So when I began to do a magazine of my own, I knew I wanted recipes that rely on the quality of their ingredients, stories that reflect the culture of a country or the life of a cook, and photographs that leap off the page and make your mouth water. I wanted dishes—some very rich, some very healthy, all very doable—from everywhere. And I wanted to tap into the imaginations of the most creative people (whether four-star chefs or just plain fabulous cooks) ever to put on an apron.
We got Marcus Samuelsson to dazzle us with a bright green callaloo soup and a mellow mango jalapeño couscous. We got Art Smith to share his great-great-grandmother's melt-in-your-mouth 12-layer chocolate cake recipe, Nina Simonds to bake up a batch of pumpkin applesauce muffins that must be the reason God invented coffee, Govind Armstrong to devise a showstopping Thanksgiving, and Bobby Flay to mix up a cactus pear margarita so enticing, I promise you'll be asking for another round before your second sip.