America’s Test Kitchen Is Moving to the Seaport

The media company has grown out of its longtime home in Brookline.
A RENDERING OF THE EXTERIOR VIEW OF AMERICA'S TEST KITCHEN AT THE INNOVATION AND DESIGN BUILDING

A RENDERING OF THE EXTERIOR VIEW OF AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN AT THE INNOVATION AND DESIGN BUILDING. / IMAGE COURTESY OF Elkus Manfredi Architects

To accommodate a growing staff as well as the demands of new media, America’s Test Kitchen will almost double the size of its headquarters with a move to the Seaport District. The publishing and broadcast company, which produces Cook’s Illustrated magazine, the PBS show America’s Test Kitchen, and more, is the latest tenant headed for the Innovation and Design Building. More than 200 ATK employees will relocate there next summer, the Boston Globe first reported.

America’s Test Kitchen has been hidden in plain sight, directly across the street from the Brookline Village MBTA station, for 24 years. The headquarters featured one large kitchen, with small photo and video studios and offices across four floors. The move will bring up ATK’s footprint to 55,000 square feet, and will allow the company to be on just one floor. This will make it easier for team members to collaborate, a press release states.

It will have four, state-of-the-art test kitchens, three for its TV shows (including Cook’s Country, and the new Cook’s Science), and one dedicated to product testing. Currently, the Cook’s Illustrated testers are displaced from the kitchen for three weeks every spring, while America’s Test Kitchen is filmed, the Globe notes. The new building will also have three dedicated television and video studios, and multiple photo and edit studios.

A RENDERING OF AMERICA'S TEST KITCHEN AT THE INNOVATION AND DESIGN BUILDING

A RENDERING OF AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN AT THE INNOVATION AND DESIGN BUILDING. / IMAGE COURTESY OF Elkus Manfredi Architects

Last fall, America’s Test Kitchen hired its first-ever CEO, and president and longtime face of the company, Christopher Kimball, left. Kimball is on the cusp of opening a new, food-centric public media company, Milk Street Kitchen, with classes, tours, and a brand new magazine.

America’s Test Kitchen plans to continue growing, CEO David Nussbaum told the Globe, especially in the digital realm. The company will produce a Facebook Live video series about kitchen hacks and holiday food prep, in partnership with Facebook and Mashable, he said. Those will begin airing this fall.

The move will also help ATK be more public-facing, Nussbaum said. Part of that will include a branded food truck parked on the site, giving Seaport lunchgoers another option besides the repurposed shipping containers housing Mei Mei, Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, and more local options, which developer Jamestown debuted last fall.

America’s Test Kitchen is also expanding its brand into the world of cruise line cuisine, though a new partnership with Holland America Line is coincidental to the fact that ATK’s new headquarters is next door to the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal, per the Globe. Kitchens on the line’s 14 cruise ships will be ATK branded, and the company will train onboard chefs who will host live cooking demonstrations for travelers. The Globe reports the first ship with an ATK-approved kitchen will set sail from Vancouver in October.

The IDB is the latest project from the developers that created, among other things, urban food hubs including the Ponce City Market in Atlanta, and Chelsea Market in New York City.


Jacqueline Cain Associate Food Editor at Boston Magazine jcain@bostonmagazine.com