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Best and Worst Food Magazines

I have subscrictions to Cooks Illustrated and recently Cooks Country, and LOVE these magazines. I like how they take on a challenge, work through the recipe and explain why things worked or didn't work. Good recipes too. I don't miss any of the glossy photos and advertisments.

On the other hand, I received Bon Apetite as a gift, and a free copy of Rachel Ray's Every Day Living. I HATE these magazines. In Bon Apetite, nothing looks appetizing or easy to make. It all looks like a lot of fluff to impress people.

What are the best and worst cooking periodicals out there?

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  1. Taste of home gets my vote for worst, or at least worst food photography.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jeters

      My mom got me a subscription, easily the printed equivalent of Semi-homemade on TV.

      Not all evil, the occasional needle in a haystack recipe.

    2. I'm a fan of Cook's Illustrated, though I always forget to renew my subscription and then it takes months for me to notice. So I'm not sure what that says.

      Bon Appetit is one that I used to like but over the last few months especially has just really stunk. I flipped through the last issue in about 6 minutes and saw one thing that was even remotely of interest to me.

      Gastronomica is a journal type of publication that I like though its not big on recipes and the like. Its more interesting stories and good photography.

      1. The Art of Eating can be very dry but if you are actually looking to be informed instead of reading glossy ads....

        1. I have subscribed to Bon Appetit for 25 years. I have always found it to be a "pretty" magazine, filled with luscious photography, and representing lifestyles of the well-to-do. It's basically Fantasyland.

          I thumb through each issue in about 10 minutes, and in the 25 years , have never been tempted to try even one recipe.

          Their recipes are filled with exotic ingredients, and exhaustive techniques. Bon Appetit is pretty to look at but not a practical cooking periodical.

          I also subscribe to Cook's Illustrated and Cook's Country. In every issue of these magazines I find several recipes that I will try.

          3 Replies
          1. re: redchile

            I ran into a previous neighbor in the grocery store last week and she mentioned that her now-grown daughter was talking to her long distance the night before, and recalled fondly the "ribbon-wrapped" cake that I had made for dessert many years ago when their family came to dinner. The daughter said that the cake was the most delicious and beautiful thing she has ever been served. (She's been living in Switzerland for the past four years.) As compliments go, this one was right up there. The cake recipe was from Bon Appetit, and I feel that the pleasure it gave was well worth years' of subscriptions.

            1. re: pikawicca

              I remember that issue, it was beautiful. Never did try it, I still have the magazine and look at the instructions and promise myself "one of these days" I can only imagine the impact that cake would make. I just don't have the confidence for baking.

            2. re: redchile

              I've used several recipes from Bon Appetit, but see no reason to subscribe since they're all online at epicurious.

            3. I think Cook's Illustrated is very instructional and informative, but I also value the photography aspect. For that, I've really enjoyed Saveur. I also like Martha Stewart...but more for the photography because the recipes are on/off. I like Gourmet o.k., but it as well as Bon Ap. seem to be filled with advertisements (MS included). Food & Wine's o.k....but I'm more interested in the food than the wine, so there goes half the magazine. Rachel Ray grates my nerves, so even though some of her recipes are good, i'd forgo the magazine.

              1. During a trip to Boston recently, I came across Edible Boston, a free publication that was well-written and focused on local farmers and artisanal producers. It was a very good read - not necessarily for recipes (not many), but for getting a sense of the local food scene. I'm curious as to whether any of you have an Edible publication in your hometown.

                2 Replies
                1. re: FlavoursGal

                  We have Edible Brooklyn here, and I saw a copy of Edible San Francisco when I was visiting recently. Both are very good reads.

                  1. re: sbaker

                    I love our Edible Twin Cities. It's a great way to get more information on locally produced foood.

                2. I love Cook's and Saveur.

                  I just read my first Eating Well and I really like it--will probably buy a subscription.

                  I've been subscribing to Cooking Lght for years and use it often.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mamaciita

                    Savuer is my favourite food publication that I subscribe too. I'd love to subscribe to Culinaire but at $60 a year too pricey. I also love Chile Pepper magazine for great recipes.

