Ed Levine “Serious Eater: A Food Lover’s Perilous Quest for Pizza and Redemption”
In Conversation With J. Kenji López-Alt
Tuesday, June 25, 7:30pm, Powell’s City of Books (1005 W. Burnside St., Portland)
James Beard Award-winning founder of Serious Eats Ed Levine finally tells the mouthwatering and heartstopping story of building—and almost losing—one of the most acclaimed and beloved food sites in the world.
In 2005, Ed Levine was a freelance food writer with an unlikely dream: to control his own fate and create a different kind of food publication. He wanted to unearth the world’s best bagels, the best burgers, the best hot dogs—the best of everything edible. To build something for people like him who took everything edible seriously, from the tasting menu at Per Se and omakase feasts at Nobu down to mass-market candy, fast food burgers, and instant ramen.
Against all sane advice, he created a blog for $100 and called it…Serious Eats. The site quickly became a home for obsessives who didn’t take themselves too seriously. Intrepid staffers feasted on every dumpling in Chinatown and sampled every item on In-N-Out’s secret menu. Talented recipe developers like The Food Lab’s J. Kenji López-Alt and Stella Parks, aka BraveTart, attracted cult followings.
Even as Serious Eats became better-known—even beloved and respected—every day felt like it could be its last. Ed secured handshake deals from investors and would-be acquirers over lunch only to have them renege after dessert. He put his marriage, career, and relationships with friends and family at risk through his stubborn refusal to let his dream die. He prayed that the ride would never end. But if it did, that he would make it out alive.
This is the moving story of making a glorious, weird, and wonderful dream come true. It’s the story of one food obsessive who followed a passion to terrifying, thrilling, and mouthwatering places—and all the serious eats along the way.
Ed Levine is the founder (his employees affectionately call him the overlord) of Serious Eats, as well as creator and host of the Serious Eats podcast, Special Sauce. In 2016, Ed was inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America.
- Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Culinary Advisor of Serious Eats, Chef/Partner at Wursthall, and the author of the James Beard Award-nominated column “The Food Lab.” His book, The Food Lab, won the James Beard Award for general cooking and was named Book of the Year by the International Association of Culinary Professionals.