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Bon Appetit & Paltrow

Leper May 20, 2011 03:01 PM

Okay, this is it. The poor magazine has jumped the shark and become a food tabloid...

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  1. c
    celeryroot RE: Leper May 20, 2011 05:46 PM

    Funny that now she thinks she is a food expert .......but when she did that Touring Italy show with Bittman and Mario she knew next to nothing about food.

    2 Replies
    1. re: celeryroot
      paulj RE: celeryroot May 20, 2011 07:03 PM

      How would you know?; you evidently didn't watch <b>Spain</b>, On the Road Again! :)

      1. re: paulj
        celeryroot RE: paulj May 21, 2011 02:34 PM

        Big deal I made a mistake , yes of course it was Spain. It was my opinion that she was not very knowledgable. guess SAE's dont allow for other opinions.

    2. goodhealthgourmet RE: Leper May 20, 2011 06:17 PM

      it's just so wrong. and i honestly don't care if it's Gwyneth Paltrow or Julia Child...even Cooking Light doesn't use cover models, and half of their content is lifestyle fluff.

      1. paulj RE: Leper May 21, 2011 11:53 AM

        Isn't anyone going to discuss her recipes? I was also going to ask about her cookbook, but apparently that isn't out yet.


        wouldn't you buy a cookbook just for the Mario foreword?

        15 Replies
        1. re: paulj
          Glencora RE: paulj May 21, 2011 12:11 PM

          The recipes seem okay. (Though I wouldn't put mangoes and avocados together in a salsa) They're simple, as she admits herself, and fairly healthful. Certainly nothing special. But the pictures, especially the one of her sitting outside looking soulful, are awful and the fawning text is absolutely repellant. (IMO)

          1. re: paulj
            HillJ RE: paulj May 22, 2011 02:09 PM

            But that big ole diamond is beautiful!

            It's the comment section of the article that slays me.

            1. re: HillJ
              FoodChic RE: HillJ May 22, 2011 07:15 PM

              Love the comments! Thanks for posting, HillJ.

              1. re: FoodChic
                HillJ RE: FoodChic May 23, 2011 06:34 AM

                FC, this funky comment was a hoot:
                Prefer chicken than chicks to sell this me this mag.

                gotta write that one down!

            2. re: paulj
              jjbourgeois RE: paulj May 23, 2011 09:45 AM

              Her cookbook is out, it's aready at BJ's for $15.99 I believe.

              1. re: jjbourgeois
                paulj RE: jjbourgeois May 23, 2011 10:02 AM

                review in the Atlantic
                It sounds like a great cookbook if you do most of your grocery shopping at Whole Foods and online.

                1. re: paulj
                  paulj RE: paulj May 27, 2011 10:08 PM

                  i looked at the book at the store. While not my usual style of cookbook, I didn't see anything wrong with it. The recipes looked practical, and some even novel. But rather than buy it, I thought I'd check it out from the library. There are 11 copies, and 52 requests in the system catalog. I won't get it soon.

                  Another book I looked at is Truely Mexican by Roberto Santibanez; this was featured on last weeks The Splendid Table. the system has 3 copies and 15 requests.

                  Gabrille Hamilton's new book has about the same popularity as GP's (49 requests/17 copies).

                  1. re: paulj
                    flourgirl RE: paulj May 28, 2011 06:13 AM

                    We've already had discussions here about the lamentable state of a society that worships style over substance. This just proves it.

                    1. re: flourgirl
                      paulj RE: flourgirl May 28, 2011 09:12 AM

                      Seems to me that most of the rants about the BA cover have to do with style. The magazine no longer has the style that these substance-minded cooks expect. It's one look at the 'yuk' cover and 'cancel my subscription'.

                      1. re: paulj
                        flourgirl RE: paulj May 28, 2011 12:18 PM

                        No, it's not "just the cover" - as crappy and misguided as it is. It was the revolting editor's letter and the coverage that Paltrow got in this issue that is pissing people off. She is NOT a food expert, she is merely competent - at best - and it's condescending and insulting to try to pass her off as anything more to people who are serious about food. And the larger issue is that this is just the final straw for a lot of people who've been less than thrilled with BA for a long time.

                        There are also quite a few reluctant BA subscribers who were switched over to BA after Gourmet folded. Are you surprised that it would take so little for already annoyed people to throw in the towel? I'm not.

                        1. re: flourgirl
                          HillJ RE: flourgirl May 28, 2011 12:56 PM

                          Well said, flourgirl.

                          1. re: flourgirl
                            punkgirl107 RE: flourgirl Jun 1, 2011 04:37 AM

                            I couldn't agree more. You express what I was trying to say until my intense dislike for Paltrow got in the way.

                        2. re: flourgirl
                          paulj RE: flourgirl May 28, 2011 12:17 PM

                          I wonder if Amazon's "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought" for GP's book reflects this 'style over substance' profile.

                          That list includes a lot of Ina Garten books, some Tracy Anderson workout DVDs, other diet books, a Nigela book, a Pioneer Woman book, even AdHoc.

                          1. re: paulj
                            HillJ RE: paulj May 28, 2011 12:56 PM

                            When it comes to Amazon, product sales run the numbers dressed as customized customer profiles. Product Amazon would like to see move based on very minor tweaking, nothing more...but they sure know how to market and dress up a web page!

                  2. re: paulj
                    iL Divo RE: paulj Jan 22, 2012 07:44 AM

                    her recipes on that link look not overly done and don't seem to contain much content.
                    a sauce with cherry tomatoes and anchovies may be wonderful but it's not one I'd jump out to buy great anchovies for. the BBQ chicken, adobo OR soy sauce. I don't know, I'm cornfuzzed.

                    and no I wouldn't buy a cookbook just because MB did the foreward.

