docu-drama in Hanoi

23. Souvlaki for the Soul - summery Byzantine bites from Sydney

24. Bitten: New York Times - news, views and recipes from the Big Apple's kitchens

25. Baking Bites - homemade cookies, muffins and much more

26. La Tartine Gourmande - gorgeous photos, scrummy food

27. Gluten Free Girl - wheat-free wonders and tips for celiacs

28. Steamy Kitchen - modern Asian cuisine by media savvy blogger

29. What's for Lunch Honey - global menu from Germany

30. Cream Puffs in Venice - Italian influenced mainly sweet-toothed posts

31. Egg Beater - insightful look at the life of a London-based chef

32. Homesick Texan - a New Yorker recreates the much-missed cuisine of her Southern childhood

33. The Traveler's Lunchbox - great writing served up with recipes

34. Joy the Baker - home-baked goodies from an LA-based twentysomething

35. Cook and Eat - striking photography and a smooth to move-about layout

36. Lucullian Delights - appetising Italian recipes from a Tuscan-based Swede

37. Café Fernando - Turkish delights from Istanbul

38. The Food Section - read all about food news

39. Use Real Butter - tales from an Asian foodie's life in the Colorado Rockies

40. Tea and Cookies - charming stories accompany yummy recipes

41. Amateur Gourmet - funny writing with a useful "how to" section

42. Wild Yeast - all about bread

43. Tartelette - stunning photography and styling define this popular dessert blog

44. NYC Nosh - reviews of favourite old-school restaurants in New York

45. Not Eating Out in New York - records the rare pursuit of home-cooking in the city

46. Cooksister - South African recipes from a London-based expat

47. Artichoke: Best of British Food - well written seasonal food posts and events

48. Grab Your Fork - Sydney reviews and recipes including a useful restaurant finder

49. A Slice of Cherry Pie - home cooking from the Home Counties

50. The Bitten Word - a charming duo tackle recipes from a back-catalogue of food magazines.

Lynne Robinson has her own design blog at which features tea shop reviews and a tea of the week.

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