Serious Eats turns four years old today. How cool is that? Who would have thunk it?
Four years ago, we launched Serious Eats hoping that serious eaters—people passionate about food—would gravitate to a site that made them feel welcome. A site where they could chew the fat with like-minded folks, about anything going on in the food culture. A place where you could find anything from a recipe for prime rib to the best Italian beef sandwich in Chicago to a beautiful video shot about a farmer in upstate New York who grows strawberries so sweet they make you weep.
We didn't start with much that fateful December day in 2006: Serious Eats, Ed Levine Eats, Slice, and A Hamburger Today—which, in total, garnered 15,000 pageviews on a good day. There was me, the crazy guy with lots of ideas, some good, some not so good; Adam Kuban, keeper of the burger and pizza flames; and Alaina Browne, our general manager, who miraculously keeps Serious Eats and our team running in the right direction. And Meg Hourihan, Blogger co-founder and food blogger who lent us some much-needed web 2.0 wisdom. There were a few more essential ingredients;namely the love, support, and counsel supplied by my brother Mike Levine, who believed in Serious Eats when few others did.
And there were our amazing investors—who believed in this crazy idea of an ad-supported community of serious eaters on the web. Though no one had ever done it before, I told them it was going to be great, and somehow they believed me. So thanks, Serious Eats investors, for believing in my dream.
All Grown Up
By the time we were two, in December of 2008, we were pretty precocious for two year-olds. Ed Levine Eats had morphed into Serious Eats New York, and we had added our food photo sharing site, Photograzing. Advertisers had started to believe in us, and our community was growing faster than we possibly could have hoped. Hundreds of thousands of people had made Serious Eats their home base for all things delicious on-line.
Now we're four. The old saying my wife Vicky (another ridiculously supportive actor in this play) used to hear when our son turned four is that four-year-olds were two-year-olds with more technology. We were never exactly sure what that meant when it came to Will, but I can say with absolute certainty that it's true for Serious Eats. The site has so many more features now that make it so much easier for people to interact with their fellow serious eaters as much or as little as they want.
It's not just more technology that we've added. Our crew has grown so much, and it's the greatest food crew ever. Carey Jones, who started with us as an intern in the summer of 2006 and then took over Serious Eats New York in 2009; Robyn Lee, who started with us as an intern in 2007, and now runs AHT and takes photos that seem more and more beautiful every day; Erin Zimmer, former Washington D.C. bureau chief, who moved to New York in 2008 and took over editing Serious Eats Main; Erin Adamo, our killer ad sales director and her trusty sidekick Laurel Randolph; managing editor and Food Lab mastermind J. Kenji Lopez-Alt; Slice editor and drinks expert Maggie Hoffman; and Christine Tsai, our web developer, making the site look better every day. Of course, Adam and Alaina are still there helping to drive the Serious Eats bus. And our amazing contributors around the world, who give you the content you love, 365 days each year.
Oh, yeah, Serious Eaters, there's one more thing we've added: a burgeoning food community of serious eaters, two million strong. You guys blow me away every day with your passion for food, your smarts, and your devotion.
So though it's Serious Eats' birthday today, we wanted to share it first and foremost with you, our community. You're the reason we get to do what we love every day, and we really appreciate that. So, Happy Birthday to us—and Happy Birthday to all of you.