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Thursday, October 08, 2009

Goodbye, Gourmet

Gourmet magazine
I am definitely going through the five stages of grief. I could not believe the news on Monday that Gourmet was closing--denial. I quickly became angry. How dare they! Don't they know how important that magazine is? Bargaining came next. Why didn't they sell the magazine? Go to quarterly issues? Charge more for subscriptions? I wanted to find any way possible to save it.

Right now I'm firmly in depression. I'm just so sad to see a magazine that provoked, inspired, educated and entertained for so long go away. It's not the end of the world, but it feels devastating, as if an old dear friend has slipped away without even a chance to say goodbye. I didn't always agree with the editorial or art direction but I always appreciated it and I never dreamed it would disappear. Visiting the Gourmet offices last year and the test kitchens was an experience I will treasure forever. It made me appreciate all that went into the magazine even more than I had before. At some point I will make a list of all my favorite recipes that I have used over the years. Fortunately they will live on at Epicurious.

I think a lot of the editorials and pundits have really gotten it wrong when it comes to the demise of Gourmet. Anyone who actually read the magazine knew it wasn't just for the cultural elite, it dealt with cultural and political issues having to do with food. And it wasn't the internet that killed the magazine or even a change in readers, but a change in the economy, a change I want to believe is temporary.

I did like the post in Salon very much and an opinion piece in the Christian Science Monitor. I also liked the post in Faster Times and this blog post at Wasabimon. I hope you will enjoy them too. Finally Julie of a Mingling of Tastes is planning a celebration of Gourmet online. If I can get to the fifth stage, acceptance, perhaps I will be able to participate. For now, I'm just too sad.