                    I get professional rates on many publications - so I subscribe and get many free, but Savuer is my favourite. Fod Arts is second best for me.

                  2. Over the years, I've subscribed to Bon Appetit, Gourmet, Martha Stewart, and Cooking Light. They were all fine, but nothing special. I let all the subscriptions lapse. The recipes were often event recipes, not suited to the cook who works full time. I love Cook's Illustrated so much that I subscribe to the Web site (I hate paying for Web content). I go to it constantly for not only recipes but advice, for example, on the best red wine vinegar or how to get a stuck cake out of a pan without damaging it. Love the tips. I also find the paper quality and hand-drawn illustrations to be pleasing.

                    1. I used to love Food & Wine until a few years ago when the editors seemed to shift the magazine toward a more monied demographic - so much of it now is devoted to exotic travel, super high-end restaurants and expensive retail items. I miss the "old" version devoted to creative cooking with fresh ingredients.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: brokergal

                        I agree with you. Many magazines in general have become fixated on catering to a wealthy clientele. I find this to be true with House & Garden (or maybe Home & Garden?) as well as many others. There has been such a lapse in values in our society and reading magazines, where I used to find them quite interesting, not just leaves me feeling unfulfilled. I've turned away from such magazines as Vogue and Elle because of this, and hope that the food magazines I read won't become simply "material" magazines.

                        1. I really like Everyday Food and its PBS show.

                          1. Fine Cooking gets my vote as the best cooking magazine out there, both for the recipes and the accompanying photos that instruct one how to shape a rustic fruit tart or a jalousie. FC's website is very good with lots of free downloads and email newsletters.

                            I subscribed to Cook's Illustrated for a few years but got awfully tired of all the repeats. How many cornbread recipes does one need? Also, I found that there is a high failure rate among their baking recipes. I value it more for the cookware reviews than the recipes.

                            Fine Cooking is often available at Costco for 30% off the cover price and I just saw a FC cookbook there that is a compendium of recipes from 2006.

                            1. My favorites are...
                              1. Saveur: reports on world cuisine and real cooks which i find refreshing. The recipes are often complicated, however.
                              2. Gourmet: Ruth Reichl edits and she's covering more world cuisine. The recipes are tasty and it also looks good. It's becoming very similar to Saveur these days.
                              3. La Cucina Italiana: Features good regional cuisines from italy that you don't see in the U.S. Recipes are hit or miss.
                              4. Cooking Light: I've recently renewed my subscription. The recipes are better than they were 5 years ago and I like the nutritional information.
                              5. Gastronomica: a good food journal
                              9. Art Culinaire: nice food porn industry "magazine"

                              1. Donna Hay: food porn meets Martha Stewart. It seems like all fluff and the presentation is intimidating. Plus: it's too darn expensive.
                              2. Rachel Ray: I've never found anything interesting in her magazine.
                              3. Bon Apetite: My friend gives me her copy, but nothing looks appetizing, as you say.
                              4. Food and Wine: too pretentious.
                              5. Cooks Illustrated: it's not the worst, but I'm tired of the overly simple how-to's and I don't need another chicken pot pie recipe. I find it a tad boring, but i respect it.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: coatlicue_2000

                                La Cucina Italiana drives me crazy. I really love the recipes, but the text - !!! I'm pretty sure high schoolers could do a better job.

                                The editorial staff should be hanged. First of all, they don't actually edit - mistakes all over the place (grammar, spelling, usage, facts, you name it), horrible sentence construction, tortured phrases, embarassing cliches, just ghastly.

                                It doesn't help that the founder writes a two-page (minimum!) rhapsody each month about his Italian childhood - that's in *addition* to the Welcome to This Month introduction. I honestly won't write my real opinion about this because it's so harsh, it just seems mean to post on the Internet.

                                The articles are superficial; there are photos that are not magazine quality, and advertorials galore - "Buy This" exhultations with the advertisement right next to the story!

                                But I love the recipes. So I keep subscribing.

