It's been over a month since Condé Nast announced that it will be pulling the plug on its nearly 70 year old publication, Gourmet Magazine, and even though there has already been many heart felt cries of anger and misery shouted from blog to blog in concerns to this matter, we at the Salty Cod feel Gourmet, above all the other print publications we dream(ed) of shooting for deserves at least our good bye, and praise for a great run. And to pay a proper Salty tribute to the dying friend, we began this post with an 80 word sentence. Huzzah!
In early October CN announced that it would be discontinuing the print of Gourmet, Cookie (what the hell is that?) and two bride magazines due to both a loss in advertising interest and sales, I suppose. For me, and more likely than not for you and for any other food enthusiast, writer, or photographer, the idea of having a shot or story appear inside Gourmet's margins (or bleeding across two full pages in an aerial table shot) has crossed your mind. Along with Bon Apetit and Food & Wine, Gourmet was undoubtedly one of the forerunners in print food art and writing. Granted i've only been part of the food writing and photography world for about three years now (but i'm also only 23) but i've collected these issues over the years, as thousands of other food photogs have, for inspiration, insight, and well in the words of Tony – Gourmet is one beautiful centerfold of food porn. