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