"The only real stumbling block is the fear of failure. In cooking, you have got to have a what-the-hell attitude." ~ Julia Child

Goodbye Gourmet?

by Julie Tilsner on October 5, 2009

in Food News

Gourmet As if Monday’s aren’t generally bad enough. I wake up to the news that Conde Nast is closing Gourmet Magazine.

It’s a sad day for foodies everywhere. And for aspiring foodies as well.

Magazines like Gourmet always scared me. Up until recently, when I actually decided I wanted to subscribe.,  And I was greatly enjoying it. Under Ruth Reichl the magazine had become more than just a recipe book; it was about food culture and food lifestyle. About the abject love of food.

Yes, it featured salacious photographs that made you want to lick the page. Yes it did its part to fuel the spread of “Food Porn,” but, like that other magazine with airbrushed photos, it also ran good articles, journalism, and think pieces on all topics gastronomic.

It seems odd to me that Conde Nast would close Gourmet of all titles, when America’s interest in food is at its zenith. But I guess when you pay a herd of 24-year-old elite business school graduates to come up with ways to cut costs, you don’t get a plan with any subtlety or nuance.

Ruth Reichl is a brand and will land on her feet. Most of her staffers join the large pool of unemployed journalists. All of its readers lose. And 60-plus years of food writing gets shoved into the back of the refrigerator.M.F.K. Fisher is rolling in her grave.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer October 5, 2009 at 9:30 pm

Great article, Julie – and you are right, such irony that it should happen now, though not surprising in this economy. I love Ruth Reichl and will follow her wherever she lands, though, so keep me updated, and keep writing your wonderful blog!


Laura Zinn Fromm October 8, 2009 at 7:12 pm

Julie, I just stumbled upon your blog. Love the references to Nora Ephron, Julie and Julia, MFK Fisher, all in one sitting! This is a total pleasure, and a hoot, to read. Thank you for sharing!


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