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Serious Eater

Beloved food writer and founder of Serious Eats Ed Levine tells the story of his misadventures building–and almost losing–the business that became one of the most acclaimed and valuable food websites in the world. In 2006, Ed Levine didn’t know a bite from a byte, but he spent $100 to buy the domain name for seriouseats.com. By the end of 2017, Serious Eats had more than ten million unique visitors a month–and Ed had become a millionaire. How did it happen? Levine was an expert on pizza, fries, burgers and all things delicious, and these passions served him well as a freelance food journalist seeking out the best food in New York City and beyond for the New York Times, Gourmet magazine, and public radio. But in the mid-2000s, he saw what was coming- the digitalization of media, offering an opportunity for an iconoclastic voice eager to be heard. Armed with investments from his family and friends and a stubborn refusal to lose, Levine dove head-first into the lawless world of digital publishing. And while he made a huge splash in the food world, instantly attracting a voracious audience of food obsessives and elite chefs like Thomas Keller and Tom Colicchio, the site struggled to survive financially. Over the next ten years, Levine fought to keep his dream alive, even resorting to personally guaranteeing loans to make payroll. This is the story of the terrifying, thrilling, and mouthwatering journey of what it really takes to “follow your passion.”

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