Mother Essentials: Amanda Hesser of Food52
Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano
To say Amanda Hesser knows a thing or two about food would be an understatement. Currently the founder and co-CEO of Food52 (and a very entertaining Instagrammer), she was previously a writer and food editor at The New York Times. She’s also the author and co-author of several award-winning books, including The Essential New York Times Cookbook, which was (naturally) a New York Times Best Seller. In addition to many impressive accolades and titles (she was named Woman of Impact by Entrepreneur and one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Food by Gourmet), she also played herself in the beloved Nora Ephron film Julie & Julia, and served on President Obama’s Commission on White House Fellowships. The Brooklyn-based twin mama (Walker and Addison are 16) shares what Mother Essentials are helping her get it all done below!
Cometeer. “Cometeer sources coffee from companies all over the country. The coffee comes in frozen, already-made espresso shots, so you just thaw a shot and use it how you like. My husband makes iced lattes with them; I add hot water for an americano or hot milk for an au lait. They also have ‘half-caff’ shots, which help prevent the coffee jitters!” 32-Cup Box, $69, Cometeer.
Transmitter Brewery Beer. “I discovered Transmitter during lockdown because they were allowed to make home deliveries—a lucky save for me! Their beers have great character and succinct flavor. I’m especially smitten with their Rice Saison, which they make only occasionally—keep an eye out!” Transmitter Brewing, 141 Flushing Ave., Brooklyn, NY.
Orange Theory. “This is my go-to workout—an hour-long class that combines core work, weights, a treadmill, and rower. There’s an Orange Theory in most states, which is great for travel. I’ve done OT in Napa, Portland, and Sarasota, (as well as my hometown, Brooklyn).” OrangeTheory.com.
Sound Baths. “My husband and I like to do sound baths on weekend afternoons. We lay on sofas in our living room and see who dozes off first!” SaraAuster.com.
Long Walks. “Every couple of weeks, I take a several-mile walk with my friend Deb Copaken (check out her Substack on women) around the Brooklyn Piers. We walk fast, talk fast, and solve all the problems of the world, and then go back to our busy lives until our next walk. Friendship!”
Audiobooks. “I’ve become an audiobook convert. This year I decided to listen to biographies about important women in history. Cleopatra and Catherine the Great have been amazing listens.” Cleopatra: A Life via Audible. Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman via Audible.
Basketball at NY Urban. “I play on a women’s basketball team called the Foul Mouths—an apt name, I’m afraid! After nearly 3 years on pause due to Covid, we’re getting back together this spring.” NYUrban.com.
James Perse Mixed Media Pant. “I love these pants because they’re incredibly comfortable and can go high or low. I’ve worn them for years, and they fit in at a cocktail party just as well as they do a kids’ play date.” Mixed Media Pant, $265, James Perse.
Hansel From Basel Socks. “I usually buy the least exciting socks they offer, but I love shopping on this site because the designs are so happy and playful—they give me energy.” Socks, $12 and up, HanselFromBasel.com.
Furtuna Replenishing Balm. “Don’t be alarmed that it’s blue! Once you rub in this beautiful, clean-feeling moisturizer, it’s invisible. Cool feature—the lid is magnetized so it holds onto the steel paddle you use for scooping out the balm.” Furtuna Skin Replenishing Balm, $225, Nordstrom.
Anti-Frizz Leave-In Treatment. “My hair stylist, Angela Soto, introduced me to this leave-in conditioner; it works really well, but 75% of the reason why I use it is because it has the most amazing scent.” Reverie Milk Anti-Frizz Leave-In Nourishing Treatment, $42, Credo.
G.Tox Himalayan Salt Scalp Scrub Shampoo. “I’ve never used a solid shampoo before and…wow. Your hair feels so clean and so light afterward. I use this once a week to give my hair a reboot.” G.Tox Himalayan Salt Scalp Scrub Shampoo, $55, Goop.
Cinnamon Projects 12 AM Japanese-Style Incense. “I like to burn incense while I work—it keeps me calm and in touch with my senses.” 12 AM Incense, $30, Cinnamon Projects.
Five Two 7-Piece Utensil Set. “We designed these utensils with our community’s direction on what they wanted most in their cooking tools.” Five Two Kitchen Utensil Collection, $20-$90, Food52.
Dansk Pitcher. “This is our first product release from the Dansk design archive, which goes back to the 1950s. Every time it gets back in stock, we sell out, so, happily, others agree that this was a worthy revival!” Dansk Købenstyle Wrapped Handle Water Pitcher, $95, Food52.
Schoolhouse Bedding. “No company makes a layered bed better than our company, Schoolhouse. We design the sheets, blankets, throws and pillows to create bedding that’s colorful, varied in texture and easy to mix and match to your liking.” Schoolhouse Bedding via Food52.
For more MOTHER ESSENTIALS, peep our recent features on Prickly Pear founder Mona Bahraini, Solace Summer founder MEGAN BRE CAMP, Wonder Valley co-founder ALISON CARROLL, OZMA designer HEIDI BAKER, author TIFFANY ROSE SMITH, PR pro TEMI ADAMOLEKUN, HEIDI BAKER of OZMA, PHOEBE SUNG of Cold Picnic, Sach Paneer founder JASLEEN KAUR, Essential Labor author ANGELA GARBES, The Mamas author HELENA ANDREWS-DYER, Olivia J founder SHAE JONES, author BRYNNE BARNES, TISHA THOMPSON of LYS Beauty, Blueland’s SARAH PAIJI YOO, Heirloom’s SRI BODANAPU, Lady Falcon Coffee Club founder BUFFY MAGUIRE, the mama-duo behind SPRING & MULBERRY chocolate, and Dear Bella Creamery co-founder ALICE CHERNG.
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