The post I had planned for today on my canning activities over the weekend will now appear tomorrow.
When I heard the news this morning about Conde Nast’s decision about Gourmet magazine, I was heartbroken. Gourmet is the apex of quality food writing – having lived, breathed and exuded all things food since 1940. It treats food and food writing as an artform. The magazine shares international culture in a vivid and ever-fresh way (look at the back issue from years ago at right — Grilling Around the World in bold).
But the magazine is much more than just wonderfully linked words. The breathtaking photos take you into cultures and customs you might otherwise not know about — whether it’s a celebration in New Jersey or ceremony in another country. Editor Ruth Reichl has led the magazine with honesty, integrity and grace for the last decade. What will we do without her, and this amazing tome?
I feel like the world of food writing has been pillaged and robbed by this decision. We aren’t just losing a magazine, we are saying goodbye to an old, reliable friend … a best friend. We are losing our grasp on elegant food writing, and replacing it with accessible, easy, fast … how sad.
Don’t get me wrong: I love Bon Appetit and am glad it was spared. But it’s a bittersweet gladness at best. The sister publication, aimed at a younger crowd, is my book of choice for actually trying new things. The recipes offer a sense that anyone can make them whether it’s homemade mayonnaise or some layered dessert … Every month, I devour Bon Appetite, eagerly reading Molly Wizenberg’s column and excitedly thumbing through recipe after recipe.
That doesn’t change the fact that I love and revere Gourmet. I am as much likely to cook from Bon Appetit as I am to read every single word – every caption, story and note – in Gourmet. It’s fresh. It has a world-as-local view that I love. And the photos give you so much more than just a look at food.
I think Conde Nast made a huge error in shuttering this amazing food magazine. And we can only hope that enough voices rise up and scream NO! and give them reason to change their minds. Conde Nast: I am screaming NO!
Gourmet is dead. Long live Gourmet.
What is your reaction to the news?
UPDATE – 3:17 pm, 10/6/09: Gourmet Tastemasters, a reader’s panel for the magazine, sent this email around this afternoon:
Dear Gourmet Tastemaker,
It is with great sadness that we announce the closing of Gourmet and Gourmet Tastemakers, effective immediately.
As a member of our reader panel, you have been an invaluable asset to our editors, our promotional team and our marketing partners. We very much appreciate your insights and your time over these years.
Your friends at Gourmet