Athena Calderone Gives Two Foodies A Lesson In Cooking

It's a fact: Athena Calderone is a curator of all things gorgeous. Her breathtaking home decor, delicious recipes, and eye for style inspired her to create EyeSwoon, a hub for home and food inspiration. Now, It Girl Calderone will be taking us to New York's need-to-know spots and introducing us to the coolest people around.
So, potatoes come in a variety of types and colors — classic, red, purple, yukon, russet, baked, sweet, fingerling, and The New Potato. These just happen to be my absolute favorite kind of potatoes for two very specific reasons — Laura & Danielle Kosann! Hands down, there's no better potato and no better innovative team who are bringing awareness to my favorite topic — food! It seems as though we might be on a parallel mission with EyeSwoon and The New Potato — connecting food with lifestyle and fashion, and furthermore celebrating style, beauty, and excitement surrounding food in a fresh modern approach.
I just might be the girls’ long-lost step-sister because the three of us together both look & feels like family. After our fun-filled day in the kitchen, I'm proud to say that these new potatoes are now seasoned potatoes. I even gave Danielle & Laura some sisterly cooking advice on how to crisp up your chicken (don't cover it when you’re searing – your skin just won’t brown steaming under that lid!). The girls are massive fans of the roast chicken at Barbuto, one of their swoonable downtown spots. When we discussed a snoop feature, they both immediately knew they wanted to pay homage to their tried and true favorite. I couldn’t have been more thrilled with the addition of the salsa verde (can’t live without it!) and this feature could not have been complete without new potatoes on the menu — an absolute must!
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Photo: Winne Au/Courtesy of EyeSwoon.
How did The New Potato come to be?
"We saw a gap in the market for a site that approached the world through the lens of food: a place you could go to read about the lifestyles of everyone from Jessica Alba, Eva Chen, Diane Von Furstenberg, and Karlie Kloss to Tom Colicchio, Marcus Samuelsson, and Eric Ripert. Also, a site that was highly editorial, beautifully designed, modern and clean."
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Photo: Winne Au/Courtesy of EyeSwoon.
What was the initial spark, the genesis that initiated the site? Why food?
"We both love food and — more than food itself — the experience of food: eating at beautiful restaurants, traveling, trying new spots, etc."
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Photo: Winne Au/Courtesy of EyeSwoon.
"We wanted to do something together in the digital space, and just had an aha moment. We knew there was something missing from the market that we wanted to read ourselves. So, we decided to start it!"
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Photo: Winne Au/Courtesy of EyeSwoon.
Why The New Potato? What's the story behind the name?
"This is definitely the most popular question we get asked. We wanted something that represented the 'new' thing (in the same vein as 'the new black') and for some reason one of us came up with Potato. It took a while to grow on us, but we've found it to be very catchy. People always remember it. And, it has a double meaning, which is great."
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Photo: Winne Au/Courtesy of EyeSwoon.
What do you represent at your core and what is your goal for the future of the site? Any fun collaborations?
"Our core message is exploring the world through the lens of food, and that industries aren't mutually exclusive. Food falls into fashion, fashion into food, food into design, etc. In terms of the future of the site, the possibilities of who you'll continue to see featured are endless and (luckily enough) are fast becoming more and more limitless. Everyone has to eat! And, we mean everyone."
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Photo: Winne Au/Courtesy of EyeSwoon.
"We also have more videos coming up, will continue to expand our city guides to more and more cities, continue to expand our recipes and shopping sections. An app is always a discussion that we plan to make a reality."
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Photo: Winne Au/Courtesy of EyeSwoon.
How do you divide the responsibilities?
"We're very collaborative. Editor-in-Chief (Laura) and Creative Director (Danielle) is how we distinguish ourselves, but overall we both wear many, many hats."
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Photo: Winne Au/Courtesy of EyeSwoon.
What is a typical New Potato day like?
"There is no such thing! It could be back-to-back photo shoots, a day of meetings, or a day of being glued to our computers (not the most fun, but necessary!)."
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Photo: Winne Au/Courtesy of EyeSwoon.
"No matter how busy we are, we always try to find time for a good meal, as well as a day to read every magazine on the planet and do personal things for inspiration — whatever that may be."
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Photo: Winne Au/Courtesy of EyeSwoon.
Have you learned a crazy amount about food after starting the site?
"We look at food from more of a lifestyle perspective — how people live with it, how it fits into their day, what they love, etc."
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Photo: Winne Au/Courtesy of EyeSwoon.
"We're the anti-foodie foodies. We're not the people reading a 10-page article on butternut squash (not that there's anything wrong with that!) Having said that, we are definitely much more knowledgeable now about food and cooking then when we've started. A lot of that comes with the incredible restaurateurs and chefs we have the honor of interviewing. Also, having the site makes us constantly want to try new things in terms of the way we live with food — cooking, food habits, health routines, etc."
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Photo: Winne Au/Courtesy of EyeSwoon.
Who would you love to cook for or cook with?
"We'd love to cook with Giada, because we are Italian food fanatics and have yet to have the pleasure of having her on our site. We'd love to cook for Anna Wintour, because, to our knowledge, no one has EVER done a feature like that."

Has the site spilled over into your personal life?
"We've met such amazing people through the site — both through people we've featured and collaborations we've done. Some have become really great friends and mentors. We're so lucky that the people we meet and work with on a daily basis are creative and inspiring."
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Photo: Winne Au/Courtesy of EyeSwoon.
Any hilarious food stories or mishaps?
"Last Thanksgiving, the fire department had to come to our house! Our mom used a tray that was too small for the turkey so all the grease spilled over and caused a big oven fire. There were literally seven firemen hunched around our oven. We didn't tell them we have a food website..."
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Photo: Winne Au/Courtesy of EyeSwoon.
Kitchen tip your mom taught you that you still use today?
"Not so much a kitchen tip, but a good tip for food and health in general — everything in moderation!"
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Photo: Winne Au/Courtesy of EyeSwoon.
Restaurant recipe you wish you could get your hands on?
"We have it! Barbuto's Roast Chicken. The bolognese at Osteria Morini would be a great (and dangerous) one to to have."

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