The web is brimming with sites devoted to food and cooking covering everything from recipes, to politics, to humor. There are references where you can look up a strange ingredient, searchable databases, sites dedicated to gluten free cooking, Korean cooking, you name it. In fact, half the fun is the names their owners have invented.
Some are great resources by pros, some are first rate home chefs documenting their backyard culinary adventures, and some are just greasy drippings. Many are produced by folks who are not trained as journalists, have no editors or fact checkers. As my editor points out, many apparently were thinking about food during English class. Hmmmm. Could he be talking about me?
Here are my faves, the ones that are most polished and professional and kept up regularly, listed alphabetically. Also, make sure to check out my links to the best forums, cooking schools, restaurant guides, barbecue websites, barbecue associations and competitions, and wine, beer, spirits websites. For some good dead tree buying guides, click here.
- The Almond Board of California.
- American Egg Board.
- Anissa Helou is a chef and cookbook author of Lebanese and Middle Eastern cuisines.
- Art of Dessert shares recipes considering nut and dairy allergies.
- Artisanal Cheese. Everything you want to know about cheese.
- Ask The Meatman is the website of Craig Meyer, a major butcher, and it is chock-full of useful info.
- The Bake-Off Flunkie. Tiffiny Felix shares recipes, many from her entries in the iconic Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest.
- Baking Bites is from Nicole Weston, pastry chef, food writer and recipe developer. She reviews gadgets and tools, and explains for unusual baking ingredients.
- BakeSpace is a food-centered social network. They have a self-publishing cookbook app and produce the TECHmunch conference.
- Ball Canning.
- Bay Area Bites. Public media organization KQED blogs about food, food issues, especially related to the San Francisco area.
- Beefitswhatsfordinner.com is the official website of the beef checkoff, a trade association.
- Better Baking. Monthly baking recipes from baker and cookbook author Marcy Goldman.
- Better Homes and Gardens
- Bobby Flay. Successful restaurateur, Iron Chef, grill master, FoodNetwork star, maestro. Many good recipes.
- Bon Appétit
- Bron Marshall. An archive of New Zealand recipes and great photography.
- Cafe Fernando. New cookbook author Cenk Sonmezsoy returns with dessert recipes.
- Cannelle et Vanille. Recipes inspired by author Aran Goyoaga's Basque childhood, many of them are gluten-free.
- California Figs.
- Chef Leticia. Cookbook author and teacher Leticia Moreinos Schwartz documents recipes from her native Brazil, including a glossary of Brazilian cooking terms.
- Chicago Tribune. Excellent writing, recipes, and dining guide from Bill Daley, Louisa Chu, and more.
- The Chile Pepper Institute. Check out the "Nutrition and Food Science" and "Heat" sections under Chile Info, straight from the experts at New Mexico State University.
- Chocolate & Zucchini. Thoughtful, knowledgeable essays by Clotilde Dusoulier, a Parisian who shares her passion for all things food: recipes, cookbooks, products, tools, restaurants, ideas, and inspirations. Site can be read in English or French.
- Chocolate in Context
- CHOW. Comprehensive site that offers recipes, articles, and forums.
- Chowhound. One of the best forums on food on the web. Chock full of recipes and restaurant reviews. A lot of big name chefs and foodies hang out here. Join the discussion and ask questions. Get good answers.
- Coconut & Lime
- Cooking Light
- Cook Sister
- Cooking Contest Central. There's big prize money out there. Go for it.
- Cooking For Engineers. Michael Chu is a California-based engineer with an analytical mind, a well-equipped kitchen, a love of food, and a great website. Unwilling to accept the common wisdom, he tests all kitchen assumptions as he wrestles recipes to the ground one at a time. There is a small but growing message board that accompanies it. Fun stuff.
- Cooking Korean food with Maangchi. The New York Times called Maangchi the "Korean cousin of Julia Child." Tons of recipes, a beginner's guide to ingredients in Korean cuisine, and a forum on Korean cuisine can be found on her site.