                                1. re: Mawrter

                                  I agree about the quality of the design and the photography leaving much to be desired. And yes the advertisements and advertorials are annoying. I stopped reading the articles a while ago, for the same reasons you mention. It felt a little too much like a poorly written travel brochure. However, I guess I'm forgiving on some of the text issues because there is an italian language version and I'm hoping that it's an issue of poor translation. Ah well, I only subscribe for the recipes anyway.

                                  1. re: coatlicue_2000

                                    Bigtime translation issues, yes. It's obvious to me, and my Italian is lousy. (But I'm not employed writing for an Italian magazine, either.)

                                  2. re: Mawrter

                                    i received a la cucina italiana subscription as a gift. it seemed to me almost every recipe was a pasta dish.

                                2. Please don't forget about food arts magazine and pastry arts little more professional but so well presented.

                                  1. I subscribe to Bon Appetit, Saveur, Fine Cooking and Food and Wine, and used to subscribe to Cook's Illustrated. I've had my subscription to B.A. for 15 years now, and it doesn't inspire me anymore - most of it seems to be retreads of past issues, and I get really tired of their articles about the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous with their "real people" parties in the weekend home on Martha's Vineyard. But I have gotten quite a few good things from them in the past. Saveur just leaves me cold. It seems to be more of a travel magazine than a real cooking magazine, often highlighting ingredients that there's no way I'm going to find here (thistles? where the heck am I going to find thistles?). Food and Wine shoves their recipes way in the back and again, is low on inspirational photos, high on people pictures. Cooks Illustrated just bores me to absolute tears. There's no inspirational photography and while I understand and appreciate the minutae of tweaking and testing things, I have no interest in reading about it. Fine Cooking is a magazine I get excited about every time it arrives. The photography is good, the recipes are consistently good, and I like the fact that there's a lot of non-recipe cooking in it as well, which suits the way I cook. They highlight an ingredient and give several loose ideas of how to prepare them, which in turn helps me be more imaginative.

                                    5 Replies
                                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                        Not even close, IMO: Fine Cooking is the most sensible, useful food mag ever published. I've been hooked since the March 2002 issue, which I happened to pick up in the grocery store. Its two-page tutorial on how/when to salt, the "Food Science" article on the how/when/why/what kind of wine & alcohol in food, the wonderful "At the Market" page on how to buy veggies & fruit......everything in it was interesting and eternally helpful.

                                        It walks the line between the basic and the esoteric more successfully than any mag or cookbook I've ever used. Long may it maintain that equilibrium.

                                      2. re: Andiereid

                                        Oh, I feel the same way about Cook's Illustrated. The obsessive testing drives me insane...as though improvisation and variation were inappropriate in the kitchen. And the whole palate/palette of flavors/ingredients used is rather boring & bland.

                                        1. re: Hungry Celeste

                                          Yeah, every time I read or flip through Cook's I think it's probably primarily for novice cooks, or cooks who are science types and really disappointed that Harold McGee doens't write (even) longer books!

                                        2. re: Andiereid

                                          I gave up my CI sub many years ago, after it seemed like there were too many 'but I already do this' moments. Not to say that I'm some sort of gourmet cook, but after 30 years in the kitchen there just weren't many tips new to me in this journal of cooking basics.

                                          I think it is a fine mag for beginning cooks--wish it had been around when I started cooking--there were only a few 'cooking basics' cookbooks and NO food magazines. I think the 'tweaking' details can lead a beginning cook down the road to experimentation and a solid understanding of basic food chemistry.

                                          (Back in the late 70's there was a short-lived mag called 'Cuisine' which was exciting and chowhoundish. I still recall a vividly written story about Louisiana and to this day yearn to get down there to eat my way through the state! The magazine collapsed and is not any relation to the current 'Cuisine', afaik. Anyone remember it?)

                                        3. I've been getting Cooking Light for years and I like having access to their website (more recipes online for subscribers).

                                          I also have been getting Everyday Food since it started. I enjoy it.

                                          I think I'll have to look into Fine Cooking.

