I realize that it has been a week since my last post. I didn’t forget about the blog, I wasn’t too busy to post, I wasn’t lacking inspiration. Instead, I have been planning 68 Days of Gourmet for 68 Years.
On October 5 Conde Nast announced that it was closing Gourmet magazine, citing declining ad revenues and a shift in American food interests as the main reasons for the closure. I was completely stunned by this news. Trust me, I realize that the print industry is struggling and that declining ad revenues have forced the closure of many titles but I was so sad to see it hit Gourmet. It was the food magazine that started it all back in 1941. Gourmet was around far before the Cooking Light- and Rachel Ray-type publications that are so popular today. Gourmet pushed envelopes, addressed very political food issues and most importantly wasn’t scared to stay true to its roots and to its food. It didn’t buy into the whole “low-fat, low-calorie everything craze” – it maintained a balance of indulgence and practicality. It didn’t resort to crazy shortcuts and “semi-homemade” recipes but instead encouraged readers to embrace simple but elegant and flavorful weeknight meals.
The closure came suddenly and staffers were caught by surprise. A few weeks after the announcement I was listening to NPR’s Fresh Air and they were interviewing Ruth Reichl, Gourmet editor-in-chief. Reichl said had she known November 2009 was going to be the last issue she would have done things so differently. It’s sad to me that the magazine wasn’t able to receive a proper goodbye from its staff who put so much time and love into it.
Gourmet has provided me with so much inspiration over the years and has really challenged me as a cook to try new recipes, techniques, cuisines and ingredients. I couldn’t just let this closure go without sharing Gourmet with my readers and giving it a proper goodbye on my blog. For the next 68 days I will be blogging about Gourmet magazine recipes in honor of the 68 years that the magazine was in publication. I have planned a mix of old and new and all types of food.
And you better believe that this won’t be the end of Gourmet for me. I will still turn to Gourmet as one of my top recipe sources in the future. After all, there’s 68 year’s worth of recipes to try!