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may issue of gourmet, anyone?

just read my new issue of the may edition of gourmet.

what do other people think of it?

it's about cooking travel / vacations that you can take. i know that gourmet has become increasingly a lifestyle magazine, but i have always been able to use it in the past. but this, i thought, was just going too far. some of the vacations were worth more than a year of my rent, more than i have ever had in my savings account. none were worth less than two months of rent, and none were worth less than the most expensive car i ever bought. most of all, i have never been able to afford to take off so much time, in my entire working life. the whole issue just felt totally inaccesible as a result to me. the recipes felt random and not cohesive.

thoughts? has anyone tried any recipes and found winners? was anyone else struck by this?

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  1. Frankly, it just struck me as boring. I flipped through and, as usual, could barely tell the ads from the actual content, and I wondered to myself why I renewed my previously lapsed subscription.

    2 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      When they sent the card saying "This is your last issue" on the subscription, I literally let out a yelp of joy! When you have to pay really close attention to tell the difference between editorial content and ads, well, that's too much like work.

      1. re: bob192

        For a while, I'd go through the issue and tear out all the ad pages I could, and then read it! Now they pretty much pile up until I file them away w/ the last 17 years worth of them.

    2. I bought this at the checkout stand hoping to find something interesting on the long subway home, man I wish I could return it!

      It was so utterly boring. I read the whole issue and realized this is why I never renewed my subscription 2 years ago and why I just go through recycled ones at work. Food being my life (I am a line-cook), I never have time off let alone the money these places want. The recipes were so-so. Sigh.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bouffe

        i know, i used to be a line cook too. the idea of vacations then was even more out of reach then it is now! how many people can really afford these luxury vacations? and if you do work with food for a living, the idea of spending vacation with a bunch of rich people who don't know how to hold a knife is bizarre, to say the least.

      2. I agree 100%. I am getting very disappointed with the changes happening to the major cooking/food magazine - except for Saveur which thank God still focuses on the food. I already posted a while ago about the decline of Bon Appetit, and now the May issue of Gourmet. You're right, most people can't afford any of the cooking vacations described. It's nice to live vicariously through the articles but still. And I find that when they get that specific it gets hard to source some of the ingredients used.

        1. cook's illustrated is the only food magazine that's ever done anything for me. are there any other good ones that focus on food, and not the sort of ridiculous "food dream vacations" and pinky-out lifestyles on which most of these magazines focus?

          1. First it was Bon Appetit, now Gourmet. I used to get really excited when these mags arrived, but now I only have to get halfway through until I realize that I am already halfway through and haven't seen anything very interesting yet (except, of course, for the very intriguing ads for beautiful kitchen designs and cooking gear that wouldn't fit into my entire apt.). I haven't even flipped through BA in a very long time, but I am having trouble letting go of Gourmet. Their recipes are interesting from time to time, but I can't remember the last time I actually tried one. Saveur and Cucina Italiana are my current favorites.

            1. I actually thought that travel/vacations article was a special advertising section at first. I was surprised to find out, upon reading further, that it was editorial. I also thought it was useless.

              When I get a new Gourmet magazine, I always thumb through and earmark the pages of the recipes I want to try. For the past year, those earmarks have become less and less frequent. In fact, there are a couple of issues I have just tossed because I knew I would never revisit them. I looked through the May gourmet and I earmarked two recipes: (1) chicken breasts provencial and (2) buffalo salmon (because it is quick and easy). I'll let you know how they turn out when I try them.

              1. I guess I'm in the minority here. I actually thought it was very interesting and they showed a great variety of different trips. Yes, many were "luxury" and expensive, but many were reasonable and flexible regarding how many days, etc. The $9000 to spend one hour with Jean Georges was ludicrous, but then they had a Las Vegas class for $99 including dinner, or 2 days in Thailand including room and meals for $280. It certainly wasn't a typical issue of the magazine, but personally I get sick of seeing the same seasonal articles year after year and thought this was a refreshing change.

                2 Replies
                1. re: sibeats

                  Seconding you sibeats -- I enjoyed the variety of trips and it inspired me to choose a cooking/market destination for an upcoming birthday celebration.

                  OTOH the sheer number of "vacation in the USA" ads was overwhelming. At least 50% of the pages were dedicated to travelling within the US. I suppose that makes sense given how the dollar is doing, but I was surprised to see soooooo much of it.

                  1. re: yumyum

                    I agree, I did have trouble at first figuring out what was advertising and what was article, but still enjoyed reading about all the different options. Seriously considering a CIA asian cuisine boot camp, but before I commit to 5 days I'd like to hear some feedback from anyone who's done it.

                2. I really don't "get" this magazine anymore. What I mean is, they try to combine bits and pieces of seemingly related material with ads that look too much like feature articles. The result is little substance and a confused and confusing theme. The May issue actually annoyed me. It was all over the place -- literally -- and didn't give me anything to really settle down with.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: CindyJ

                    What are people's feelings on Food and Wine? I'm trying to remember if I've ever been sucked in by the articles, but I've picked up a few issues here and there that have some great recipes.

                    I thought maybe I was just burned out on GOURMET. It's kind of a relief to hear other people being a bit dismayed by the lifestyle-orientation. I'll have to check out SAVEUR based on some of the raves here!

                    1. re: dingey

                      Saveur is awesome. Truly the one magazine I always dive right into the minute it arrives, and actually cook from too.

                  2. I have always looked forward to the summer layouts in Bon Appetit and Gourmet Magazines where the equisitively clad beautiful ladies and gents are feasting on Cape Cod or the Hamptons at their summer homes with their friends and family or in their backyards by their outdoor kitchens that cost more than my house. I really relate to that!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: bakerboyz

                      Don't forget the pretty faces sipping aperitifs and nibbling lobster canapes on the yacht ;)