                  3. b
                    bimmertimmer RE: Leper May 21, 2011 02:29 PM

                    I had pretty much the same reaction. And they killed Gourmet for this? She may be earnest about food, or not. I don't much care. It seems to me that those who are serious about food might like to see someone on the cover who is famous for their approach to food, not someone who is famous for another reason who likes food. Anyway can't wait to see who next month's cover girl is. I vote for Eva Mendez.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: bimmertimmer
                      mamachef RE: bimmertimmer May 21, 2011 02:38 PM

                      If they must head into the direction of cheesecakey to sell mags, my personal vote is a Cover Man, as in a stripped-down-to-the-waist Cover Chef. Kerry Simon? Step on up. Susur Lee could sell me a copy. And if they arrange the shoot skillfully, I'll be most happy to gander at Michael Chiarello, who seems to be kind of a jerk but who looks good being that way - at least physically.

                      Seriously; my husband brought me home the latest copy today, and I'd heard tell but didn't quite believe it 'til I saw it. Bon Apetit just lost a bit of credibility with me, not because SHE doesn't know how to cook (which indeed, it appears she does) but because their buttkissing was painfully evident throughout.

                      1. re: mamachef
                        artychokeasana RE: mamachef May 21, 2011 02:54 PM

                        I LOVE this sentence " I'll be most happy to gander at Michael Chiarello, who seems to be kind of a jerk but who looks good being that way - at least physically. " +1 mamachef

                        1. re: artychokeasana
                          iL Divo RE: artychokeasana Jan 22, 2012 07:53 AM

                          yep, I agree with mamachef too.

                          about MC, I've watched him for as long as he's been on.

                          always wished we were in Napa in a store he frequented so I could meet him and he'd invite us to one of his impromtu parties.

                          but having watched TCMasters when he was trying to win that or even the lastest FoodNetwork Star thing, his arrogance shines through and it's depleted my gusto for him.
                          I'm sure he'd say I'm mistaking true confidence for arrogance. unfortunately that's not how it's recently come across to me. he's hidden that side of himself from me anyway, for years.
                          a shame, really liked him.

                      2. re: bimmertimmer
                        paulj RE: bimmertimmer May 22, 2011 06:12 PM

                        I subscribed for brief time in the 1980s, and still have a few copies hanging around. They have some glamor shots - in the cigarette ads.

                        1. re: bimmertimmer
                          ChefJune RE: bimmertimmer May 23, 2011 07:48 AM

                          <Anyway can't wait to see who next month's cover girl is. I vote for Eva Mendez.>

                          More likely to be Eva Longoria. She also "wrote" a cookbook. :(

                          1. re: ChefJune
                            iL Divo RE: ChefJune Jan 22, 2012 07:59 AM

                            ''More likely to be Eva Longoria. She also "wrote" a cookbook.''

                            EL gad who the flip cares

                        2. The Librarian RE: Leper May 21, 2011 04:33 PM

                          "Jumped the shark" was exactly the phrase that came to my mind when I saw the cover! One less subscription to renew...Never was a big BA fan anyway.I think I get it in place of my Gourmet subscription.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: The Librarian
                            EWSflash RE: The Librarian May 26, 2011 02:17 PM

                            Same here. Gourmet was, I feel, about to jump the shark itself, but it was still much better than BA. Has BA jumped the shark? Sure- will its fans notice, though?

                            BTW Gwyneth is not food. Why's she on the damn cover, as if I didn't know? Cheap shot, BA.

                          2. FoodChic RE: Leper May 21, 2011 05:56 PM

                            My distain for her is unparalleled! She's a terrible actress, a terrible singer, and she knows nothing about food! I'm sickened BA is encouraging her delusions.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: FoodChic
                              mamachef RE: FoodChic May 21, 2011 06:26 PM

                              Ok, now granted: she's not Edith Piaf. She's not Maria Callas. All right, she's not even Lady Gaga. But she can carry a tune, IMO>

                              1. re: mamachef
                                FoodChic RE: mamachef May 21, 2011 06:36 PM

                                On a flight last week, the stewardess announced Country Strong was the in-flight movie. Nearly the entire plane moaned in unison... It was awesome! :-)

                                1. re: FoodChic
                                  mamachef RE: FoodChic May 21, 2011 07:57 PM

                                  LOL. I didn't see it. The one I saw that was sorta okay was "Duets."

                                  1. re: mamachef
                                    mcel215 RE: mamachef May 25, 2011 09:09 AM

                                    I didn't see either of those movies, but her acting is quite good on Glee, as well as her singing. :)

                                  2. re: FoodChic
                                    Glam Foodie RE: FoodChic May 21, 2011 09:00 PM

                                    Oddly enough, I was more impressed by her acting in that film than any other of hers I've seen. I think it's because Leighton Meester was so terrible that it made Gwynnie look downright Streep-like in comparison.

                              2. Glam Foodie RE: Leper May 21, 2011 08:59 PM

                                Worst of all, the photograph is terrible - she lost her bottom lip in the shot and the airbrushing is dismal!

                                I kid, I kid. It's ridiculous that she's on the cover because she is ridiculous. I think she means well. I really do. She puts her foot in her mouth constantly, and what's worse is that she doesn't even care. But honestly, it's not just that it's her; actresses belong on fashion magazine covers. I'd be okay if she was featured in the magazine, but having her on the cover detracts from the entire point (delicious food).

                                1. p
                                  punkgirl107 RE: Leper May 23, 2011 04:47 AM

                                  This is making me reconsider ever subscribing to the magazine. I was a big fan of Bon Appetit but now not so much. I don't like Gwyenth to begin with but putting her on the cover of a food magazine, give me a break. Very disappointed that they would choose a cover model least of which her.

                                  11 Replies
                                  1. re: punkgirl107
                                    cortez RE: punkgirl107 May 23, 2011 05:01 AM

                                    Wow, what a tough group.

                                    As a counterpoint, GP's show with Baltali and Bittman touring Spain was terrific. The accompanying book is a good initial guide for a potential drive around tour of that great country.

                                    Her new cookbook is out and is excellent. Her recipes are pragmatic and designed for busy families short on time. Her focus is on top ingredients cooked simply. I have no problem with that.