                                          I didn't like Home Cooking. Bon Apetit and Gourmet lost my interest.

                                          1. I subscribe to way too many food mags and buy more at the newsstand. I get Gourmet, F&W, BA, Cooks Illustrated and Food Arts. I buy La Cucina Italiana and Saveur if they have something interesting.
                                            I like all of them for different reasons and get some use out of most of them. I do agree that BA and F&W have both gone more and more the lifestyle route, but there still seems to be one or two, "Wow, doesn't that sound good!?" recipes in each issue.
                                            I have not allowed myself to even look at RR's mag or the SemiHomemade dreck. I find Cooks Country to be Chris Kimball's version of Sandra Lee. It seems every recipe has some prepackage, premade something in it. Condensed soup and the like. Ick.

                                            1. I can't stand Cooks Illustrated - though my Mother and Husband both love it. It seems that after they test the recipe 250 plus times they have removed all of the spontaneity and joy that should be a part of cooking. They work so hard to fix every "problem" with each recipe that the final products are flat.

                                              And what do they do with all that food they cook? I hope it doesn't get tipped in the bin...

                                              1. One of the better food magazines I can find is done locally by the Lunds/Byerlys people called Real Food. It's published seasonally and is free. The recipes are healthy, easy to make and delicious. There are good articles on health and nutrition too.

                                                My favorite food magazine is Eating Well. There are lots of informative articles on health, dieting, food talk, and nutrition. The recipes are easy to follow, good for you and more often than not, quick to prepare. The photos are gorgeous.

                                                I also get Saveur and read it like food porn. The travels and food experiences are great for an armchair traveler like me, but I don't read it for the recipes as they are often too complicated or over my head, or just uninteresting. I love the photos, and occasionally their wine information is pretty good. I drool over their Kitchen Wise photos.

                                                Food and Wine gets mixed marks from me. I agree with others who say that it's catered to the highbrow crowd, and the smiling, beautiful people eating gorgeous food in their pristine locations makes me nuts. The wines they recommend, even the ones they call affordable, are very costly and even in my local treasure of a wine shop I can't find most of them anyway. Some of the recipes work for me and I have been happy with them, some don't. I likely won't renew this one. All their recipes are available online without a subscription.

                                                I get Cooks Illustrated but likely won't renew again. It is too repetitive, and I have their big cookbook so that is really all I need. I take issue also with the fact that you cannot access their website without paying, and their subscriptions aren't cheap. I think if you pay for the magazine, you should get access to the site, but that's JMHO. I also get Martha Stewarts Everyday Food and have mixed results with that. The food is simple and often very quick to prepare, and one issue can be chock full of stuff I want to try, then the next won't have a thing. It's pretty good though. What I have tried from it has been delicious.

                                                Taste of Home and any other Reiman publications get my vote for the worst. It's all comfort food, cream soup and jello garbage that is crowed about being 'homemade'. I used to get the Light and Tasty magazine, and was appalled when I would read the nutritional contents of each recipe. Sodium, cholesterol and fat calories that were off the charts. I couldn't believe they would publish this and call it Light. When I started pointing out that information to people on their bulletin board site, I was nearly run outta Dodge. Apparently their subscribers would rather keep their heads in the sand.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: cooknKate

                                                  You may want to check out the current issue of Food and Wine. They have a wine feature on the always reliable/inexpensive (all under $20, many under $10) wines that you can find anywhere.

                                                  I really like the "Fast" feature that is in every issue. Many of my weeknight stand-bys come from there.

                                                  1. re: Megiac

                                                    I did see that, and the one on 10 great wines under $10 from the February issue. Like I said, the mag gets mixed marks from me

                                                2. I'm currently getting Food Arts, 'cause it's a professional freebie, and Saveur. I used to subscribe to Gourmet, but it seemed to be less about food and more about a lifestyle that is pretty far out of my reach. I do love the articles by Jane and Micheal Stern, though.

                                                  Jeffrey Steingarten writes for Vogue, and his articles are the first things I look for.

