Rising Stars: Bon Appétit’s Julia Kramer Takes a Bite Out of the Top U.S. Eateries
Julia Kramer has several goals for the future, but one of her personal ambitions is to trick her body into thinking that it needs “a truly massive volume of food in order to survive.” The senior project editor at Bon Appétit has been with the brand for just a few short years, but in that time she’s helped find some of the important voices and powerful mediums that allow Bon Appétit to engage with the world of foodies.
2016 was Kramer’s second year working with deputy editor Andrew Knowlton on the brand’s Hot List, which takes over an entire 44-page well in the September issue. A huge nationwide search, Bon Appétit looks for the best in food—from specific dishes to the The Hot 10.
Kramer, 30, says, “The ten restaurants that [Knowlton] and I chose all had really amazing people behind them, and we are part of a team that is uniquely talented in telling those people’s stories: the Test Kitchen editors who connect readers to these restaurants by translating their recipes for home cooks to the photographers who capture the sheer deliciousness of the food.”
But how did Kramer end up in magazine media in the first place? Short answer: cupcakes. As a senior at Pomona College in Claremont, CA, she worked at a coffee shop and started a blog about the cupcakes she baked. It was that blog that helped her land her first internship in the food department of Time Out Chicago. She started there a week after graduation and worked as a restaurant critic there for the next five years.
She left Time Out Chicago in 2013 to become an associate editor at Bon Appétit. Kramer believes that no matter how many outlets there are covering food right now, there’s still an even greater demand from readers for trustworthy recipes, restaurant recommendations, dinner-party ideas, and more.
“You have all these people out there with a serious passion for food,” she says. “Then you combine that with our ability to develop ideas and recipes not just geared toward our print audience but also explicitly for our Instagram audience or Facebook audience or YouTube audience or podcast audience or website audience. The result is the opportunity to tell a richer, broader range of stories.”
Kramer says that she and Knowlton are already “researching” the restaurants for next year’s list of The Hot 10—which essentially means eating lots of food at new restaurants around the country. Last month, she was in Portland and San Francisco. And this fall, she says, she’ll be in Chicago, Los Angeles, Memphis, and New Orleans.
She says, “The challenge that we’re focusing on right now is how we can provide readers with inspiring, creative, beautiful, fresh recipes that they’ll actually make. And I’m working with our very talented Test Kitchen to come up with new ways to package our recipes to give readers all the tools they need to cook them confidently at home.”