- Cooking With Amy
- Cooks Illustrated. This is the website of my favorite cooking magazine. The outstanding feature of their approach is that they test every assumption and often develop great techniques and dispel myths using the latest in food science, clear instructions with illustrations, lots of how to videos, product reviews and ratings. Their message boards cover all matters related to cooking. Everything a cook needs is there. They charge a fee for admission, but it is well worth it. So is their magazine.
- Cookstr. Thinking about buying a cookbook from a favorite chef but want to try a recipe first? Cookstr offers free recipes from cookbooks, with nutritional information and notes from their recipe testers and editors.
- The Cook's Thesaurus. Searchable with lots of good pictures. The listings are in sections so if you look up bouillon, you get a page with all the listings related to soups, stocks, and gravies. Best of all, they tell you what you can substitute for an ingredient.
- Curious Cook. Run by Harold McGee, food scientist, New York Times columnist, and book author (his book On Food and Cooking: The Science & Lore of the Kitchen is the bible).
- David Lebovitz. David Lebovitz is an American in Paris with a lot of frequent flier mileage, fine recipes (he is a master of all things chocolate), and the ability to make food look beautiful with his camera.
- A Dash of Bitters. Author Michael Dietsch shares all things cocktails.
- Dede Wilson
- Diane Morgan Cooks. A Portland, OR, based cookbook author, teacher, and her instructional videos are top notch.
- Divina Cucina. Judy Witts Francini lives in Florence and makes you wish you did too. Her handwrittien cookbook is a treasure. She teaches cooking classes in her home town.
- Dorie Greenspan. Six-time James Beard winning cookbook author shares recipes from her books and Washington Post column.
- Eating Well
- Edible. Print and online magazines, podcasts localized for Austin, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto, and other big cities as well as smaller locales like Missoula, Lowcountry, Finger Lakes, and more.
- eGullet. The eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters is, simply put, the best food forum out there. Members include many of the best chefs and scribes on the subject, and membership is limited to those who can articulate their desire to join by writing an essay. The library of articles and recipes is remarkable and discussions heady. When you need an authoritative answer to a tough question, there is someone on eGullet who knows. Anyone may read the forum discussions, but only members may post questions in the forum.
- Elana's Pantry, Gluten Free Recipes. Seeking recipes that are free from dairy, egg, nut, gluten? Or are you looking for vegan, vegetarian or Paleo friendly meals? Elana Amsterdam's site has what you need.
- Epicurious. Home of thousands of articles recipes from Bon Appétit and Gourmet magazines, selected Random House books, and much much more. Some of the recipes are from readers and are not as rigorously vetted and tested, so pay attention to the author's name.
- Every Day with Rachael Ray
- Faith Willinger is one of the top food writers in Italy, and she writes in English. A resident of Florence, she travels all over the Boot, but specializes in her depth of expertise in Tuscany. Her columns on The Atlantic magazine's website are top notch.
- Fancy Fast Food. Just for laughs.
- Fat Back and Foie Gras. Kendra Bailey Morris is a food columnist for the Richmond Times Dispatch and the author of White Trash Gatherings:From-Scratch Cooking for down-Home Entertaining. Her work appears in many other publications, including National Public Radio, AOL, WE Women's Network, and Away.com. There's a small but tasty selection of her work on her website. I want more!
- Fat of the Land. Writer and instructor Langdon Cook specializes in wild food and the outdoors.
- Fine Cooking Magazine
- Flagrante Delicia. Chef Leonor de Sousa Bastos and photographer Miguel Coehlo share dessert recipes.
- Food & Wine Magazine
- Food Blogga
- Food Buzz. Blogs, recipes, and social networking with other foodies. What more do you want?
- The Food Channel
- Food Gal. Food writer Carolyn Jung tells food-related stories from around the Bay Area, product and cookbook reviews.
- Food Gawker. Curated food photography and recipe site to bloggers across different cuisines.
- Food in Jars. Canning 101 by food writer and author Marisa McClellan.
- Food Network. Companion website for the TV channel with recipes for the dishes you've seen on the screen. There's a schedule so you can lookup when your favorite show airs, and, of course, educational videos. Two words make it all worthwhile: Alton Brown. Food Network Magazine is also online.
- Food Photography Portfolio.