                                    Lastly, her travel guides on Goop are very helpful. (granted, her more touchy feely stuff on Goop is a bit irritating). Her recent comments on Chicago were on the money. Similarly, her thoughts
                                    on Paris were very helpful for a recent visit there.

                                    Bottom line: I think it's a bit shortsighted to be so dismissive of her food and travel recommendations.

                                    1. re: cortez
                                      thew RE: cortez May 23, 2011 07:15 AM


                                      1. re: cortez
                                        ChefJune RE: cortez May 23, 2011 07:50 AM

                                        <Her new cookbook is out and is excellent. Her recipes are pragmatic and designed for busy families short on time. Her focus is on top ingredients cooked simply. I have no problem with that.>

                                        If you think she wrote that book, I have a bridge I will sell you. Can you say "Ghost Writer?"

                                        1. re: cortez
                                          paulj RE: cortez May 23, 2011 08:18 AM

                                          While you (and I) liked the On the Road Again show, the general tenor in this thread
                                          was negative. But then GP was something of lightening rod there as well (though some defended the quality of her Spanish). Since then, the other actress, Claudia Bassoles, has appeared as an Iron Chef judge.

                                          1. re: cortez
                                            piccola RE: cortez May 23, 2011 07:35 PM

                                            I'm not a fan of her advice on Goop, but I'm willing to admit it's possible her recipes are good. At the same time, I don't feel the need to validate her vanity project when there are tonnes of good cookbooks out there I could be buying. And I feel like there are probably other books and chefs more deserving of the front cover.

                                            1. re: piccola
                                              flourgirl RE: piccola May 24, 2011 05:37 AM

                                              To me, it's painfully obvious that the only reason her food is getting any attention is due to her celebrity. That's not a good enough reason for me. I won't be buying her books & I'm not interested in reading about her in BA, either.

                                              1. re: flourgirl
                                                piccola RE: flourgirl May 24, 2011 08:25 PM

                                                Exactly. I have no problem with her writing a cookbook or with people reading it, but I'm just not interested.

                                            2. re: cortez
                                              Bada Bing RE: cortez May 24, 2011 03:56 PM

                                              I agree with cortez. I can't believe how tough people are on Paltrow. I do believe that people are so distracted by how pretty she is that it comes to seem like anything else she's got going must simply be coasting on her looks (acting, singing, cook-booking, whatever).

                                              I've seen numerous interviews with her, and she is unfailingly down-to-earth and genuine. But the interviewers so often gush about her that it must put her in an odd position sometimes. It as if she's saying, "I just want to be casual and normal, but no one will let things go at that."

                                              1. re: Bada Bing
                                                goodhealthgourmet RE: Bada Bing May 24, 2011 05:31 PM

                                                i have several friends who grew up with her, and one of her cousins is a buddy of mine from college...let's just say i wouldn't believe everything you see on TV. *however* my issue with her being on the cover of BA isn't personal - i think it's ridiculous that they used a model, period, regardless of who it is.

                                                1. re: Bada Bing
                                                  FoodChic RE: Bada Bing May 24, 2011 07:35 PM

                                                  ummm....I don't think she's at all pretty.

                                                  1. re: FoodChic
                                                    DougRisk RE: FoodChic May 25, 2011 07:04 AM

                                                    Wow, that is harsh.

                                            3. flourgirl RE: Leper May 23, 2011 09:33 AM

                                              I agree. I found this issue to be a total turn off - starting with the Editor's letter. My eyes got a major work out reading that one - you know, from all the rolling.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: flourgirl
                                                mamachef RE: flourgirl May 23, 2011 10:00 AM

                                                That letter did get me, as well. It was like an apology in advance for a really strange editorial decision, wasn't it?

                                              2. h
                                                HillJ RE: Leper May 23, 2011 11:52 AM

                                                Oh it's not that I have any aversion to Paltrow but as a BA reader, I'd be disappointed that the magazine was heading in the direction of celebrity endorsements like so many areas of media have. Did you ever think the day would come that a pretty blonde actress would grace the cover of a serious food magazine? Until the influx of celeb overload in every area of life, no...but today, we give the idea of celebrity wayyyyyyy to much time, attention and (media) power.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: HillJ
                                                  Glencora RE: HillJ May 23, 2011 11:58 AM

                                                  I agree -- I have nothing against Paltrow OR her recipes. I don't like the Vanity Fair-lite writing that seems to assume the reader is thrilled to be let in behind the scenes. Chris Martin comes in for a smoothie! GP insists that the shoot is over by 3 so she can pick up her kid from school! Bleh. The story is as much about the shoot itself as it is about her cooking.

                                                2. t
                                                  TooLooseLaTrek RE: Leper May 23, 2011 12:51 PM

                                                  Lots of anti GP sentiment out there.I was surprised to see her on the cover and agree with another post that the editor's letter indicated that he thought there would be some backlash and wanted to get out ahead of it.That said I like the new Bon Appetit style.It took some
                                                  getting used to going through the previous issue on Italy.But I really enjoyed the writing,recipes and also the cooking tips such as how to prepare better pasta.I found the issue to be enjoyable to read and very informative.Lot's of recipes/techniques that I will try.I haven't entirely read this month's isssue,including the much maligned GP article.So can't comment on that but I do like the new style and thought last months content was excellent.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: TooLooseLaTrek
                                                    paulj RE: TooLooseLaTrek May 23, 2011 01:56 PM

                                                    This post from a 3 yr old BA thread seems as relevant now as then

                                                  2. Jadore RE: Leper May 23, 2011 09:14 PM

                                                    I flipped through her article last night at my in-laws. Her recipes sound flavorful and summery and utterly unoriginal and uninspired by anything other than the basics of the season. I liked the sound of her peach bbq sauce, but I know I've had and made better. She also did halibut with mango avacado salsa. Simple, simple, simple. You'd find it in a variety of restaurants, especially here in California. I would try her corn vichyssoise; I'm already playing with the idea of adding shrimp or maybe lobster to it, and adding perhaps a touch of heat or sweet.

