Denise Tillar Landis
has an extensive history of testing and developing recipes, most notably for The New York Times. Her contributions include articles, the Q&A column “Food Chain,” and authoring the cookbook Dinner for Eight: Forty Great Dinner Party Menus for Friends & Family.
Denise earned a B.A. degree in cultural anthropology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Between 1976 and 1983, she worked as a professional contract archaeologist at various locations across the country. In 1983, she married James David Landis, who was then the Editor-in-Chief of William Morrow & Co., Inc.
Landis’s culinary career began with a short-term job testing recipes for Maria Guarnaschelli, a cookbook editor at William Morrow. This opportunity evolved into a freelance role, and by 1985, she was hired as a recipe tester for The New York Times. She retained this position for over twenty-five years before moving on to publish the first international food magazine for professional and aspiring food writers.
In 2001, Michalene Busico, the Dining section editor at The New York Times, invited Landis to contribute to the section. Her subsequent writing includes the “Test Kitchen” column, reviews of kitchenware, “Diner’s Journal,” Living section articles, and the Q&A food column, “Food Chain.”
In addition to her work with The New York Times, Denise has developed recipes and written articles for numerous other publications. She has been a columnist for Seacoast Media Group Newspapers (New Hampshire), taught cooking classes (including a three-month-long after-school class on Medieval cooking), and tested and edited recipes and cookbooks for world-renowned food writers and chefs such as Dorie Greenspan, the Pollan family, Jacques Pepin, Niloufer Mavalvala, Ana Patuleia Ortins, and Rose Levy Beranbaum. A longtime member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, Denise’s expertise is widely recognized.
In 2013, Denise launched The Cook’s Cook: A Magazine for Cooks, Food Writers, and Recipe Testers, a full-length international digital magazine. The Cook’s Cook now connects an international food community through its website, social media, and advertising and marketing programs for partnered brands.