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Ruth Reichl interview post Gourmet.

Withnail42 Oct 6, 2009 03:27 PM

From the NYtimes irst interview with Ruth Reichl post Gourmet.


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  1. rozz01 RE: Withnail42 Oct 6, 2009 04:56 PM

    I had my copy of Comfort Me With Apples next to me as I read the the news of Gourmet's passing. This is so upsetting.....

    1. alkapal RE: Withnail42 Jan 26, 2010 05:31 AM

      this was a telling quote from reichl:

      """It’s just that she believes Gourmet had shifted gears to reporting on food politics and cultural issues that were barely mentioned in the 1940s and ’50s, when chefs like Louis Diat, who is often credited with inventing vichyssoise, were frequent contributors.

      “It was exciting to be able to change the magazine into something that has a conscience and understood that eating is an ethical act,” she said. “When I got here the staff had a real appetite for doing that."""""

      give me the gourmet from 20-30 years ago -- they were gorgeous, and the food writing was superb! the new gourmet was horribly laid out, with odd photo choices and recipes that were not very exciting. i don't want the "food politics and cultural issues" in my cooking magazine. i can get that "perspective" from other venues.

      7 Replies
      1. re: alkapal
        penthouse pup RE: alkapal Jan 31, 2010 12:07 PM

        Couldn't agree more: I have years worth of Gourmet from 1980-1999 (with a few from the early
        Reichl regime--couldn't take it anymore and just killed the subscription.) I know many on this board
        don't feel this way, but for some of us, the old Gourmet provided substance and sustenance.

        The old recipes still work and the thoughtfulness of the food writing continues to strike a chord, for me at least...The Reichl regime resulted in chaotic layout, faux-edgy articles and above all, hateful imagery of either "exotic" indigenous folk or "with-it" yuppies enjoying stylist choreographed repasts...

        1. re: penthouse pup
          cinnamon girl RE: penthouse pup Jan 31, 2010 06:14 PM

          "'with-it' yuppies enjoying stylist choreographed repasts..." always seemed to figure prominantly in Bon Appetit. At least it did in the 90s. I couldn't stomach it.

          1. re: cinnamon girl
            Will Owen RE: cinnamon girl Feb 1, 2010 05:04 PM

            Aye, cg - I still have one clipping from my brief year with Bon Appetit, about some people who threw a big grill-out every year with homemade bratwurst; I saved the whole article, including the shots of the dazzlingly blond family plus friends, including of course the obligatory African-American couple, probably hired for the occasion. Couldn't help it - there was a recipe on the other side.

        2. re: alkapal
          Will Owen RE: alkapal Jan 31, 2010 03:32 PM

          If it's a cooking magazine you want, it's called Bon Appetit, and you're more than welcome to it. What I want is a FOOD magazine, which necessarily covers, well, pretty much what Reichl was talking about, including open consideration of ethical and moral questions associated with the production and consumption of food. We can agree to disagree on the "gorgeousness" of the layout; I have one of the first issues, from 1941, and several from the late '70s, and except for colored photography here and there they'd hardly changed a thing. When they did change, my father-in-law, who had given us a gift subscription for years, abruptly switched it to Bon Appetit, which I endured for a year before begging him to drop it. This is the same man who kept the 11th Edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, because he considered it the most scholarly edition ever. When his children complained that they could not consult it for information on, say, space travel, he waved off their concerns as trivial. Of course he felt the same way about anyone who suggested that we might concern ourselves with the sustainability of fisheries, or how food animals are treated... and as he considered French cuisine to be the only food worth taking seriously, it's no wonder he was outraged by his favorite magazine's turning its gaze towards the foods of Lesser Breeds.

          1. re: Will Owen
            meatn3 RE: Will Owen Jan 31, 2010 06:21 PM

            "This is the same man who kept the 11th Edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, because he considered it the most scholarly edition ever. When his children complained that they could not consult it for information on, say, space travel, he waved off their concerns as trivial."

            Thank you Will for the best laugh I've had in days!

            1. re: Will Owen
              Claudette RE: Will Owen Feb 2, 2010 07:57 AM

              Will - love your post. Gourmet's article on lobsters was one of the best articles I've ever read anywhere, including The Atlantic, Esquire, and The New Yorker.

            2. re: alkapal
              gfr1111 RE: alkapal Feb 2, 2010 01:20 PM


              I agree with you that I don't want "food politics" and "cultural issues" in my cooking magazine. If I want to read about that, I can go elsewhere. On the other hand, I never noticed that social activist bent in the magazine. Maybe it was there, but I never noticed. I'll miss the recipes and the travelogue/recipe articles. All the other cooking magazines seem casual in contrast to Gourmet's formal. I'll miss formal. There's not enough of it around in the foodie world.

              Rachel Ray has her place and, unlike most of the people on these boards, I like her and her cooking. But most of the time, I want a magazine that will tell me how to cook delicious, complicated, challenging dishes. I think that Gourmet did that and no other magazine out there does that now.

            3. YAYME RE: Withnail42 Feb 4, 2010 06:35 AM

              I miss Gourmet it was my favorite magzine, I have cook's illustrated now a poor substitute.

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