                                                    I would be interested in reading her cookbook. The article said if you like Jamie Oliver and the River Cafe books, GP's would speak to you. However, I get the feeling her food is a stripped down play on Jamie Oliver's food, and I'd rather cook his instead. (So far, anyway.) GP's not doing anything innovative, and she owns that. I just don't feel she has much of a style, and I think that's important to have when you're asking people to buy your cookbook.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Jadore
                                                      Glam Foodie RE: Jadore May 24, 2011 03:43 PM

                                                      I think you're being nice saying her food is a stripped down version of Jamie Oliver's. I think it's obvious that she's influenced by Jamie and Ina Garten, and maybe Martha Stewart. And because of that, she falls flat. Everything I've read of hers seems tepid and uninspired.

                                                    2. m
                                                      Mangita RE: Leper May 24, 2011 06:24 PM

                                                      Aren't we all tired of living in a country where (seemingly) only celebrity sells? So few opportunities for people these days (particularly young people). If you are not connected it has become so hard to get your foot in any door and now even food is sliding into this trap. First it was Debi Mazar who was suddenly a food "expert" and now Paltrow. And while I have nothing against these people personally (I don't know or even want to know them) I am tiring of seeing that only the connected are the "experts."

                                                      10 Replies
                                                      1. re: Mangita
                                                        HillJ RE: Mangita May 24, 2011 07:15 PM

                                                        Hear, hear! Even magazine covers traditionally featuring top runway models (Cosmo, H Bazaar, GQ) for decades switched to celeb covers some time back. So, as many have said, the fact that a serious food magazine would replace food stylists with fashion/celeb photographers is certainly a reactionary decision.

                                                        1. re: Mangita
                                                          flourgirl RE: Mangita May 25, 2011 05:19 AM

                                                          Yes, I'm very tired of the celebrity culture. I've never been a "fan" in the first place, I couldn't care less about celebrities and their lives - I have my own life to live, thank you very much. But for a long time, celebrities were fairly compartmentalized. Now, it's like they've taken over the world and it's very disheartening. I can't stand it any more.

                                                          1. re: flourgirl
                                                            MGZ RE: flourgirl May 25, 2011 06:25 AM

                                                            A laudable sentiment, though one not shared by many others. I'm afraid our society has elevated style over substance for long enough that it has become the rule. That is what Conde Nast was banking on by bringing in Rapaport, and that appears to be what he's going to deliver. Don't be surprised to see Rachel Ray soon.

                                                            1. re: MGZ
                                                              flourgirl RE: MGZ May 25, 2011 06:38 AM

                                                              Many of my "sentiments" are apparently not shared by many others. I'm starting to feel like a stranger in a strange land.

                                                              But as a parent, I can tell you I am doing my best to raise my now 10 yr old son to value substance over style. It's not easy, but it's important.

                                                              1. re: flourgirl
                                                                MGZ RE: flourgirl May 25, 2011 07:03 AM

                                                                It is indeed an odd place to be when one can so clearly see the zeitgeist yet feel so powerless to shape it.

                                                                Maybe, I should go Facebook or something . . . .

                                                                1. re: MGZ
                                                                  HillJ RE: MGZ May 25, 2011 07:23 AM

                                                                  Maybe it bears mentioning that high profile people (celeb) endorse and give opportunity to the next generation of high profile people. Bobby Flay, Oprah, Mario, EL have all backed newcomers to the culinary trade. So it's not just the commoners...like us.

                                                                  1. re: HillJ
                                                                    MGZ RE: HillJ May 25, 2011 08:14 AM

                                                                    Hill, no offense, but I don't think it's revelatory that those who benefit from a system seek to perpetuate it. In fact, those individuals have the most invested in the maintenance of the structure and are thereby obligatory proponents. This brings us back, however, to the point. Conde Nast thinks it's seen the writing on the wall, "More people will be interested in food and celebrity together than in either alone."

                                                                    1. re: MGZ
                                                                      HillJ RE: MGZ May 25, 2011 08:28 AM

                                                                      None taken but I do think we're in agreement. Whether the (celeb) produces a new voice on the culinary scene or the public spends its own money the endorsement of celeb for celeb sake occurs. Magazines vs public; chicken or the egg. If it sells, it stays.

                                                                      1. re: HillJ
                                                                        MGZ RE: HillJ May 25, 2011 08:59 AM

                                                                        And folks like flourgirl and me will grow hoarse trying to explain that merely being born the son of the king does not make one fit to rule.

                                                                        1. re: MGZ
                                                                          HillJ RE: MGZ May 25, 2011 09:22 AM

                                                                          Probably not. But not every son wants to be king, so I focus on the parts that prompt me to follow, purchase and learn.

                                                        2. HungryRubia RE: Leper May 25, 2011 11:54 AM

                                                          Before I even saw this thread yesterday, I fired off an email to BA about having Gwyneth on the cover (it was a bit snarky, to be honest) and they actually wrote back!!

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: HungryRubia
                                                            HillJ RE: HungryRubia May 25, 2011 12:14 PM

                                                            HungryR, pls share what the folks at BA had to say.

                                                          2. paulj RE: Leper May 25, 2011 11:57 AM

                                                            Can anyone name, without looking, the cover content of the previous 6 issues of BA? The complaints make it sound as though GP's picture displaced something memorable.

                                                            5 Replies
                                                            1. re: paulj
                                                              HungryRubia RE: paulj May 25, 2011 12:00 PM

                                                              Actually...last month's is quite memorable because it had the most delicious looking plate of spaghetti in red sauce on it! Lol!

                                                              But I see your point and I still don't want her or pretty much anyone else on that cover, to be honest.

                                                              1. re: paulj
                                                                HillJ RE: paulj May 25, 2011 12:15 PM

                                                                Maybe just displacing the focus of the magazine from food to celebrity, paulj. This isn't the FN magazine afterall.

