AOL reboots its kitchen with some big names

AOL is counting on a cast of former Gourmet magazine editors, celebrity chefs and instructors from a top-notch culinary school to get you cooking — and clicking.

The company, already home to the culinary blog, launched the new on Wednesday, a star-powered site focused on cooking basics.

"We really want to help moms and busy home cooks with that dreaded question: 'What's for dinner?'" says Cheryl Brown, editor-in-chief of and a former editor at Gourmet, which closed last October.

The site focuses more on basics than bells and whistles. It features good, simple cooking with a simple layout. Users can search by recipe or ingredient, then generate grocery lists. Much of the content is dedicated to the sort of how-to material so many of today's cooks need.

That's because while the economy has been driving people back to the kitchen, when they get there they often find they lack many skills once considered 101-level, such as how to cook a ham, says Brown.

KitchenDaily isn't trying to compete with online food juggernauts like and, which Brown calls "serious" cooking sites. AOL is focused more on getting people off the ground.

To get its site off the ground, AOL recruited several former Gourmet editors, New York Times columnist and author Mark Bittman, award-winning chef Marcus Samuelsson and Top Chef judge Gail Simmons.

Brown says she was fortunate to be able to enlist her old Gourmet colleagues, but says she didn't want the kind of recipes they produced for the magazine. "I told them, 'I want to know what you've been cooking at home for the last 15 years,'" she said.

The site will feature will feature more than 250 original videos, with a focus on healthy eating, cooking for a crowd, baking and desserts, do-ahead meals, and recipes geared to specific kitchen appliances or cookware, such as slow cookers and Dutch ovens.

KitchenDaily also is partnering with the Culinary Institute of America to help explain the essentials of home cooking.

"People don't want to compare themselves to Mario Batali," says Brown. "They want a meal that is nutritious and easy."

Share This Story