Monday, October 5, 2009

Gourmet Magazine Going Out Of Business

Read about it here.

I wonder if foodies divide (divided) themselves by which food magazine they read. Was there a clash between the erudite Gourmet subscriber and the more down-to-earth Bon Appétit reader?

For a long time, I subscribed to both. I read Gourmet, but I USED Bon Appétit. But after awhile, I wasn’t even READING Gourmet, unless I had a long train or plane ride. They were just piling up, so I stopped subscribing. Yet every time I did read a new Gourmet, I always determined that I SHOULD read it regularly again, because it was so darn good. This was especially true after Ruth Reichl took over. (Was that REALLY 10 years ago?)

Time got away from me, though, and I never did. I wonder if that was part of the problem….that we look at food magazines like Bon Appétit as ones that we actually cook from, but Gourmet is for coffee tables. It’s a shame that no one can really figure out how to make money from the web and that Gourmet can’t continue online, although its recipes will.

Au revoir! Gourmet. Or actually more accurately…Adios.

15 comments:

Phyllis said...

Shocking news! Personally, I was an equal opportunist when it came to the food magazines I read, I subscribed to Gourmet, Food & Wine, and Bon Appetit for several years. But the issues started to pile up when I started blogging so I let all my subscriptions lapse this year. Gourmet was my favorite of the 3 for food trends and travel writing (you'll always find a Gourmet magazine by my nightstand) and I've always been a huge fan of Ruth Reichl. Definitely a sad day in the foodie world :(

Adam said...

I just never really got into those magazines. The recipes were always a little over the top for me, and the stories were a little long winded. Maybe a short attention span is to blame, or the fact that I have a hard time finding an hour to read at once. Either way, it's a shame when magazines with such a long history close.

Gary said...

Indeed as sad day. One comment I read mentione the sender tended to read Gourmet and cook from BA. I tended to glance through BA, read and cook from Gourmet. About a year ago I realized how much great information and stories I was missing by not reading the articles in Gourmet and just focusing on the recipes. I had planned on dumping my BA subscription and will be a little stuck now,

Gary said...

Sad news indeed. I realized a couple of years ago that in not reading through articles in Gourmet, just looking at the recipes, I was missing a lot of great insights and experiences. A commenter mentioned she cooked from BA but read Gourmet. I experienced a different perspective in that I liked the recipes more in GRMT. I had planned on dumping my BA subscription, so now I am a little stumped. The mag will be missed.

Emily said...

I was shocked when I heard the news today. It made me very sad. How long before other food magazines stop publication? I loved Gourmet and kept up with it.

Say it isn't so!

Helen Sachs said...

In all those years since I live in the USA, I was looking forward to the monthly issues of 'Gourmet' and 'Bon Appetit' equally. I appreciate both magazines highly and happen to cook recipes from both.
Some of them seem familiar, but still, sometimes they come with new exciting twists. I learned from them.
I very much regret that Gourmet will leave its readers. Fare thee well, Gourmet, and thank you, Ruth Reichl for this excellent product!

Cynthia said...

More than anything I used to look forward to Ruth's Editor letter.

So sorry to hear they are no more.

Sue said...

I hear you, Phyllis. You are sooo right about Gourmet’s travel articles. They were superb and they contributed more than once to wonderful adventures overseas.

Ruth Reichl is an amazing writer and the ultimate foodie. I know I’m not the only one who will be watching to see what she does next.

Hey Adam,
I know what you mean about finding the time to read Gourmet, but every single time I did, it was always rewarding.

Gary,
That was MY comment and it’s interesting that you did just the reverse. And you ARE stuck. I don’t think we’ll see Gourmet’s like again.

Em,
It’s so!!! Keep all those Gourmets. They’ll be valuable now.

Helen,
I’m sure you’ll miss your Gourmets. If someone had told me a year ago that 68 year old Gourmet would cease to exist, I would have said that’s crazy. But this recession is taking a toll on the little guys AND the giants.

Cynthia,
I’m sure (I hope) that Ruth Reichl will have an editorial presence somewhere when the dust settles. I’ll let you know anything I find out.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I confess I never read it. I read Food and Wine because I had a gift subscription a few years ago and I decided to continue it. My mother had Bon Appetit for a few years too. Magainzes like that can make me feel like an unsophisticated bumpkin!

Didn't they sort of dumb down Gourmet in recent years? (It was food-networkized?) It seems the readership did not appreciate!

I'm interested ot know what Ruth Reichl is up to next as well. She needs to be out there writing.

DebCarol said...

I second all these emotions. I was an on-again, off-again subscriber to Gourmet over the years. But I always sought out the Holiday issues - they were amazing. I have a small collection of December issues from years past with wonderful Christmas Cookie recipes. The cookie recipes were never too far over the top for me to try.

The Place Setting said...

I am sadden that Gourmet Magazine is not going to be around. Ruth's editorials each month have been very inspiring for me as a home cook and food professional. Although I aways "afraid" of the rescipes in Gourmet, I have became more confident as a cook and now a caterer by just taking a good old stab at it! I will miss the food articles, learning the history of how Gloucestershire Old Spots, and Tamworths pigs. And the type of pork that comes from these pigs. It is a shame that now that I am interested in "reading" about food my source will be cut off. :(

Tom said...

Maybe "Adieu?"

Funny, I always bought Gourmet for plane rides too -- but I never bought them otherwise or made anything from them. And I do buy and (occasionally) use Bon Appetit. I liked Gourmet but found it a little out of touch. Like the Paris on a Budget issue where the hotels were still astronomically priced and the food was at least three times as expensive as what I paid there. I agree that Rugh Reichel did a great job, and I'm sure she'll land something that we'll see again.

Sue said...

I never thought of Gourmet as being dumbed down and it sounds like they weren't budgeting down either and that was part of the problem.

It IS a shame when something of such high quality goes by the wayside.

Sue said...

DC,
That is sooo true. I also have a lot of holiday issues going WAY back.

Hi PS,
Devoted readers will really miss Gourmet, I'm sure.

Tom,
Of course, it's ADIEU. I must have been having a brain freeze.

Ruth Reichl is amazing and whatever she writes I'm sure will be worth reading.

Anonymous said...

If it's going out of business, which I've heard from several sources, then why are they still sending subscription offers? I've gotten two in the last two weeks! What gives?