                                                                1. re: paulj
                                                                  Glencora RE: paulj May 25, 2011 12:37 PM

                                                                  Um, a turkey in November? Some kind of sweet in December? Probably a burger at some point. It's true food magazines have boring covers, but does that matter?

                                                                  1. re: Glencora
                                                                    paulj RE: Glencora May 25, 2011 01:13 PM

                                                                    Yup (I looked), Thanksgiving was a headless lady in white holding a turkey platter. Dec was a present (decorated cake with bow) on cake stand. And brownies for Feb.

                                                                    Compared to my old 1980s copies there's a lot more text on the cover. In the June case it almost obscures the celebrity.

                                                                    BA has a list of covers with people on them; here's Julia from 1979

                                                                    The Feedback section of BA has celebrity interviews

                                                                    Epic\curious had an interview with GP shortly after the Spain program (2008

                                                                    1. re: paulj
                                                                      Caitlin McGrath RE: paulj May 25, 2011 03:23 PM

                                                                      Did you have a subscription in the 1980s? I ask because mailed subscription copies of commercial food (and fashion/women's, among others) magazines typically have a few headline lines of type about the major themes or articles, while news-stand editions have a lot more text, in order to give a full snapshot of article contents to the potantial buyer and entice her or him to pick it up.

                                                                2. Bada Bing RE: Leper May 25, 2011 12:45 PM

                                                                  I continue to be surpised that people get upset about one cover of a magazine that, presumably, they don't have other problems with. So I'm curious about one thing: for how many complainers here is Paltrow herself the sticking point?

                                                                  I quickly Googled this page of celebrities noted for significant interest in cooking, several of whom also authored one or more cookbooks. Would they come in for this sort of vitriol? Note, all of these celebrities are male, oddly enough:


                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Bada Bing
                                                                    HungryRubia RE: Bada Bing May 25, 2011 12:58 PM

                                                                    Actually, BA has been on my list for some time now. A few years ago they started to dumb their content down a bit and I wrote to them about that. This issue, they found it necessary to define "mise en place". Not to be a snob, but most BA readers, don't need that to be pointed out to them.
                                                                    Also, BA has a perfectly nice little column on the last page where they do a Q and A with celebrities and their cooking and eating habits, memorable meals, etc. I found this to be interesting and fun to read even when it profiled people whose work or general celebrity wasn't to my personal liking.
                                                                    As for Ms. Paltrow specifically, I don't care for her at all. I find her to be smug, disingenuous, and out of touch. I have felt this way about her for some time. But that is just my own opinion and I know that I don't know her personally and all that, but it's just what I think based on her blog, bits of the cookbook I have read, and just general impression.

                                                                    1. re: HungryRubia
                                                                      flourgirl RE: HungryRubia May 25, 2011 01:43 PM

                                                                      "I find her to be smug, disingenuous, and out of touch. I have felt this way about her for some time."

                                                                      I feel the same way about her. She just grates on my last nerve. And having to see her smug mug on the cover of BA just feels like a violation. Like there is just no escaping her and her ilk anymore. And I am REALLY sick of it.

                                                                  2. j
                                                                    juli5122 RE: Leper May 25, 2011 02:10 PM

                                                                    Isn't there a new editor? And isn't he from GQ ? Which would explain the weird fonts and celebrity cover. Have to say I miss Gourmet and the the old guard Ruth Reichl and Barbara Fairchild. I guess now that I am older I don't embrace change.

                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                    1. re: juli5122
                                                                      MGZ RE: juli5122 May 25, 2011 02:15 PM

                                                                      As I noted above, this is a conscious direction change for the publication. See, e.g., http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2011/04...

                                                                      1. re: MGZ
                                                                        juli5122 RE: MGZ May 25, 2011 03:07 PM

                                                                        Your right, I missed your post. Everyone talks of the elimination of newspapers and magazines, maybe this is a kick start.

                                                                        1. re: MGZ
                                                                          paulj RE: MGZ May 25, 2011 09:48 PM

                                                                          Another interview with the new editor on The Feast, with info on the GP cover

                                                                        2. re: juli5122
                                                                          HillJ RE: juli5122 May 25, 2011 02:48 PM

                                                                          Why does recharging the battery of a food mag have to mean dumping the long time, possibly older subscriber and trying to access a newer audience? It always seems to go that way...and older subscribers kept the mag afloat while a new, younger audience is likely going to want a blog, an app...not a paper mag. Old horse that I am...

                                                                          1. re: HillJ
                                                                            Mangita RE: HillJ May 25, 2011 03:04 PM

                                                                            I think that the fact that so many of us are not interested in celebrity says something about the people in charge of the media and so many other aspects of our society - they ignore the substance over empty style market and I be we are really a huge market. The reason? They all have kids they want to edge in. I live in NYC and these people and their children are everywhere!! Indeed, Paltrow is a product of the "lucky" parent segment. Of course, there are the genuine "newbies" but those are a smaller and smaller part of any field. Look at politicians, the media industry, and even better the Ivy League schools where fully 25-33% of the admittances are "legacy." As the parent of a young adult it is sad. So, when I choose to spend my money on a cooking magazine I will not support "legacy" any more. As Flourgirl rightly points out she has nothing to add- indeed, I bet many of us here have more to add to such a publication than Paltrow.

                                                                          2. re: juli5122
                                                                            Squint RE: juli5122 May 27, 2011 04:55 PM

                                                                            Yes the new editor is from GQ. And he writes in his editor's letter when he is not name dropping and fawning over Gwyneth that "putting people on our covers is something we feel good about. It's something we'll do a few times a year. Of course, they've got to be the right people". Meaning the fabulous people he sees as he's dining at the "it" places?

                                                                            I'm with you juli5122...I'm not embracing the changes in Bon Appetit especially when they are not for the better. When I pulled it out of the mailbox at first I thought it was Shape or Health (whichever one I subscribe to). Bon Appetit needs food on the cover...that is what makes me want to read more!

