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January 2013 Bon Appetit a monumental waste of paper

DGresh Dec 30, 2012 12:46 PM

I've been getting BA for years and years. Even since the redesign some months ago I usually find one or two things worth trying, and an article or two worth reading. This issue (the "cooking school" issue) is so geared to a rank beginner cook that it's a total joke. "How to pan roast" "how to make a salad". I flipped through it and was done in about 3 minutes.

  1. h
    HappyChow Feb 18, 2013 03:16 PM

    It was a fairly light issue, I agree. I get the magazine for free because of my (ahem) strategically timed purchases from Jessica's Biscuit. It is certainly a good value for the price I pay. :-)

    1. v
      Violatp Jan 20, 2013 02:41 PM

      I used to get annoyed myself a few years ago with fashion magazines that detailed, yet again, an easy way to apply mascara.

      Then I realized that there are twenty year olds also reading the magazine and maybe they don't know yet.

      After awhile, you have to look elsewhere for new and innovative!

      2 Replies
      1. re: Violatp
        DGresh Jan 21, 2013 04:59 AM

        True. So what's a good alternative. Some years back I subscribed to Saveur, but as I recall it was somewhat light on recipes (though interesting) and often the ingredients were hard to come by. I have a monumental spice collection (I'm probably in the top .5% on that) but I don't want to have to drive to some obscure street in an outer borough to get a new one!

        1. re: DGresh
          Violatp Jan 21, 2013 08:15 AM

          Heh. I gave up on magazines and started reading Chowhound!

      2. l
        lemons Jan 11, 2013 06:23 PM

        I'm going to be the one to dissent about the January issue. BA is not my fave by a long shot, but I, too have the Gourmet leftover sub. That said, because my cooking has undergone a radical change in the last 10 months after my husband died and I am just now starting to cook anything beyond an occasional dessert for a party or random batch of soup, I found some of the techniques a good reminder and update on things. I have pretty good experience and eater reviews on the way I cooked for many years, but this mostly-cooking-for-one is a shock, and the mag sort of reinvigorated me.

        Obviously, YMMV - and clearly it has - but it just hit me right.

        2 Replies
        1. re: lemons
          Shrinkrap Jan 11, 2013 10:57 PM

          Best wishes.

          1. re: lemons
            Hobbert Jan 19, 2013 03:57 AM

            Good for you. I also enjoy the magazine and don't quite get the disdain expressed here. It's not necessarily teaching me much at this point but that's not why I read magazines. I just like the escape- the articles about exotic places, the overpriced pretty stuff I'll never buy, the hipster bent it seems to have acquired. It's like a sitcom- not making me smarter but enjoyable nonetheless. Good luck on your cooking for one journey.

          2. h
            heredlo Jan 11, 2013 06:08 PM

            Ever since they changed their editor in chief, bon appetit seems to be getting worse and worse. Some of the food articles and layouts seem to have been created by a bunch of guys getting together to grab a few beers (not that there's anything wrong with that, but there is a time and a place. Not much depth, no serious cooking. Increasingly frustrated, i've started going back to Saveur (a lot more serious) and even picked up Cooks Illustrated. Articles like the latest "detox" are interesting, but would be better suited for Shape, Eating Well, or Men's Health magazine, they don't belong in a magazine that is supposed to focus on great tasting food, butter and all! BA has started to resemble Food Network magazine, which let's face it, it's a joke full of advertisements and zero food complexity.

            4 Replies
            1. re: heredlo
              Breadcrumbs Jan 11, 2013 06:12 PM

              I agree and I"m really sad to see how bad it is. I had to swap out a magazine subscription as the one I wanted folded so I was offered BA for 6 mos.... pity!

              1. re: heredlo
                Monzie Jan 18, 2013 05:06 PM

                Yes! I had to chime in here with a specific complaint about the Feb 2013 issue...

                The "Lifestyle by Design" interview with Kelly Wearstler, where she talks about her early morning boot camp classes (800 calories burned, y'all!) and the fact that she only eats solid food once a day. The rest of the time, she drinks vegetable juice, alkaline water (huh?) and plankton drops. Seriously?? Tell us why this is in a *food* magazine again? Seems more suited to a periodical entitled "Non Appetit" to me...

                1. re: Monzie
                  lemons Jan 18, 2013 09:43 PM

                  +1 on that. Not what I wanna hear about. Not much bon in that appetit.

                  1. re: Monzie
                    piccola Jan 19, 2013 03:44 AM

                    I agree that has no place in a food magazine. However, I think there's room for stories like BA's "Food-lovers' cleanse," which was all about eating delicious healthy food (as opposed to just juices or whatever). I don't think discussions about health and even weight should be barred from food magazines, as long as the focus is still on preparing tasty dishes.

                2. Gio Dec 31, 2012 01:17 PM

                  2012 is the last year that I subscribe to BA. Not renewing next year... I'm just not that interested in content that I can zip through in a few minutes.

