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May 7, 2010 11:22 AM

Chatto out as food critic for Toronto Life (moved from Ontario board)

Wow, never thought this day would come. From the Toronto Star:

Long-time Toronto Life food writer and editor James Chatto and the magazine have parted company.

Chatto, who is a freelancer, told the Star in an interview Friday he met with Toronto Life editor Sarah Fulford earlier this week for an espresso at the chi-chi Verity Club in downtown Toronto and that’s when he was told that his regular services were no longer needed.

Fulford told Chatto that the magazine was going in a new direction and she felt the way he wrote wasn’t the way she wanted the magazine to go, the award-winning food writer said.

Full article:

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  1. And apologies if this is on the wrong board. I've heard of the Food Media and News board but not sure if this is more appropriate to the Toronto forum.

    1 Reply
    1. re: vidkid

      This firing would be more comprehensible if Fulford had explained to the Star reporter what she means by a "new direction" for TL's food and restaurant coverage. It isn't as if the magazine has any competition in print - NOW ? the various giveaway area Posts ? blogs ? all interesting and good in their way but not at all the same thing, especially restaurant-wise... Am I missing something here ?

    2. Jeesh, it's 2010, not 1985! Who needs Toronto Life, anyway? The only time I pick it up is off my Dr's or dentist's waiting room table. The "new direction" clumsily alluded to by Fulford is likely counter-clockwise as the magazine circles the drain. I wish Chatto well and think he's got way more to look forward to than Fulford and the her fusty publication. No competition for TO Life? What about Chowhound???

      1 Reply
      1. re: Kagemusha

        i meant no competition as a print magazine/newspaper which deals with dining out.

      2. The original comment has been removed
        1. I'm surprised more Chowhounders haven't commented on this news! Is it a reflection of people here not caring about this news item?
          I'm a journalist, and I'm interested in the story, and in what Chowhounders think about the news. Are traditional critics irrelevant to you? Or just Chatto specifically?

          1. I was a bit surprised at this news. He seems to be taking it well (see the Friday edition of the Globe and Mail, at, but he shouldn't lack for work. I have some understanding of TL's position, but not a great deal. It sounds as though the decision was made without consultation of rejigging his mandate. If nothing else, he could return to books. His book The Greek For Love was an idyllic account of he and his now wife running away to Corfu, but the last quarter of the book (spoiler alert!) was a distressing account of the death of their young son. Keep your tissues handy.

            7 Replies
            1. re: hungry_pangolin

              Think he'd do better with the weepy autobio. Kates shifted gears(thanks to us...)but Chatto didn't and that's why he's out.Lebonj should draw their own conclusions rather than stripmine opinions here. TO Life isn't the sole source for upmarket consumption it once was--there's a bone for the "journalist."

              1. re: Kagemusha

                I am sensing a bit of anti-journalism hostility here! I wound up interviewing a longtime Chowhounder for the story. Was really just looking to include as many voices as possible. And yes – Kates, at least, says that she follows Chowhound. (How much that's influenced her is hard to say.) Anyhow, thanks for the replies. Here's the story -

                  1. re: Dimbulb

                    He's out at TO LIfe. Anything else?

                  2. re: lebonj

                    Why keep posting this G&M link??? Anti-journalism? I'm just not inclined to confuse celebrity worship and journalism, thanks.