Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I know, you're here on a Wednesday, you are expecting Will to be reviewing a drink and giving you ideas for your next bar hopping evening, but you'll have to wait till Friday for that. Wednesday's blog has been relinquished to me so I can wallow in misery.

By now it's been reported across the world the Gourmet Magazine is folding. Gourmet is partly what got me into cooking in the first place. A few years ago, after I had finished a yearlong internship fairly broke and had to move back in with my mother, I found the job market less inviting then I would have hoped. Apparently a resume full of summer gigs and internships wasn't enough experience to convince employers that I was as amazing as I would have liked them to think. Because of this I went to work at Bailey Banks and Biddle, a fine jewelry store. Eh, it had health insurance. Because it was high end they advertised in fancy magazines, like W and Gourmet, so these would be sent to the store, and I would read them on my lunch break. With their sophisticated ideas about food, glossy mouthwatering photos, and high concept recipes I wanted found myself wanting to create these foods. Using the store photocopier I would take the recipes I found most manageable at the time with my lack of cooking experience, and then try them on my day off. As the editorial staff was in New York, many of the restaurant reviews would be places in NYC, and it made me dream even more about living here and hunting down that food.

When I finally did find my wings and moved to NY, I immediately procured a subscription of my own. Every month when Will brings in the mail and I see the magazine sticking out I get excited. What will the theme be this month? What exciting places will they take me? Are there recipes in "Gourmet Everyday" that I could make on a weeknight? I mourn the loss of this. This year I will be making my very first Thanksgiving turkey, since with our honeymoon being the week before we're not making it back to PA this year. I have already pulled the November Gourmet's from the last 2 years for ideas.

Being 68 years old the magazine was cross generational. My mother tells me that back when she was younger the magazine came with a centerfold that was the most brilliant food photography she'd ever seen. She is the proud owner of a 1974 Gourmet Cookbook that I plan on stealing someday. Many of their recipes are at, and I will continue to frequent that site, but what was once a growing catalog is now a static archive.

While no other magazine will match the artistry of Gourmet, I suppose I will have to accept other publications if I am going to keep my monthly glossy food fix. I'm somewhat bitter against Bon Appetit, since they are the magazine Conde Nast chose over my precious Gourmet, but I've been considering Food and Wine. Any suggestions, thoughts, tributes to the fallen magazine? Leave it in the comments. I'm going to go back to weeping uncontrollably now.


Kate S said...

Aww - you realize this just means you have to start making your own magazine, with crazy gourmet meals for those of us who aren't Julia Child, right?

As for the Thanksgiving turkey - I made one when I was living in Aruba and couldn't get back. It's really not that hard. I cut up an apple (because I don't like onions), put it inside, after relieving the bird of it's gizzards, and put the bird in the oven to cook (I'm gonna say 350 here, because that's my go-to temperature if I'm not sure), 1/2 hour per pound. Baste with the juices that emerge. If it gets too brown on top, cover it with Aluminum foil. It was mighty tasty, and I was complimented by the forty or so people it fed. So I wouldn't worry too much about that.

Anonymous said...

My mom bought me a subscription to Food Network magazine recently, and I find it very readable and with lots of good, budget-conscious meal ideas that often have the nutritional information included. While it doesn't have the finesse of Gourmet, it's a good "little brother" of a substitute. Also...Saveur. Is that still in print? My mom used to really like that one.

Table Talk said...

This has been a year like no other in the publishing industry....sad to see Gourmet go...
Gourmet, Food and Wine, Saveur, and Bon Appetit find there way into my house each month, and half of the fun is watching the photography styles change over the years...sorry for your loss.

MJB said...

I have been subscribing to both Food and Wine and Gourmet for the last 2 years. I liked them both, though I think the edge as a magazine goes to Gourmet (better articles, amazing photography). That said, F&W is at least a reasonable second and I will reinstate my subscription to it now that Gourmet is gone. Saveur seems intriguing - I may buy a few issues to get a feel for it. Sad day in foodland.

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