Thursday, October 22, 2009

Gourmet Farewell

I heard some heartbreaking news today. I don’t know how I missed it, when word has been spreading for nearly two weeks. But, the foodie’s monthly bible is soon to be history. Gourmet magazine, a publication to which I’ve been a subscriber for the past 13 years (my entire adult life), is going under. November’s issue will be the last hurrah of this amazing 70-year-old dining and recipe resource.

Gourmet has been a foundation of joy and comfort for me for so many years, I feel as if a good friend is dying. Gourmet’s own editor, Ruth Reichl, didn’t even know until after the November issue had gone to press. No final editor’s letter, no real farewell, just an empty hole in the souls of foodies around the world.

I once purchased a used copy of a 1960’s issue of Gourmet magazine from Sam Weller’s Zion Bookstore and felt as if I had found a priceless treasure of food history. It’s yellowing pages and period recipes still sit on the shelf with my cookbooks, nestled amongst its friends Larousse Gastronomique, The Joy of Cooking and Baking with Julia.

I’ve used Gourmet magazine as a resource on multiple levels. I keep several binders of categorized recipes and travel tips which I’ve clipped from Gourmet’s pages. Every trip I embark upon requires a thorough review of Gourmet information on the location and its best dining spots. I’ve had some of the most memorable and delicious meals of my life in some of the most diverse cities because Gourmet was there, right at my figure tips. Clippings from several issues even accompanied my husband and me on our honeymoon to Scotland a few years ago.

There are so many things about Gourmet I can’t imagine living without: Ruth Reichl’s fantastic editor’s letters, written with such eloquence and passion as to draw in the most skeptical of diners; the “Travel + Culture” articles, guiding diners to the best of everywhere; the features about restaurants and chefs; and the wonderful and diverse recipes. Gourmet made being a Foodie a journey of spiritual enlightenment.

Ruth Reichl has said “There’s no better way to experience a culture than to stand at the stove with a wonderful cook.” And, of course, she’s right. Food is the essence of every culture. The blending of colors, flavors, artistry and love. Gourmet was the epitome of culture. I will miss it so.

Thanks Ruth and thank you Gourmet, for everything.

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