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Sep 20, 2010 08:17 AM

Anyone else miss Gourmet Magazine?

October 09 was the last issue. I normally run through food magazines fairly quickly and pull out and file whatever I want to keep in order to keep the clutter down to a less than monsterous level. I kept this issue of Gourmet as it was the last one, and re-read it last night. What a terrific read. My Brother, who was responsible for much of my food training, gave me a subscription to Gourmet on my 18th birthday. As a young hippie college student, I must admit that I didn't quite get it. As I progressed in life and began to travel, Gourmet became a real sourcebook for me and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I realize that there were quite a few issues that I chunked pretty quickly, but there were stokes of brilliance as well. I miss it. Got to say Bon Appetite, which was the other food mag in the publisher's portfolio, doesn't quite do it for me. So much for long lived brands and tradition. I suppose that is the direction of the current. Anyway, I miss Gourmet........and socks and jeans made in the US..........and so on........and so on.

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  1. Agree wholeheartedly. The writing in Gourmet was of a quality that no other food magazine has.
    IMO, some of the features were "kitschy" like readers' favorite recipes, and favorite restaurant recipes but I always seemed to learn something. Bon Appetit is a waste of time.
    Interestingly, Gourmet has just published a compilation of recipes in magazine form and the recipes seem quite appealing. There are no articles, just recipes. Pricey, though at $11.
    Maybe this is a harbinger of a "new" Gourmet.

    3 Replies
    1. re: rikerspharm

      Nope. It's just the publisher slapping the name onto some cheap content to suck a few bucks from nostalgic consumers' pockets.

      1. re: rikerspharm

        I too loved Gourmet. Bought their giant yellow compilation just to wallow in it when I am feeling lonely. But I wonder about your opinion that Bon Appetit is a waste of time. How did that happen to you? Maybe it is what you grow up with. Just today I was having warm memories about Bon Appetit from back in the 70's or 80's. My mom (who could be a little prickly) told me once that every time she missed me she pulled out her Bon Appetit stash and hunted down the one with the chocolate cake with cherries on top. She needed me to tell her I knew which it was. Apparently I had written "I love cherries!" on one of the cover cherries and then proceeded to give my opinion at a few recipe entries inside the mag. She knew them by heart. There was not much my mom and I had between us, but love for good cooking is one. Recipes, pictures, handing down a love and gift of good cooking is never ever a waste of time.

        Have a blessed holiday Rikerspharm.

        1. re: Sal Vanilla

          Sal V: "My mom (who could be a little prickly) told me once that every time she missed me she pulled out her Bon Appetit stash and hunted down the one with the chocolate cake with cherries on top."

          Was that the one by Simone Beck, in a summer 1979 issue? I used to make that cake all the time. I still have the issue of Bon Appetit. It was such a good magazine.

      2. i hear ya. and i agree.

        1. Yes, but the old Gourmet, not the one that immediately preceded its demise. Some of the later articles were just absurd -- who wants to read a food magazine to learn about the inhumane treatment of Florida tomato pickers? I'm all for reading articles to raise my social consciousness, but not when I'm reading food porn. Now the old Gourmet, with its Paris Journal and features like that - yes, bring it back.

          10 Replies
          1. re: profjmm

            I agree, profjmm. The "old" Gourmet magazines I pick up at tag sales and the library are just so different than what the "new" Gourmet became. Ok, maybe the recipes were a bit more fussy, but so what? That's half the fun...dreaming about making it, eating it, drinking with it. And the articles! Wow! I remember feeling so decadent and chic as I imagined myself in those far-away places, on those incredible voyages, savoring those delicious meals.

            1. re: profjmm

              And Laurie Colwin . . . I miss her! Wish we could bring her back.

              1. re: Transplanted Texan

                If we did she'd be either a vampire or a zombie and in either case would be of no use to us.

              2. re: profjmm

                I had already fired Gourmet before they were shut down. Gourmet of 2009 wasn't the Gourmet of 1999. It was the Food Network version. The dumbed down version. The sandwich and cupcake version. Bleh.

                I mourned the loss of Gourmet, but they killed themselves when they decided they'd rather be a children's magazine.

                For good food reading, get the Art of Eating. Awesome magazine that writes for adults.

                1. re: Indirect Heat

                  Isn't that the truth. When Gourmet folded it was only a shadow of it's former self and glory. My parents bought bought me a subscription in 1968. It stayed with me through thick and thin, many moves, many jobs and many relationships. It was a friendly constant in my life. I let my subscription lapse in 2008 when it was clear to me it could no longer provide the experience I was longing to read

                2. re: profjmm

                  The original Gourmet magazine was a gift for all the senses. It was the only magazine to which I subscribed, and, never once, did I feel that I was neither monied enough, nor glamorous enough to read it, and escape into the cultures and foods of those cultures, and travel... sigh...

                  1. re: profjmm

                    The old Gourmet was wonderful. I used to read the old volumes in the library when I was in college. My best friend and I stopped our subscriptions when it began to lose it's original focus. I have never saved an issue that was published under the final editor-in-chief.

                    1. re: onigiri

                      I agree. I'd subscribed to Gourmet since the early 1980s. My beloved mother-in-law renewed it for my birthday every year, and now I'm getting Bon Appetit instead, which is NOT any kind of substitute. I gave up on that subscription in the mid-'80s, if for no other reason than the photos of overly made up, overly shiny happy people milling around an overly ornate table. Fooey. They haven't gotten any better. I'm going with Martha Stewart from now on. At least their food is great and well-photographed, and there's other interesting content. No more Bon Appetit for me. Another friend sends me Saveur, and i thank God for that scrip, it's one of the only food snob mags left.

                      1. re: EWSflash

                        The last two months' Saveurs have been great, particularly the December. MS is that good? Didn't know.

                        1. re: buttertart

                          I don't like it because of the food, although the food part is very good, I like the look and content of MSL in general, and as a photographer I have to say the photography in it isn't quite as arty and fabulous as it used to be, but it's still better than most.

                  2. I miss Gourmet in all its iterations!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: roxlet

                      I agree. Followed it for 20+ years, got a little exasperated with some of the fussiness and celebrity chef stuff. Now I only miss it every month.

                    2. I really miss the magazine. Not every piece was a home run but the over all quality was truly excellent. Bon Appetit which subscribers were transfered to is in no way shape or form any sort of substitute.

                      There really is not anything out there to fill the void. That's a real shame.