- Food Safety. Food safety information (at-home preparation and recalls) from the US government agencies: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- The Food Section. Writer, humorist behind the satirical Twitter account @RuthBourdain, Josh Friedland.
- Food Stories. Helen Graves, food & drink editor for the Londonist. Lots of restaurant and food recommendations for London, recipes and other articles.
- Food & Style
- Food Politics. Dr. Marion Nestle blogs about food politics, specifically food choice, obesity, food safety, and food marketing.
- Food Timeline. The late Lynne Oliver started the Food Timeline which documents food history from the beginning of time.
- Gilroy Garlic Festival. Ultimate garlic lover's festival since 1979, held in the northern California town of Gilroy.
- Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef. Shauna and Danny Ahern help folks who want to eat, bake and cook gluten free recipes, including videos, books and classes.
- Good Food on KCRW. Cookbook author, former restaurateur and radio host Evan Kleiman hosts Good Food on KCRW on Los Angeles public radio.
- Good Guide. Health, environmental and societal impacts of food (and other products).
- Grub Street. New York Magazine's food blog.
- Herbivoracious. Writer, chef, Chief Technical Officer of ChefSteps Michael Natkin shares vegetarian cooking.
- Hey, Adam Roberts is the newest blog of the writer of the same name. Roberts's original blog was calledThe Amateur Gourmet. On both blogs he shares recipes and techniques from a novice point of view.
- Hiroko's Kitchen. Japanese cuisine authority Hiroko Shimbo blogs about Japanese food and culture and recipes.
- Homesick Texan. New York City-based cookbook author Lisa Fain shares Tex-Mex recipes.
- Hunter Angler Gardener Cook
- Ideas in Food. Aki Kamozawa and H. Alexander Talbot use science-based techniques to improve cooking.
- Jamie Oliver. British chef, restaurateur, cookbook author, and tv personality.
- JJ Goode
- Joe Pastry
- John T. Edge. Nobody but nobody knows Southern Foodways and byways better than Edge. A cultural historian, culinarian, and writer of the highest order.
- Julia Child Videos and More on PBS
- Junglefrog Cooking. Dutch food photographer Simone van den Berg shares recipes, travels and food photography tips.
- Just Hungry. Japanese recipes, healthy and fun eating, the expat food life, and more.
- Kalyn's Kitchen. Kalyn Denny's low-carb and slow cooker recipes.
- Karina's Kitchen, Gluten-Free Recipes. Gluten- and dairy-free and vegetarian recipes. How-to guides and substitutions.
- Kitchen Myths by Peter Aitken. Searing meat seals in juices? Myth. Baking soda in the fridge or freezer absorbs odors? Myth. If you put the pit in the bowl, guacamole won't turn brown? Yet another myth. For more kitchen myths, check out this fun site.
- The Kitchn
- La Tartine Gourmande. Food, food photography, and travel from Beatrice Peltre, author of the cookbook of the same name as her blog.
- Leites Culinaria is a compilation of recipes and articles, may original, and many republished with permission from cookbooks and magazines. Extensive culinary resource from one of the oldest and best food writers, David Leite. Includes a section dedicated to Portuguese cuisine.
- LTH Forum. Started in Chicago, but has branched out. But still covers the Chicago restaurant scene better than anyone.
- Los Angeles Times.
- Martha Stewart. The Martha offers a wealth of recipes for every occasion, key ingredient and technique primers.
- Meatpaper. Well written and photographed. This professional meatcentric blog/magazine is devoted to "Fleischgeist" which the publishers define as "spirit of the meat". From Zeitgeist, "spirit of the times".
- Michael Ruhlman. Ruhlman is a multi-book author, columnist, chef, frequent personality on the Food Network, and one of the world's leading experts on charcuterie, curing meats, and sausages. An eloquent writer.
- Movable Feast
- My Last Bite
- National Restaurant Association.
- National Pork Board.
- New York First. I live in Chicago and we hate NY, so shhhhh, don't tell anyone, but I love going there. This site reminds me why. A great place to buy all things New York. That includes bagels, steak sauces, and more tasty treats.
