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Jan 6, 2008 06:52 AM

The "new" Bon Appetit (magazine)

Okay, so it's the 2nd issue of the revamped Bon Appetit magazine, and I'm wondering what others think.

Even though I am known for being a little weird with change, I don't think that comes in to play here. The bottom line is, I just plain hate it. As I was reading (or trying to read) the Febuary issue, I thought to myself, this magazine has been Rachel Rayed: Similar font and cover page presentation, pull out meal planners, quick fixes for supper, doing taste tests and miraculously finding that a regular advertiser's product is in the top 5 or 6 (that's not new with the revamping though) - and half the time I couldn't tell the difference between an advertisement (especially when Cat Cora's picture was included with a recipe) and the actual magazine.

I don't know why they decided to redo the mag, but I for one, HATE IT.

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  1. I am so with you on this. I have been an ardent supporter of Bon Appetit on this board, as you can see from my previous post on the matter. I have always felt that the recipes were well tested and well chosen, and so I have been ignoring the annoying face lift over the last year or two. But now it has gone too far. The whole magazine has turned into a complete advertisement. If they didn't write "special advertising supplement" on most of the ads, I wouldn't know what is what! But the most egregious moment of the Feb. issue: My partner sees the wonderful photo of the whole wheat blueberry pancakes on the cover. So he turns to the recipe, and finds that one of the ingredients is a commercially prepared whole wheat pancake mix! How hard is it to make pancakes from scratch? Sure, include this recipe as a quick and easy dish if you want, but as the cover recipe? I just found that weird. The odd thing is that the other recipes in the issue seem to be fairly legit. But I am concerned that this is the start of a change in the recipes. I don't need to buy a magazine to tell me how to open boxes and cans, I've figured that out myself.

    I've also noticed that the actual volume of content has dropped dramatically. It used to take me a couple of hours to go through the magazine. The Feb. Issue took me about 30-40 mintues. I spent more effort fllipping past ads than actually reading.

    I'm in a bit of a quandary, as I have really liked some of the recipes from this magazine in the past. I guess I'll have to wait and see.

    1 Reply
    1. re: moh

      I agree with you on the content taking a lot less time to read. I used to pick it up to read at least a couple of times before finishing it. I read the Jan edition in about 30 minutes. Picked it up the next night, and found I hadn't missed anything, I had finished. Disappointing.

    2. I thought I was the only one...the magazine has gone downhill. I always appreciated the lush photos in addition to the interesting recipes. Imagine my surprise upon seeing all those drawings that littered the magazine.

      I used to make many recipes from this mag, but now I seem to just read it through and toss it aside. I'm hoping they will settle down and get things on track again.

      1. Unfortunately, it's become somewhat 'classless.'.
        A shame

        1. As a former full-time magazine editor, I can tell you that it will take a bit of time for BON APPÉTIT to hit its new stride. I'm not crazy about the layouts, and I've never liked mixing serif and sans serif typefaces, which the new BA does relentlessly. But frankly, FINE COOKING is downright uglly, yet many of the recipes are very good indeed. As for the recipes in the "new" BON APPÉTIT, I think a lot of them are on the same level as before. I haven't read the February issue yet, but I found 11 recipes that I want to try. As for simplistic and box/can-oriented, there are very few like that in the January issue. What on earth is simple about Whole Fish Baked in Salt Crust?

          All that said, I agree that there has been a gradual "dumbing-down" of recipes in most American cooking magazines. I think the editors are watching TVFN too closely for clues as to how people want to cook/eat.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Tom Steele

            i thought i was the only one who hated the font...for some reason, i found the new print really hard to read...

          2. I'm glad it's not only me that's noticed my BA and Gourmet mag's getting thinner.

            7 Replies
            1. re: im_nomad

              Contrary to what a previous poster said, the magazine has taken a definitive turn for the worse. When I picked up the Jan issue, I attributed its thinness to it being January blah blah, but now that Feb is just like it, and chock full of ads, I was less than pleased.

              As a full time chef, I was neither inspired nor impressed with the quality of the recipes or the new: get it done quicker focus. If I want quicker, I'll chew off my arm and buy Rachel Ray (well, you know what, no, I won't. I'll never buy Rachel Ray's mag... )

              1. re: maisonbistro

                Glad I'm not the only one who found Bon Appetit becoming very anemic. Yes, some months are just fatter than others, but this is NOT the BA I used to love and anticipate every month.

                Please dont even put RR's magazine in the same category, however. BA can revitalize itself..... Rachael Ray Everyday hasn't got a prayer. And speaking of RR, I saw a dozen bottles of her EVOO on the shelf in the market recently -- every one of her pictures had been "decorated" with a mustache or horns.

                1. re: Cheflambo

                  Ugh. Are you telling me I made the wrong choice for my free mag from Amazon? I hadn't seen Bon Appetit for a while and chose it b/c I read my friend's Gourmet. Too bad Cooks Illustrated wasn't one of the choices...

                  1. re: vonwotan

                    slightly off topic question- i also was offered a free mag from amazon but have not had any issues arrive yet. how long am i supposed to wait?

                    1. re: pierrot

                      Don't know yet - I'm still waiting...

                      1. re: pierrot

                        I bet it could be as long as 6-8 weeks.

                    2. re: Cheflambo

                      I don't get Bon Appetit (used to get Food & Wine, but dropped that several years ago), but just had to comment - I broke out laughing when I read your last sentence about every bottle of RR's olive oil being "decorated." <vbg>