Gourmet Magazine 1941 - 2009 R.I.P.

A cherished friend was laid to rest on Monday, October 5th, 2009. Gourmet Magazine , an institution in the food world closed its doors. Established in 1941 by James McAusland, the publication was originally touted as the authority on "Good Living". It bought the world of fine dining, travel and culture to American households in a time of uncertainty, World War II. Through the 68 years, the magazine morphed into the most prestigious food publication in the world. But, in our current corporate economic environment of downsizing and cost cutting, it became an unlikely victim. The food world is stunned at its' demise. And, the majority of its' 940,000 subscribers are up in arms screaming "Why". There is even a group organizing to try to buy the publication to keep it in syndication. Gourmet will be sorely missed!

Editor Ruth Reichl

Our Relationship

Gourmet Magazine and I first met in the mid 1980s when my interest in good cooking and eating became a passion that still exists today. The magazine always provided excellent instruction and information about foods and ingredients from around the world. My fascination with world cuisine was piqued by reading the wonderful travel articles and their astonishing pictorials. As my culinary knowledge matured, Gourmet became more of a source for inspiration in the kitchen as well as a good read. I always looked forward to receiving my monthly copy in the mail. The next few days would be spent scouring the pages, devouring as much new food stuffs and techniques as my brain could handle. At one point, I even discovered that some bookstores carried old copies of the magazine from the fifties and sixties that were, in my mind, classic. I collected these issues wherever I could find them. Our friendship kind of mellowed over the years. Today, Gourmet is more of a welcomed monthly read to keep up with what's going on in the food world and just plain good visual entertainment.

Old School???

Do you still subscribe to "paper and ink" magazines?

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Closure

The November issue will be the last. Thank goodness I saved all of my issues from past years. They will provide comfort when I'm in the mood for descriptions of exotic lands and the cuisine associated with them. The decision was made last Monday and I'm already mourning its' passing knowing that there isn't a substitute for "my Gourmet". The bigwigs at Conde Nast should be ashamed at their decision to shutter the American icon that Gourmet Magazine is. I'm confident that there are hundreds of thousand of people that feel the same as I do. Gourmet rest in peace!!!!!

Note: Ruth Reichl, the former editor of Gourmet , is presently posting on her personal website at ruthreichl.com.

Note: For those that have saved the last circulated issue, November 2009, it's becoming a collectors' item. As are the last (11) issues of 2009 (January - November).


Introducing "Gourmet Live"

" Introducing Gourmet Live, a new digital content product. Explore a new experience built on an ever-expanding collection of content while connecting you with your friends and the Gourmet community, and even earn rewards for your discoveries. Gourmet Live is your reward for exploring great food and good living. " http://live.gourmet.com/

 On June 22nd, 2010, Conde Nast issued this press release, supposedly reviving Gourmet Magazine as a totally online experience. Is this a good thing or an insult to a 70 year old institution? We'll have to wait until later this year to see.

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Comments 8 comments

Carolyn Jung 6 years ago

How cool that you have some of those old issues from the 1950s and 1960s. I bet they are not only fun to look at, but a real time capsule of the flavors and techniques that were in vogue back then. It's still hard to believe a magazine as great as that could meet its end. It just shows how disposable so many things have become in our society today. Sigh.


Jai Warren profile image

Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas Author

It was an American icon, in my opinion. It's a real shame that corporate America's decision making revolves around the almighty dollar! Thanks, Carolyn.


BennyTheWriter profile image

BennyTheWriter 6 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

Very interesting stuff about Gourmet magazine. I've never read it myself but it seems like the kind of thing I would have gotten into. Sad to see it go, but hopefully "Gourmet Live" will keep the legacy alive in a respectable way!


Jai Warren profile image

Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas Author

Benny, Gourmet was a friend, I always looked forward to getting it every month. Because, I knew there would be hours of excellent reading. Gourmet wasn't about recipes, it was about culture, cuisine and civility. I still miss it... Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Ciao!


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

What a sad departure of such a treasure Gourmet Magazine celebrated all that embodied food, culture, love, joy, life, and everything that is food and pleasure. Never imagined Gourmet would be leaving us. Gourmet 1941 2009 RIP indeed.


Jai Warren profile image

Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas Author

Katie. I read a few days ago that Conde Nast will publish (4) seasonal issues of Gourmet each year. It will be sold on newsstands only, and cost $11.95 an issue. I'll have to check it out! Thanks for the visit and comment! Ciao...


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY

Leave it to you John to know what is going on in the foodie world! My dad has been getting this magazine for as long as I can remember and when I just told him about this (coincidence that I am out visiting him in SD at the moment?) this he was shocked! Good thing he has many past issues to keep him busy:) Thanks for letting us know why it wont be in his mailbox come December! Maybe I should hook the 2 of you up to come up with the new Gourmet of the future!

xoxox


Jai Warren profile image

Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas Author

Shari, Gourmet Magazine was an American icon... The publishers are scrambling to revitalize the brand, but I'm afraid it just won't be the same. Always a treat to see you, my dear! Thanks Ciao!!!

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