Thanks to Jaime’s Awesomeness, I was invited to take a tour of the America’s Test Kitchen headquarters while I was in New England last week. As a long-time fan of everything this company does, it was pretty amazing to see where the magic happens. And what is this magic I speak of? Well, among other things, they produce America’s Test Kitchen which airs on PBS, Cook’s Illustrated Magazine (to which both Jaime and I have both been long-time subscribers) and publish, like, dozens of actually useful cookbooks each year. The day was extra special because they don’t typically offer tours. Lucky me! And lucky us, because they let me take a bunch of photos, ask a bunch of questions and they also gave us a great gift for one lucky, lucky Prudent Baby reader.
Thanks Emily and Bailey (and everyone in the kitchen who smiled when we totally got in the way.) It was a great day! And thanks to my fabulous sister Amanda for coming along, and for suggesting that I pose for a second photo after this one:
Really, is there anything less cute than a pregnant lady eating a plate of kim chi?
Click here to check out the tour and the rad GIVEAWAY!
Don’t you love the understated entrance and winding ancient staircase? I miss New England so much. And across the street? A gorgeous yarn shop and a Japanese market where I stocked up on candy for the flight home.
But back to the tour, I’m so easily distracted.
These are bins of table linens for photo shoots. Yum, right? But the best part? Employees can sign them out. They may also borrow any of the thousands of cookbooks that line the walls and any kitchen supplies from industrial mixers to party platters. Now that’s a job perk!
One of my favorite features in Cook’s Illustrated is their product taste tests. Here they were setting up for a red wine vinegar feature. In the October Issue they have a great one comparing the top-selling brands of beef broth. I’ll say it again, I love this magazine.
Here is a bank of DCS ovens, one of their few sponsors. Oooh, Ahhh. As a rule, ATK doesn’t accept any freebies and there are no ads in their magazines!. You can rest-assured that if they are reviewing frying pans or mustards, they paid for them. In fact, they spend over $500,000 per year on groceries alone. Since they don’t review heavenly commercial-grade ovens, they are free game.
Some tasty looking little pot-pies, perfect for Fall. Yum.
Will this be the moment that I give in to Crocs? The chefs made them look so cool and comfy. Perhaps if they matched my perfectly seasoned Le Creuset dutch oven.
Here is a set up for a new recipe that a chef was trying that day. I asked who prepared all of the ingredient in such an organized and dreamy fashion (fantasizing about having my own kitchen intern at home) but alas each chef sees their recipe through from start to finish. So if they can do it, so can I, I suppose.
Some serious taste testing. Rumor has it that the freshman 15 has nothing on your first year at ATK.
One of the kitchens was hard at work on holiday treats. You can imagine how heavenly it smelled in there, right? Feast your eyes…
The entire neighborhood of Brookline Village, MA is a lovely place to spend the day. Tons of little shops and restaurants. If you make it there, head to Cutty’s, a sandwich shop owned by former ATK chefs, for the Eggplant Spuckie. Almost definitely the best sandwich I have ever had. EVER! And I’ve eaten many, many sandwiches.
And now for the best part!
ATK would like to give one lucky USA-based Prudent Baby reader a full one-year subscription to Cook’s Illustrated Magazine. You are going to love this magazine. Your husband will love this magazine. Each issue contains a wealth of cooking knowledge. You will be smarter. Not at all kidding.
So if you want to be a culinary genius, leave us a comment right here. Tell us what you plan to whip up in the kitchen this week. It doesn’t have to be fancy. I’m making a beef roast and chicken enchiladas, and probably some meatballs. The girls and I have been loving spaghetti and meatballs since our trip to Rhode Island. And if you don’t know what to make, sign up for a free 14-day Cook’s Illustrated online membership for access to their 17 years of “Recipes that work.” You’re bound to find some inspiration! A winner will be selected at random and announced on Wednesday August 31st.