The Whole Foods Market Cooking NYC site launched in late summer, focused not just on the myriad ways to prepare seasonal meals and the supermarket’s stash of ingredients, but also on becoming an online social hub with an emphasis on do-it-yourself cooking. In the ‘Foodpickle’ section, for example, you can post a query about how to create a cantaloupe chutney recipe or give your own thoughts on diabetic friendly recipes. That was inspired directly by the ‘Foodpickle’ Q&A pages of Food52, the online food community and recipe trove created by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs. Aside from the Cooking NYC site, the pair also helped curate the editorial content for a series of Whole Foods Market Cooking sites nationwide.
Each Wholefoods Cooking site is hyper-local, focused on activities happening at nearby stores and native ingredients. The sites are supposed to complement the Whole Foods Market Cooking Department, a part of a store that stocks examples of recipe ideas that you can prepare at home with featured herbs or produce. “The idea is that you have a connection with your grocery store, but then you leave the store and the relationship ends there,” explains Hesser about the genesis of the Whole Foods site. “We want to continue that [relationship] on to the home,” she says.
To do that the site also highlights specific ingredients and seasonal recipes from the supermarket’s staff “cooking coach.” There’s a weekly recipe contest, and recipes and content from Food52 are also available through the site.