                                                  I don't like Cook's Illustrated at all. I'm really not intested in comparing 14 different cast iron griddles, or obsessing over the "best' way to roast a chicken.

                                                  At this point, I'm much more interested in food culture and ideas than I am in recipes. I also by a lot more books about food than I buy cookbooks.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: manraysky

                                                    I like Cooking Light and I agree, their recipes are getting better, but the new design is horrible.

                                                  2. I love Fine Cooking and Cooks Illustrated for their savory and general recipes. I have tried too many recipes that don't work , and the obsessive nature of C-I is a guarantee that it will ALWAYS work when followed.

                                                    Fine Cooking isn't inexpensive, but I would buy any magazine that had a column by Shirley Corrhier.
                                                    Vegetarian times has saved me many times when I haver to cater for a specialized diet.

                                                    Chocolatier and Pastry Art and Design are fantastic for desert, but they are difficult to find on a newsstand.

                                                    IMVHO, Bon Appetit and Gourmet seem to appeal more to people who make reservations and travel plans, than a dinner on a daily basis. I have never had a recipe from B-A work on the first time. Saveur is much the same way.

                                                    Food and Wine occasionally have a good issue, but its not worth the subscription.

                                                    1. My mom and I bought Gourmet for years (and years) but I think I'm done with it, mostly because Ruth Reichl's smug and domineering editorials give me heartburn (not a promising feature in a food magazine). I rarely make anything from it. However the recipes I do make are usually good and somethimes great, but there's always Epicurious for that.
                                                      I like Cook's Illustrated but only buy it it looks like there's something I'd make, as indeed the repeats are atrocious.
                                                      Fine Cooking has nice recipes, but I miss more general food writing, (which is of course why I will keep on buying Gourmet on the newstand anyway - along with the Tums). I will definilty check out FC's website.
                                                      I recently bought an Australian magazine called Delicious. Alas, it is very expensive. It is lovely looking and the food is quite original. Of course the seasons are off, so you do wind up reading alot about the "barbie" in the dead of winter. I think there's an English version too, I wonder how they relate?

                                                      1. I have read most of the published food mags over the years the one I still subscribe to is Cusine at Home. it'ss basically a bi-monthly set of cooking lessons. I have made many of their recipes with great success. It also contains useful techiniques and tips. Another nice feature is No adverts

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: lliswerryboy

                                                          This sounds like something I would like. Essentially, I'm a self taught cook with a passion for food, so what may seem like repetitive information to some people may be news to me. Thanks for sharing this one.

                                                        2. I subscribe to both Gourmet and Saveur, mostly because I received such great offers they were practically free. (Saveur for $10/yr for 3 years.) I prefer Saveur but I like both of them for the articles. I rarely cook out of either of them.

                                                          When my subscription runs out I doubt I would renew Gourmet unless they made me another offer I can't refuse. :-)

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: flourgirl

                                                            Donna Hay has a magazine out of the same name which can be very good, if you like magazines that feature more recipes than articles. Sometimes I feel "burnt out" by reading cooking magazines, so I avoid reading them for a while until I see an issue that I MUST investigate. Williams-Sonoma had a magazine out way back called TASTE, and I found it to be an enjoyable read but I guess they could not garner enough interest in it and stopped publishing it. Too bad, I thought it was going in the right direction.

                                                            1. re: Abbeshay

                                                              I have several of Donna Hay's cookbooks and absolutely LOVE them. But in the States, the subscription price of the magazine is really high - almost $90 for six issues. Too bad, because if it was more affordable, I would subscribe.

                                                          2. What about Eating Well? I've bought this a few times and have really enjoyed it. It's a health focused food magazine (Marion Nestle is one of the editors). The recipes I've tried have turned out very well: flavorful and balanced. I think it's a great alternative to Cooking Light, which to is sometimes not as focused or indepth as I'd like and can sometimes be manipulative with portions/calories/etc.

                                                            The Edible series (i.e. Edible Portland, Edible San Francisco, etc) is a new and upcoming local food focused magazine that has lots of promise and when I eventually live in a city that has one, I would seriously consider signing up for it.

