What is the best cooking magazine?
Fellow chowhounds, need your opinion on the best cooking magazine for a 40-ish man who loves food and is now taking an interest in cooking. His tastes run the gamut but lean toward spicy cuisines, and he tends to be more experimental than process-oriented in the kitchen. Saveur, Cooks Illustrated, or other?
If you want to get into this topic deeply, there are many threads ongoing on Chow - see the one about Gourmet being discontinued for one. Personally, I love Saveur. I get Saveur, Fine Cooking, Food and Wine, CI, Louisiana Cookin', and Cuisine at Home.
Hey, it's my hobby....
I'm a big fan of Saveur as well, but I tend to think of it less as a "cooking" mag and more as a "food" mag. It has plenty of recipes, but the assumption is that the reader already knows the basic, and sometimes not-so-basic, techniques of cooking. Fine Cooking tends to be the opposite, focusing more on teaching cooking rather than documenting, for example, the food of certain areas or cuisines, or how a particular food product is produced, which is more what Saveur does. Admittedly, there's lots of overlap between the two but given that your 40-ish man is just now taking an interest in cooking he may be better off with Fine Cooking (or both).
Very good insight re Saveur and Fine Cooking.
CI - I find very repetitious and dull (that's going to generate hate-mail)
Have you looked into Chili Pepper Magazine so satisfy you spicy cravings?
The bottom line I find is there is no ONE magazine that will be perfect.
If you want to learn techniques start with Fine Cooking or CI and then switch in two years. Also get a subscription to Chili Pepper. If you want to find out more info on food trends, opinions, etc., try Saveur.
I like Cook's Country and Louisiana Cookin.
I also recently started getting Food Network Magazine. I did not know if I would like it but so far I have. Yes, it is kind of busy, but I have found some good recipes and ideas.
Recently dropped Taste of Home. Since Reader's Digest took it over I think it has really strayed from what made it popular.
I think that if you're more oriented towards the experimental process, Saveur might be a more appropriate magazine -- it's a good magazine for ideas and a nice way to begin exploring specific cuisines to see if you have an interest in pursuing it. Also always good for finding that 'special' product that you would have never known existed (Duroc Ham!).
It's also a magazine that, over the years, has retained my interest. I've had a gift subscription to Food and Wine (from hubby) since 1994 that he's just too lazy to cancel...mostly I read the recipe list but most months I don't get beyond that. Oh, and the advertising is endless.
I do miss Gourmet but other than to recommend their cookbooks, that doesn't really help.
I do read many of the other cooking mags but if I had to choose just one, it would be Saveur.