Thursday, October 08, 2009
To say that I was shocked to hear of the demise of Gourmet Magazine is an understatement. To me, a world in which Gourmet ceased to exist was unimaginable. Gourmet has played an integral part not just in the home cooks life, but also in the lives of chefs, farmers and restaurateurs. Of course I would understand had all magazines suddenly gone out of business, but for Condé Nast to intentionally give the axe to Gourmet over some of its other publications is mind boggling. You would think its 70 year history would count for something more than a poor year of ad sales. Gourmet is not just a magazine, it's an institute, a lifestyle, a breath of delicious fresh air. While subscribers will now receive Bon Apetit for the remainder of their subscription, it's little consolation to the blow dealt by Gourmet folding.
Gourmet's last issue will be their November issue, famous for its inviting and creative Thanksgiving spreads. Ironically, November is the issue that I always look most forward to, and have the longest history with. While growing up in the Netherlands, my mother and I would eagerly await the arrival of a package every few months from her best friend in the States. In this package we would find a few issues of Gourmet Magazine, as well as several NY Times crossword puzzles. I used to love sitting at the kitchen table, thumbing through our growing collection of Gourmet, picking out new recipes to try. The Thanksgiving issue was always my favorite. Perhaps it's because it represented America, a place where I had left one foot behind. We had kept up the tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving in Holland, along with some fellow expat friends. It was the meal I most looked forward to out of any other, and today, little has changed. So this year it is with the same excitement, simultaneously tinged with sadness, that I look forward to the November issue. Rest in peace Gourmet, you will be sorely missed.