                                                            I love Saveur for the unique culture and food perspective.

                                                            I subscribed to Cooks Illustrated for ~10 years, loved it and am taking a well needed break. They are too aggressive with their marketing, which has been a big turn off (I know they rely more on us since they don't take ads but they need to be a little more careful -- I have received their "free" trial issue more than 5 times!). I do still belong to their website (getting them NOT to send me e-mails has also been a pain) and do like having easy access to their generally reliable, well-tested recipes.

                                                            Not a big fan of Gourmet, Bon Apetit and occasional buy Food and Wine from the newstand but haven't been tempted to get a subscription.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: huruta

                                                              In the past I have really gotten some great recipes out of bon appetit, standby recipes that are easy and great to make over and over again. I think their recipes are well-tested, and i haven't had any disasters. But I really hate the new format and I think the magazine looks like an extended advertisement. I still suscribe, on the chance I'll find that really special recipe that I love. And I would say I usually find one every 2-3 issues.

                                                              As for Gourmet, I find the recipes poorly tested and full of obscure expensive ingredients. But the food writing - the best of all the magazines. They get really great writers and talk about great subjects. Great photography as well. True food porn. They had a special supplement a while ago featuring short stories about food by prominent writers that was a joy to read.

                                                            2. I've been getting Gourmet for years and enjoy it. I like the mix of food/travel articles. Also, I think there is a pretty good balance between quick and simple recipes and those that you can put aside until you're feeling ambitious.

                                                              Yes, all the recipes for Gourmet and Bon Apetite are available online at epicurious.com and I use that site to search for recipes when I am looking for something specific, but I enjoy the "serendipity" of browsing through the magazine and finding something new that I wasn't particularly looking for.

                                                              1. If you want to understand why some of us think Fine Cooking is the best food mag in the world, get the May issue now on the newsstands.

                                                                Every recipe is to DIE for. Check out the fascinating "Flaky Biscuits' trick, the Shrimp Sautes, the spring dinner menu starting with wild mushroom toast appetizer, the baked ham tutorial and glaze/sauce recipes (I love tangerine marmalade and that's one of their three glazes).

                                                                Note how few ads (that's why it costs a bit more than some others) and how nicely they're grouped at the beginning and end of the magazine so you're not constantly having to turn 4-6 pages of ads to get to the next page of an article.

                                                                Every issue I think is the best one yet.

                                                                1. Funny, but I dislike Saveur and love Rachael Ray's magazine!

                                                                  I dislike Saveur for all of the reasons everyone here likes it, basically. I overall think it's too pretentious and I can't cook 99% of the things in it. Pretty photos, though, and once in a while an interesting article.

                                                                  Everyday with Rachael Ray grows on me with every issue. It's fun and the typical, busy as hell cooking amateur such as myself can execute things in it. I always enjoy their "taste tests" and their 5 ingredient reader submitted recipes.

                                                                  I think it all depends on what you're looking for in a food magazine!

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: MDoodle

                                                                    I cook many things from Saveur, but it is for serious foodies. I can't stand any of Rachel Ray's recipes-I am in to real food and flavour.

                                                                    1. re: shantihhh

                                                                      I like Rachael Ray's magazine also -- it's fun and frivolous (my favorite section is the peek into celebrities' refrigerators). It is definitely not for serious foodies. It's more for people who are not serious about cooking, or who don't like to cook. My sister, who doesn't like to cook, enjoys the magazine.

                                                                      I don't have a favorite magazine now, but am interested in checking out Eating Well.

                                                                      1. re: wanderinglady

                                                                        My wife told me we had to subscribe to fewer food mags and Cook's Illustrated was the first to be cut. The science behind cooking/recipes is often fascinating, but their recipes are not usually that flavorful... they lack oomph. They are useful for certain protocols though, and like an earlier post mentioned, the cookware reviews can be helpful (best bargain: tramontina dutch oven for $40 vs Le Creuset for >$200)

                                                                        I can't say enough about how great Fine Cooking is. The recipes are very doable, interesting and taste great. Nice pictures also. What I particularly like is the quarterly "bumper issue" e.g. spring recipes, chocolate, weekend meals, dinner parties, grilling, side dishes, etc. Each of these quarterly special issues is a great resource to have around if you're looking for a specific dish (or type of dish) for a particular time/event.