                                                                            1. re: Squint
                                                                              EWSflash RE: Squint May 28, 2011 07:49 PM

                                                                              Exactly why I quit BA in the mid 1980s- too many shiny happy people photos, not enough focus on food

                                                                          3. paulj RE: Leper May 25, 2011 04:27 PM

                                                                            Food & WIne's article on GP and book, from April 2011

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: paulj
                                                                              FoodChic RE: paulj May 26, 2011 08:55 AM

                                                                              Nothing like celebrating mediocrity.

                                                                            2. l
                                                                              Leper RE: Leper May 26, 2011 12:47 PM

                                                                              I just received the new issue of Saveur and comparing it to Bon Appetite made me realize:

                                                                              Bon Appetite is to magazines as Twitter is to literature.

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Leper
                                                                                paulj RE: Leper May 26, 2011 12:56 PM

                                                                                How do the subscription costs compare?

                                                                                1. re: paulj
                                                                                  Mangita RE: paulj May 26, 2011 01:53 PM

                                                                                  I loved Gourmet but they (its a COnde Nast pub, correct?) but they decided to go for utter mediocrity even though the Gourmet audience was actually a very loyal one- they switched me (without asking of course) to Bon App but I didn't renew. It wasn't even good bathroom reading!

                                                                                  1. re: paulj
                                                                                    pamf RE: paulj May 28, 2011 04:52 PM

                                                                                    From what I recall, I have subscribed to F&W for about $12 per year, when they send out a special offer.

                                                                                    BA is offering a year for $12 also, via a pull out card in the current issue.

                                                                                    Saveur is $29.95 for a year (which is only 9 issues). But Saveur is worth it. I pay for two subscriptions, mine and a gift for a good friend.

                                                                                2. b
                                                                                  Bellachefa RE: Leper May 28, 2011 08:51 AM

                                                                                  Next up?

                                                                                  The July issue will have Sandra Lee on the cover with her fourth of july american flag cake made with store bought pound cake, coolwhip and berries - yummo

                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Bellachefa
                                                                                    Bellachefa RE: Bellachefa May 28, 2011 12:28 PM

                                                                                    Furthermore, regardless of the annoying cover which was a MAJOR disturbance, and the MALE Editors fawning over a celebrity who is likely an ok homecook like a lot of us, "like a little girl" What was finally the most annoying thing was that after promising her the cover, they then chose to insert many more photos of her compared to photos of her food. buh~bye

                                                                                    1. re: Bellachefa
                                                                                      HillJ RE: Bellachefa May 28, 2011 12:58 PM

                                                                                      Excellent point, I noticed her diamond ring immediately! It is a bit much where your eyes are being told to look...and it's not (as you suggest) her food preparation.

                                                                                      1. re: HillJ
                                                                                        Bellachefa RE: HillJ May 28, 2011 01:13 PM

                                                                                        I thought turning the cover, the grilled bread would have been a lovely cover! or the lettuce photo.

                                                                                    2. re: Bellachefa
                                                                                      EWSflash RE: Bellachefa May 28, 2011 07:51 PM

                                                                                      Oh barf- I wish I could have come up with a better way of saying it then 'oh barf' but hey.

                                                                                    3. c
                                                                                      chez cherie RE: Leper May 28, 2011 05:05 PM

                                                                                      i wonder how much of this has to do with the fact that martha and oprah are nearly always on the covers of their respective magazines? at least if your name is on the cover, i guess it's more understandable to put your famous face on there too. but when bon ap does it, it certainly seems to stir the pot!
                                                                                      maybe paltrow needs a goop mag...

                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: chez cherie
                                                                                        HillJ RE: chez cherie May 28, 2011 07:04 PM

                                                                                        Is Goop a popular blog?

                                                                                        1. re: HillJ
                                                                                          ratgirlagogo RE: HillJ May 28, 2011 07:08 PM

                                                                                          I assume it must be - but I never would even have looked at it if the Go Fug Yourself girls weren't always making fun of it.

                                                                                          1. re: ratgirlagogo
                                                                                            HillJ RE: ratgirlagogo May 28, 2011 08:25 PM

                                                                                            I'd say follow the FB followers; their the new demographic...yet the Goop FB page has a little over 14,000 followers. By comparison, a new voice on the lifestyle scene, the Pioneer Womans FB page, more than 260,000 followers. Go figure this out....I have no clue.

                                                                                            1. re: HillJ
                                                                                              Siun RE: HillJ May 28, 2011 08:50 PM

                                                                                              Pioneer Woman has been around for years and carefully built her audience amongst blog readers.

                                                                                              1. re: Siun
                                                                                                HillJ RE: Siun May 29, 2011 05:35 AM

                                                                                                According to copyright, 2006 PW came onto the blogshere scene, She's written by 3 books, one book has already rec'd movie treatment, appeared on countless tv spots and national book signings. She's had an amazing year with a Food Network show recently announced beginning in August.

                                                                                                Ms. Paltrow, a prolific actress, has been in the public eye for much longer. Comes out with a cookbook...and rec's the full-star treatment.

                                                                                                I don't understand the BA cover choice or the context for popularity anymore.

                                                                                                1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                  paulj RE: HillJ May 29, 2011 08:07 AM

                                                                                                  How about blaming Mario? BA interviewed GP in Oct 2008, mainly about her trip with Mario. He also wrote the foreward to her book. With 3 or 4 'easy' or 'quick' Italian cooking books of his own, he's been on the 'style' side of the cooking world for some time.

                                                                                                  And her collaborator on this new book had worked with her on the Spain book.
                                                                                                  According to this other F&W article by J Turshen, GP's association with Mario began as a long time customer at Babbo.
                                                                                                  Turshen is also involved in the forthcoming Kimchi Chronicles

                                                                                                  1. re: paulj
                                                                                                    HillJ RE: paulj May 29, 2011 08:44 AM

                                                                                                    Darn that Mario! Friends in high places :)

                                                                                                    1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                      Mangita RE: HillJ May 29, 2011 09:43 AM

                                                                                                      I guess Mario was frustrated with being sidelined by FN in favor of Flay and Ray and decided he needed a little bit of glitz by his side too. I did not renew my BA or F&W and am now going to try Saveur and see how I like it.

