I'm Not Going To Renew Gourmet or Food & Wine
I decided last week when my latest Gourmet arrived. I realized I was just sick and tired of pawing through page after page of ads for $5000 dresses, $6000 watches, $50,000 cars and spa hotels in Bali. The restaurants and hotels they recommend are all pricy.
I am also disgusted by the kitchen makeover articles. They're all the same - hugely expensive giant kitchens with professional ranges and walk-in fridges (kidding) and slate floors and granite counters, and blah blah blah. There's no imagination in any of them...never a feature showing somebody's regular kitchen make-over or examples of folks with tiny kitchens and how they've made them work.
I know that these magazines only exist for the ads, but they all start to blend into one after a while. I'm also really tired of Ruth R's Editor's column - so precious and so meaningless.
Saveur is also getting more and more like the others. I'm keeping my sub, but am disappointed more and more with that one, too.
I can't tell you how many times I've cancelled my subscriptions to both of them. Then - I'll find myself a few times buying it at a newstand while waiting for a train, desparate for something to read because I've read every other cooking magazine already. I realized that the price I pay for it yearly was so far less than I paid for it those few times over the counter. So, I went back to subscribing.
Savauer is the only one I refuse to purchase again - while gorgeous to look at - I have never once made a single thing it its pages. It's too esoteric for my tastes.
I cancelled Gourmet a few months ago... I figure if I see an issue that I'm really interested in (usually the Christmas issue) then I'll just buy that one, but will probably never subscribe again.
I've given up on Gourmet and Food & Wine and Bon Appetit are on my "don't renew" list. I'll stick with Saveur and see how things change over the next year.
I recently got an offer for free magazines to use up airline miles and I started Gourmet again. I grew up in the 50' and 60's in a house where the Gourmet got a workout from my mother and when I got married in the late 60's I used her back issues ( she had copies going to the late 40's) to learn to cook. I especially loved the essays- memoirs of food writers from all over the world. MFK Fisher, one of the great American essayists was a regular contributor. The covers were amazing and the food pictures were works of art. What do I get now? Hack travel writers who only want to impress you with esoteric dishes, artsy food shots which do little to tempt you to cook and recipes that include too much time and too many "look at me" ingredients.
I'll stick to Cooking Light.
I had dropped F&W and Bon Appetit -- the recipe count seemingly goes down with each issue, lost to "lifestyle" articles (the reason I never subscribed to Gourmet). I realize this is what the marketing folks are telling them -- that people want to read about food, not make it -- but it's annoying. I've stuck with Saveur because at least the point of the articles is to interest you in the recipes. I've made a number, all good, and I get good ideas for combinations of ingredients.
I do subscribe to Cooks Illustrated and Fine Cooking, but I wish there was a magazine of similar purpose but with more interesting recipes.