                                                                        Gourmet and Bon Appetit are free on Epicurious.com, plus it is easier to search their database.

                                                                        1. re: caliking

                                                                          My sister got in the habit of getting me a copy of the yearly book of Cook's Illustrated each year for my birthday (a year's worth of the magazines in a hard bound book). I think I have 8 years worth plus the index guide to all of them. I have cooked more recipes out of those books than all of my other cookbooks combined.

                                                                  2. I like Gourmet and Cook's Illustrated (though just recently I bemoaned the subscription problems we've had with it- if we get Cook's Illustrated these days, it's off the rack when something on the cover appeals to us).

                                                                    For some reason we get Bon Appetit occasionally despite never having subscribed to it. I don't even think I flip through it anymore; it's not even interesting to me. Gourmet typically has a couple recipes that look interesting and an article or two I'm up for reading but in all the Bon Appetit mags I've flipped through I've found the pretentiousness and lack of real content to be obnoxious.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: mumblety

                                                                      I have become increasingly disappointed in Bon Appetit. Cheap drawings, far less content, dumbed down...

                                                                      There are very few magazines I actually find interesting enough to purchase any more. I am hungry to continue to learn about food and cookery but every magazine that I am aware of are too basic. Give me a challenge!!!

                                                                    2. Well there are a couple the that I love, but don't subscribe to.
                                                                      Donna Hay- I am a sucker for her magazine, I just love looking at her food shots but I've tried one recipe. Lots of great ideas though.
                                                                      Louisiana Cookin- another one I pick up when I can find it. I have cooked a few of their recipes.
                                                                      Cooking Light and Italian- I have used both of these a lot. Great recipes in these and they make the food look so awesome.

                                                                      1. Donna Hay is my favorite.
                                                                        Oh the photos!
                                                                        I get so inspired !
                                                                        I am a professional chef... I look at the pictures and interpret from there.
                                                                        Then I go to the market and get cooking.
                                                                        The recipes are very simple and uncomplicated, although
                                                                        international. Martha's quality is similar, but not quite there.

                                                                        1. Plate Magazine and Food Network are two good magazines. For foodies, Gastronomica has wonderful articles about food. Others just puts fancy names on stuff that a 3rd grader could prepare and photo shop it. Garden and Guns is a good magazine all around and has a lot of recipes and articles about food. And I agree with you, Cooks Illustrated is very good albeit simple.

                                                                            1. I don't know that Donna Hay is so popular in the US. There's a magazine in Australia named Feast which is about different cuisines that Australia has to offer. It's quite different from the typical food porn or the rich's lifestyle mags.

                                                                              1. I hate cook's illustrated, I know I'm in the minority, I just really don't want to know the best way to make bread or whatever they are focusing on this month. It seems to take all the fun out of food. Especially with the black and white photos and dull as ditchwater writing

                                                                                I really love saveur, the photography, the recipes from around the world and interesting stories. I also loved gourmet.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: YAYME

                                                                                  I feel the same about Cook's Illustrated. I'm all about improving my Swiss-cheese holed knowledge of cooking, but the Cook's Illustrated style just takes the fun out of cooking. Granted I'm not obsessed about hundreds of cast iron pans either.
                                                                                  I guess it boils down to what we look for in a magazine. I also like Saveur for their beautiful food writing and the inspiration they induce in me. Nowadays we're too spoilt for choices i.e there're thousands of food publications, from blogs, local publications to dreamland-styled magazines for the rich. At the end of the day, I find that the magazines I tend to keep for myself are those with insightful wrting. To me, good writing is just as important as good photography and styling.

                                                                                2. I like Lucky Peach, although I imagine its (sometimes a little forced) "attitude" annoys some people.