                                                                                      2. alliegator RE: Leper May 29, 2011 10:27 AM

                                                                                        I just got mine as the mr. picked up that day's mail, threw it in his car and went on a week long trip. At any rate, I saw the reactions on here and knew I wasn't missing much.
                                                                                        Even the other features this much weren't infomative at all. That husband and wife team who had the article last month based on their text messages and this month are rambling on about fried pork chops irks me, too.
                                                                                        But as far as GP on the cover: I subscribe to several fashion magazine, and if I want to read about a celebrity, I'll pick up one of those.

                                                                                        1. sfumato RE: Leper May 30, 2011 11:28 AM

                                                                                          I don't really think about her one way or another, and I didn't renew my Gourmet-hijacked-into-BA subscription so I didn't have to bother with this issue, but it really irritates me when she goes on about doing regular detoxes and cleanses. What a load of snake oil rubbish.

                                                                                          1. r
                                                                                            roohound RE: Leper Jun 1, 2011 12:43 PM

                                                                                            It's clear that BA is circling the drain - desperation is kicking in. Adding a celeb to the cover, having what seems to be lot more ads, PLUS adding a cigarette ad to the mix and that tells me we're getting a wee bit desperate, aren't we, BA?

                                                                                            13 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: roohound
                                                                                              Bellachefa RE: roohound Jun 1, 2011 01:51 PM

                                                                                              I too found that cigg ad curious

                                                                                              1. re: Bellachefa
                                                                                                thew RE: Bellachefa Jun 2, 2011 06:12 PM

                                                                                                a powerful and wealthy industry is seeing sales drop in a major world market and you find an ad for their product curious?

                                                                                                1. re: thew
                                                                                                  Glencora RE: thew Jun 3, 2011 08:51 AM

                                                                                                  Have you seen the ad? It was all about how environmentally conscious they are. Smoking -- good for you and good for the planet! I thought it was funny.

                                                                                                  1. re: Glencora
                                                                                                    flourgirl RE: Glencora Jun 3, 2011 09:01 AM

                                                                                                    That's like the old cigarette ads they used to have that showed a doctor with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, "More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette."

                                                                                                    1. re: Glencora
                                                                                                      roohound RE: Glencora Jun 3, 2011 09:12 AM

                                                                                                      And they say the tobacco is organic so I guess it's perfect for BA magazine lol

                                                                                                      1. re: Glencora
                                                                                                        alliegator RE: Glencora Jun 13, 2011 02:33 PM

                                                                                                        Something that I found even funnier was that while flipping through the mountain of Rachael Ray mags my mother in law left behind, I noticed a ton of ads for anti depressants.
                                                                                                        So, some genius found the link between eating Rachael's food and being depressed :D

                                                                                                        1. re: alliegator
                                                                                                          piccola RE: alliegator Jun 14, 2011 06:06 PM

                                                                                                          I would think depressed people would crave her cooking because it's starch-heavy comfort food...

                                                                                                      2. re: thew
                                                                                                        roohound RE: thew Jun 3, 2011 09:18 AM

                                                                                                        I find the timing of the new editor + "celebrity" on cover + cigarette ad in a magazine that I don't remember ever seeing cigarette ads for curious, yes. To me these are all signs of BA being desperate. If the "powerful and wealthy industry" that is the tobacco industry is getting desperate too - then it makes sense that the two desperate entities will hook up.

                                                                                                        I also found it interesting that the last page of the magazine was a two page spread instead of the normal "cutesy" ending BA has like "Back of the Napkin" or "Feedback."

                                                                                                    2. re: roohound
                                                                                                      paulj RE: roohound Jun 1, 2011 03:07 PM

                                                                                                      There were only 8 cigg ads in the August 1984 issue!

                                                                                                      1. re: paulj
                                                                                                        DougRisk RE: paulj Jun 2, 2011 06:25 AM

                                                                                                        Paul, is your tone sincere, or snarky, or facetious?

                                                                                                        1. re: DougRisk
                                                                                                          paulj RE: DougRisk Jun 2, 2011 09:30 AM

                                                                                                          Does it matter? I counted the ads in an old issue. I realize that cigg ads are pretty rare these days, but is the presence of one really a sign of desperation?

                                                                                                          1. re: paulj
                                                                                                            DougRisk RE: paulj Jun 2, 2011 10:08 AM

                                                                                                            "Does it matter?"

                                                                                                            Well, if someone is communicating something, I am guessing that they want it received in the manner in which it was meant.

                                                                                                            However, from your response, I can now assume that it was snarky.

                                                                                                      2. re: roohound
                                                                                                        paulj RE: roohound Jun 2, 2011 06:22 PM

                                                                                                        is an article in Adweek from a year ago about ads in BA.

                                                                                                        and their take on the GP cover

                                                                                                      3. r
                                                                                                        roohound RE: Leper Jun 3, 2011 09:24 AM

                                                                                                        I loved BA's Facebook post today -

                                                                                                        Ditch the mitt! Our June cover girl Gwyneth Paltrow’s favorite side towel, plus 6 more of our kitchen picks.

                                                                                                        Be still my heart! Just what I was looking for from BA! /sarcasm

                                                                                                        1. a
                                                                                                          Avalondaughter RE: Leper Jun 3, 2011 12:19 PM

                                                                                                          I don't read the magazine and would not have even cared about this cover until I read this article.


                                                                                                          Paltrow shares her meal plan her from her ridiculous and pretentious GOOP newsletter.

                                                                                                          She eats under 1000 calories a day with a lot of vegan options.

                                                                                                          What a poser! What a phony. She pretends she's a foodie when the cameras are on, but then barely eats enough to keep alive a prisoner on a day-to-day basis. I guess she doesn't need to eat much with the lame workout she does.

                                                                                                          You can't just travel around the world and appreciate food to be worthy of cookbooks and magazine covers Gynnie - you have to actually EAT IT too.

