Cooking Site Food52 Raises $2 Million Series A for New Office, New Cookbooks, New Mobile Apps


Food porn is awesome. This we can all agree on. And venture capitalists are now looking to get some skin in the game, as Food52 — a cooking site — has raised $2 million in a Series A round led by Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, with participation from Vocap Ventures, Zelkova Ventures and Gary Vaynerchuk (crushin’ it!), among others.

According to PandoDaily, Food52 was named “Publication of the Year” by the James Beard Foundation in 2012, and was co-founded by former New York Times food writer Amanda Hesser and Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef Merrill Stubbs. The site features an online shop and a “hotline” questions forum, but the primary draw seems to be the editorial and design taste, which creates a twee little atmosphere of wholesome amateur cooking.

It should be no surprise the company is based in Brooklyn.

Lead investor Bertelsmann owns a number of popular European food sites, including, and the co-founders wrote in a blog post that they will be using the fund to expand mobile offerings, move into a new office, and put out more books.

One of the site’s more popular offerings is “The Food52 Cookbook,” which featured 140 of the site’s most popular recipes and even got a blurb from Gwyneth Paltrow (“I’ve been a judge on Food52, and let me just say, the recipes are excellent!”)

Personally, I prefer Serious Eats — founded by a Columbia MBA grad and also based in NYC — although there is certainly room in this world for more then one food site. The same, unfortunately, cannot be said about all startups we report on here.