Today food writer Ed Levine launched a new food site called Serious Eats. He teamed up with a cadre of all-star bloggers, including Adam Kuban of A Hamburger Today and Slice (managing editor), Meg Hourihan of Megnut (senior adviser), Alaina Browne of A Full Belly (general manager), plus Adam Roberts of The Amateur Gourmet and the folks at Roadfood (contributors). With such a great group behind it, the site has already attracted attention from other food media and is likely to have a wide built-in fan base. Still—and I don’t mean to sound catty here—it may be a while before the site attains its “goal, however lofty,” of providing “the best, most satisfying food- and drink-related experience on the internet.”
As Levine explains, he launched the site because he
looked over the food mediascape and saw that there was no welcoming homebase for passionate and discerning food lovers, no place serious eaters could go to for engaging, entertaining, and informative video or for trustworthy food advice, no welcoming, gathering place online where passionate eaters could get their questions answered or just hang out and chew the fat about pizza, steak, greenmarkets, or wine—or any other food they love.
Video is indeed a main attraction of the site, and the first series—a conversation between Susie Essman of Curb Your Enthusiasm and Vogue food critic Jeffrey Steingarten—is entertaining, if not capital-S Serious (at one point Steingarten utters the sentence, “Let’s have a really good talk about poop”). The site also includes a forum, selected shorts from the contributing bloggers’ blogs, and features (which for now are also republished from said blogs, though in time the editors aim to have original exclusives). So far so good on these as well: Levine’s meditation on the sheer awfulness of the new Starbucks breakfast sandwich is a great read, and Adam’s Thanksgiving comic is in keeping with the usual hilarity of his posts. But it seems like a slightly odd choice for a food site with such high ambitions to launch with such scant original content (perhaps the team is hoping the launch will generate the buzz they need to attract more contributors?). I’m looking forward to seeing it evolve beyond this first step.