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: Avalondaughter
                                                                                                            Mer_Made RE: Avalondaughter Jun 5, 2011 10:19 AM

                                                                                                            How does she survive on less then a 1000 calories a day? That cannot be healthy.

                                                                                                          2. KayceeK RE: Leper Jun 4, 2011 11:06 AM

                                                                                                            This is hilarious. I completely agree. I let my magazine sit in my mailbox for a good five days because I didn't even feel like opening it. Mehh.

                                                                                                            1. im_nomad RE: Leper Jun 5, 2011 01:35 PM

                                                                                                              Glad I'm not the only one who felt this way when I saw that cover. Having let my BA subscription run out a good while ago anyway, I hadn't even known until it showed up on a celebrity-watch website, which kind of says a bit.

                                                                                                              Celebs have been in the mags before haven't they, but almost always on the back page, short interview sort of thing.

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: im_nomad
                                                                                                                Berheenia RE: im_nomad Jun 13, 2011 08:12 AM

                                                                                                                I foolishly renewed and just got the issue. I thought they had sent me the wrong magazine - it looked like Self or Woman's Day. How many months before Rachel Ray is on the cover? Anyone want to start a pool? Or maybe Sandra Lee!

                                                                                                                1. re: Berheenia
                                                                                                                  Bellachefa RE: Berheenia Jun 13, 2011 08:20 AM

                                                                                                                  lol! somewhere above I think I suggested Sandra Lee's 4th of July cover holding a festive flag cake made from store bought cake, coolwhip and berries!

                                                                                                              2. paulj RE: Leper Jun 13, 2011 08:59 AM

                                                                                                                Sheryl Crow was interviewed on The Splendid Table this weekend. If she appeared in BA discussing here cookbook, would you all react the same way? What if her chef coauthor appeared instead?


                                                                                                                13 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                  HillJ RE: paulj Jun 13, 2011 09:33 AM

                                                                                                                  Given the inclusion of music files, CD promo (often directly to Amazon) mixed with food speak is included on ST radio, seems perfectly natural there but on BA (& I think having Ms. Crow on the cover w/ or w/out her coauthor chef is inevitable) will continue to fuel the debate over the new direction the mag is taking...and/or how others food mags will follow. Because, celebrities with a food perspective/advice/play thing is NOT new but putting their voice on the cover and pages of BA is.

                                                                                                                  eta: I will say this, I have all the recipes on hand to make this and I will be weeks end.
                                                                                                                  from her book:
                                                                                                                  Chocolate-Avocado Mousse Martinis with Fresh Raspberries

                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                    inaplasticcup RE: paulj Jun 13, 2011 09:55 AM

                                                                                                                    I would. I'm happy for Gwyneth and Sheryl both that they love food. It's your friend.

                                                                                                                    I think what a lot of people are railing against are

                                                                                                                    - the arrogance of some celebrities as displayed through their assumption that celebrity garnered in one field entitles them to credibility in another, and
                                                                                                                    - what is apparently a large segment of the population's agreement that it does.

                                                                                                                    1. re: inaplasticcup
                                                                                                                      paulj RE: inaplasticcup Jun 13, 2011 10:17 AM

                                                                                                                      Either that or covers like this tarnish the illusion that chefs achieve celebrity status solely on the basis of their cooking expertise.

                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                        inaplasticcup RE: paulj Jun 13, 2011 10:29 AM

                                                                                                                        Well, lots of people achieve celebrity status with no apparent ability to do anything but whore themselves in any number of ways. :)

                                                                                                                        1. re: inaplasticcup
                                                                                                                          inaplasticcup RE: inaplasticcup Jun 13, 2011 10:47 AM

                                                                                                                          Afterthought: Some people are exceptionally talented at whoring themselves. The value judgment I make on the worthwhileness of its pursuit does not assume that everyone can do it with equal ease or ability.

                                                                                                                          1. re: inaplasticcup
                                                                                                                            paulj RE: inaplasticcup Jun 13, 2011 04:40 PM

                                                                                                                            I'm a bit of contrarian on this because I first heard about GP via the Spain road trip. It was only after that show that I noticed her film credits. And I know next to nothing of her parents. So in my mind she's as much a foodie or chowhound as any of you.

                                                                                                                            It occurred to me that I have a couple of celebrity cookbooks, one by an Indian actress, and another by an Indian producer (Ismail Merchant). I'll let you guess who the actress is.

                                                                                                                            1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                              LaLa RE: paulj Jun 16, 2011 03:10 PM

                                                                                                                              Madhur Jaffrey!!!!

                                                                                                                              1. re: LaLa
                                                                                                                                paulj RE: LaLa Jun 16, 2011 05:44 PM


                                                                                                                          2. re: paulj
                                                                                                                            KayceeK RE: paulj Jun 13, 2011 10:30 AM

                                                                                                                            I just really, really can't stomach Gwyneth Paltrow. And, someone else said it well above that the editor really almost kowtows around her - the overly flowerly language used to describe her, the pompous posturing in the kitchen photos, etc. Give me a break.

                                                                                                                            1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                              thew RE: paulj Jun 13, 2011 10:32 AM

                                                                                                                              does anyone hold that illusion?

                                                                                                                            2. re: inaplasticcup
                                                                                                                              flourgirl RE: inaplasticcup Jun 13, 2011 02:36 PM

                                                                                                                              "I think what a lot of people are railing against are

                                                                                                                              - the arrogance of some celebrities as displayed through their assumption that celebrity garnered in one field entitles them to credibility in another, and
                                                                                                                              - what is apparently a large segment of the population's agreement that it does."


                                                                                                                              1. re: inaplasticcup
                                                                                                                                FoodChic RE: inaplasticcup Jun 13, 2011 06:03 PM

                                                                                                                                I don't think they think about it enough to agree. I think our couture has encouraged people to embrace a star struck state of mind regardless of the topic.

                                                                                                                              2. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                Bellachefa RE: paulj Jun 14, 2011 03:57 AM

                                                                                                                                If they put her on the cover, yes.

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