                  1. r
                    rasputina Dec 31, 2012 01:16 PM

                    I'm just grateful that they didn't fall into the stereotypical January theme of "diet" food.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: rasputina
                      Allieroseww Dec 31, 2012 01:50 PM

                      So true, Rasputina. I usually detest the January issues of cooking magazines!

                      So, experienced cooks, if Bon Appetit is no longer challenging and Gourmet is gone, tell me, what are your favorites?

                      1. re: Allieroseww
                        Gio Jan 2, 2013 11:11 AM

                        Although I really do like print, if I want current information about food, restaurants, etc., I go to on-line sites like Saveur, La Cucina Italiana, The Guardian (UK) and others, and blogs I feel are reliable. For recipes I go to my own in-house cookbook library.

                        1. re: Gio
                          andaba Feb 5, 2013 01:37 AM

                          I completely agree with Gio. Bon Appetit has become a complete and utter joke--a total pompous dorky dude mag that's sort of awkwardly about food and has really lousy writing. I use the Saveur website all the time and recently renewed my Saveur subscription, since it's the last serious mainstream food magazine in the U.S. Guardian food website is terrific and I also cruise by Australian Gourmet Traveller from time to time.

                      2. re: rasputina
                        emily Jan 2, 2013 12:30 PM

                        Those diet January issues are on a par with the same old Thanksgiving November issues.

                      3. f
                        foodieX2 Dec 31, 2012 01:14 PM

                        I have never thought a BA as a "cooks" magazine, at least not for years and years. When I first graduated from college BA and Gourmet taught me to be a more adventurous cook. They also gave me the tools needed to plan successful menus and parties. This many years later I don't expect to learn anything new.

                        The key to keeping their readership is by getting new ones. Its like many retailers. Think Burberry. They were going to go under if they just hoped their existing customer would need new raincoats. They needed to get new (younger) customers in the door. BA is the same way. While it will be nice for them if the old timers keep renewing what they really need is consistent amount for new readers. They don't want the experienced cooks, they want to new ones.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: foodieX2
                          DGresh Dec 31, 2012 01:36 PM

                          Of course you are right. Sort of like what happened with Abercrombie and Fitch :) My husband (a rather buttoned-down type) used to buy his clothes there. Was *he* surprised some years ago with what it became!

                          I know they probably don't really need old fogies like me anymore.

                          1. re: DGresh
                            foodieX2 Dec 31, 2012 04:21 PM

                            Ugh Abercrombie these days. The smell alone, never mind the noise. My dad would be rolling in his grave if he knew his favorite "outdoor/sporting good" stores was now for naked teenagers!

                        2. c
                          cheesecake17 Dec 31, 2012 01:01 PM

                          I flipped through in about a half hour. Nothing that really appealed to me.

                          1. emily Dec 31, 2012 12:54 PM

                            Definitely not a great issue for me, though I have enjoyed a few over the past year.

                            1. b
                              breadchick Dec 31, 2012 11:22 AM

                              Same here. Yawn. I agree with others, and won't be renewing this year.

                              1. a
                                Allieroseww Dec 31, 2012 08:23 AM

                                I am a fairly new cook, and it was my favorite issue ever.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Allieroseww
                                  DGresh Dec 31, 2012 08:59 AM

                                  Allie, I can understand that. I guess I'm just upset because I've been subscribing for 25+ years (I really got turned on to cooking using this magazine in grad school) and this just had nothing to offer me.

                                  1. re: DGresh
                                    sunshine842 Jan 19, 2013 04:15 AM

                                    and Allie can't be the only one....It's not a bad thing to dedicate an issue to basics...both for beginners, and as a review for us veterans.

                                2. n
                                  nlgardener Dec 30, 2012 08:28 PM

                                  I will not be renewing my subscription. I grew out of BA about 6 years ago or so, dislike it even more since it's redesign. Only reason I'm receiving it now is in compensation for a long term subscription to Gourmet after it died.

                                  Might as well be getting Cooking Light. That's what I've been finding with BA. Light on content, light on depth, light on creativity...

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: nlgardener
                                    sal_acid Dec 30, 2012 08:34 PM

                                    yup, it is worthless to its old readership.

                                    1. re: nlgardener
                                      Shrinkrap Dec 30, 2012 10:31 PM

                                      That Gourmet subscription must have been pretty long term! How long has it been? Three years?

                                      1. re: Shrinkrap
                                        nlgardener Dec 31, 2012 01:27 PM

                                        Yes, I had a long term subscription and added more years on top of that when Gourmet sent me an offer I couldn't refuse. Then they stopped publishing, so I'm receiving BA instead.

                                        Lesson learned on long term subscriptions...

                                        1. re: nlgardener
                                          jeanmarieok Jan 2, 2013 11:58 AM

                                          My BA from old Gourmet subscription just ended, too.

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