- The New York Times. An incredibly rich and deep section that includes archival articles and videos of some of the best in the biz. Probing investigative reporting, recipes, dining guides, it's all here.
- No Recipes. Chef Marc Matsumoto's recipes emphasize technique, with tempting photos of the process and finished product.
- Nose To Tail At Home. Blogger Ryan went through and tried to cook everything from Chef Fergus Henderson's book, "The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Cooking." Check out their Offal Guides.
- Paris By Mouth. Editor Meg Zimbeck.
- Pastry Chef Online. Jenni Fields reviews fundamentals through advanced learning on pastry techniques.
- The Periodic Table of Desserts. Only if you passed chemistry.
- The Perfect Pantry. Blogger Lydia Walshin writes about the perfect pantry items and the recipes for them.
- Pizzamaking. Recipes, books, glossary, and a lively forum where they will answer all your questions.
- The Pioneer Woman Cooks. Ree Drummond, cookbook author and Food Network personality, serves up cowboy and cowgirl recipes.
- Poor Man's Feast. Food memoirist and writer Elissa Altman's blog.
- Porkopolis is a wonderful website devoted to swine love. It has a rich library of poetry with pork references, paintings, quotes, a timeline, trivia, and just plain fun.
- Rancho Gordo
- Rasa Malaysia: Easy Asian Recipes. Cookbook author Bee Yinn Low's popular blog about easy Asian receipes.
- Raw on $10 a Day (or Less). Lisa Cole Viger is a strict vegan, a reformed omnivore, and even a former vegetarian. She lives on a small vegetable farm in southern Michigan, doesn't wear leather, use down pillows, or even eat honey (but she admits to being conflicted about this last one). Fabulous recipes and beautiful photos.
- Recipe Tips Glossary. Excellent detailed definitions. Highly technical. This is one of the first references I turn to.
- Red Cook - Adventures from a Chinese Home Kitchen. Kian Lam Kho, former aerospace engineer, blogs and writes about Chinese cooking techniques in cultural and historical context.
- Restaurant Hospitality Magazine. This is a great mag aimed at restaurant managers and chefs. Lotsa great articles, ideas, and recipes (especially if you are feeding a large crowd). Full disclosure: You will find Meathead's byline there occasionally.
- Roadfoodie. Brigit Binns is the author of more than 20 cookbooks, is devoted to pork, and remains slender (that's her to the right, visiting Superdawg in Chicago)! She's an entertaining writer, and her blog follows her meanderings across the nation and encounters with farmers, butchers, chefs, and pork.
- Roadfood Forums. Although Roadfood is ostensibly focused on inexpensive restaurants on the highways and byways, the discussions on this message board often include restaurants in cities as well as recipes. Some good tips. Easy to use.
- David Rosengarten. David Rosengarten was one of the original FoodNetwork chefs, author of several excellent cookbooks, world traveler, a brilliant chef and teacher, bon vivant, and thoughtful commentator. His free email newsletter is chock full of great advice on where to eat, what to buy, and how to cook. His cookbooks and print newsletter are pretty impressive, too.
- The Salt by NPR. Compilation of National Public Radio (US) stories on food, both audio and transcripts. Audio can be downloaded or listened to directly from the site.
- Salt Shaker. Buenos Aires based, closed door restaurant owner and chef Dan Perlman.
- Salt & Sodium Information for Daily Health & Nutrition. Run by the Salt Institute, a North American based trade association.
- San Francisco Examiner.
- Sassy Radish. Cookbook editor Olga Massov shares recipes. Check out her practical kitchen tips and kitchen renovation sections.
- Seafood Watch. From the Monterey Bay Aquarium, this site has a lot of great info about seafood including ocean friendly recipes from some first-rate restaurants.
- Seduction Meals. Igniting Flames of Passion... One Meal at a Time. Beautiful Terry Dagrosa does not need food to seduce. But this site is very tempting. Her premise is that "everyone should learn to master one dish that is their signature dish, 'a Seduction Meal,' to enchant and captivate that special someone in your life." Amen!
- Serious Eats. An agglomeration of first rate articles, recipes, guides to cooking techniques and dining across the country, and more. Led by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, author of "The Food Lab" cookbook.
