Alumna Pursues Passion For Food Science at Cook’s Illustrated and America’s Test Kitchen

Emily S. Rahravan ’18 shares her passion for science and food with over a million home cooks as an assistant digital editor at Cook’s Illustrated and America’s Test Kitchen.

As an environmental science and sustainability major with minors in history and creative writing, Rahravan says that her professors at Allegheny College contributed significantly to her success and encouraged her to understand the “why” behind science and food. 

Emily S. Rahravan
Emily S. Rahravan

“I felt they had a very sincere interest in my doing well,” she says of her faculty mentors. “The fact that people had faith in me and were actively pushing me toward bigger and better things really made me feel I was in the right place.”

While at Allegheny College, Rahravan observed food insecurity in the Meadville community. The experience inspired Rahravan to devote her Senior Comp to creating a cookbook for participants who receive supplemental nutrition assistance (SNAP) from the government.

The cookbook accommodated low-income households, taking into account the affordability of the recipes, time intensity, and access to cooking appliances. To write the cookbook, Rahravan developed recipes and tested them rigorously so they could be easily understood and replicated. To this day, she still gets asked about the cookbook.

“This directly led me to an opening at America’s Test Kitchen on their cookbook team,” Rahravan says. “I learned that if you devote your comp to something really specific to your passions, that you are truly interested in, it can lead directly to a job.”

After graduating with her bachelor’s degree, Rahravan worked as a publishing editor for America’s Test Kitchen but transitioned to a position in the digital newsroom. Primarily, she writes for America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Illustrated online, pitches stories, and uses analytics to optimize their content. 

“I feel very grateful to work at a place that combines my love for teaching people how to cook, and the science behind food itself,” Rahravan says. 

Reflecting on her Allegheny experience, Rahravan says that her history minor strengthened her research skills, influencing how she gathers information and conveys it. She adds that her creative writing minor provided a collaborative environment, especially at nonfiction workshops, allowing her to find a distinct voice. 

Grateful for her Allegheny education, Rahravan has invested time as a volunteer for her alma mater. In October 2022, she shared insights from her career with Allegheny students through the Media & Communications Exploring Pathways Series, hosted by the Office of Career Education.