Serious Eater

A Food Lover's Perilous Quest for Pizza and Redemption
Narrated by: Ed Levine, Bill Oakley
Length: 10 hrs and 36 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (26 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"A hilarious and moving story of unconventional entrepreneurialism, passion, and guts." (Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group; Founder of Shake Shack; Author of Setting the Table)

Original recipes by J. Kenji López-Alt of The Food Lab and Stella Parks of BraveTart

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.

Praise for Serious Eater

"Read[s] more like a carefully crafted novel than a real person's life." (from the foreword by J. Kenji López-Alt)

"Wild, wacky, and entertaining.... The book makes you hungry for Ed to succeed...and for lunch." (Christina Tosi, founder of Milk Bar)

"Serious Eater is seriously good!... You'll be so glad [Ed] invited you to a seat at his table." (Ree Drummond, author of The Pioneer Woman Cooks)

"After decades of spreading the good food gospel we get a glimpse of the missionary behind the mission." (Dan Barber, chef, Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns)

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Ed Levine (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Foodies and tech junkies will tear through this fast-paced tale from a food-loving entrepreneur who changed the course of food media." (Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Ed Levine’s Serious Eater is a hilarious and moving story of unconventional entrepreneurialism, passion, and guts. It’s also an important documentation of the very early days of foodie-ism as we know it, written by someone who rewrote the playbook on food journalism, and in doing so, generously inspired and encouraged scores of gastronauts, cooks, restaurateurs, and journalists alike.” (Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, founder of Shake Shack, and author of Setting the Table)

“Read[s] more like a carefully crafted novel than a real person’s life." (from the foreword by J. Kenji López-Alt)

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Mike Greenfield - Founder of Pro Home Cooks

This book is amazing! The way Ed Levine describes food joints in NYC just makes me happy to live in this crazy city. I really enjoyed hearing about Ed's childhood but my favorite part was when he broke down the rise of the food blog in the mid 2000's and how Serious Eats had to continuously transition and grow to find it's riotous place in the digital food space. As a food creator myself I found it extremely inspiring to see the dedication and mission Ed was on to spread the good food gospel to the people. I mean the guy was in his 50's when he created serious eats! Never give up on your dreams! Thanks for writing this book Ed!

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Great but drawn out!

I really loved the story and am glad that Ed Levine shared the path in which he took starting and hustling within his business. It has many lessons for everyone, especially those in digital publishing.

It was, however, a little long in the middle leading up to the end. It felt as though the story was just repeating itself and while I'm sure relevant lead me to lose attention and interest in the story.

Glad I listen though.