- Simple Cooking
- Simply Recipes. Elise Bauer, her family and friends have compiled an impressive list of recipes, many with beautiful photos. "Many of the recipes are old family recipes, many we make up, and many of them are those that we pull from cookbooks, magazines, and newspaper clippings we've collected over 30 years."
- Skyful of Bacon. Some of the best vids about food on the net. Good storytelling and interviews with production values way above average.
- Slow Food USA
- Smitten Kitchen
- Something Different Country Store & Deli. This is the website of a real old-fashioned country store that happens to be world famous because it is owned by folks that know a lot about barbecue, not to mention food and farming in general. Dad, Dan Gill, is the writer in the family, and his musings, called Dan's Blurbs, are well thought out and researched. Definitely something different.
- Soule Mama
- Southern Living
- Slice. Pizza lovers review and rate pizza around the country, but mostly in NY.
- So Good
- Southern Foodways Alliance. Southern cuisine is this nation's most interesting and these guys know ALL about it. All about it. The oral history videos are priceless.
- Splendid Table. Lynne Rossetto Kasper is a great cook, great teacher, great interviewer, and her laugh is impossible to resist. The podcast of her weekly radio show in NPR usually includes a chat with Jane and Michael Stern, mavens of road food and joints and hangouts from coast to coast. Also a regular guest is Josh Wesson, the most unpretentious of all wine geeks. Her website is a great repository of recipes, tips, and ideas. You can subscribe to the podcast free from her website or via iTunes.
- Star Chefs
- Steamy Kitchen. Jaden Hair is a dynamo who began blogging about modern Asian cooking and has branched out into all manner of tasty arenas including a column in the Tampa Tribune, teaching, and television appearances. She writes great recipes, traditional and original, that are well tested, and scrumptious. And she's a good photographer, so be careful you don't drool on your keyboard.
- Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy
- Still Life With. Food photography.
- Stir the Pots
- Suicide Food. Operated by vegans, this site is an amazing collection of signage and advertising featuring cartoon animals that appear delighted in being turned into food. The proprietors are disgusted. I am amazed.
- Super Chef
- Sweet Marias. Everything you need to know and buy about coffee. Everything.
- Sweet Napa
- Tasteful Food Photography.
- Taste of Home
- Taste Spotting
- Taste Stopping
- The Tasty Meat Italian Salumi Guide. Really useful info about more than 50 types of Italian sausages and cured meats with beautiful pictures.
- Tea & Cookies
- This Week In Food. In this educational and entertaining podcast Chef Tom Beckman of the Cordon Bleu School in Chicago, talks about food and cooking, especially baking, often with his sidekick Chef Wook. They discuss a topic, or go out to eat, or interview someone. Beckman is a witty fellow and his laugh is infectious. These two are the foodie answer to Click and Clack the PBS car guys. Says Chef Beckman: "I've got butter and I'm not afraid to use it."
- Three Many Cooks... in Pam Anderson's Kitchen
- Thursday Night Smackdown
- Tom Douglas
- Tony Tahhan's Olive Juice
- Too Many Chefs
- The Traveler's Lunchbox
- Vanilla Garlic
- Vanille & Chocolat
- Varsano's. Jeff Varsano knows NY pizza, where to buy it and how to make it, and your mouth will water when you see his pix. In 2009 he opened a pizzeria in Atlanta, but his recipes, comments on other pizzerias, and ruminations are still fascinating.
- A Veggie Venture
- La Vie in English
- Viet World Kitchen
- Waiter Rant. Home site of the best selling book Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip - Confessions of a Cynical Waiter by Steve Dublanica. Funny stuff and food for thought.
- The Washington Post. Great writing and Tom Sietsema's restaurant guidance.
- The Wednesday Chef
- What's Eating Carolynn? Carolynn Carreno writes cookbooks and literately about what people eat.
- White On Rice Couple. Todd and Diane are cooking instructors and professional photographers. There's lots of good advice on both on this site.
- Wikipedia Food
- Wikipedia Drink
- Will Write for Food: Dianne Jacob
- World to Table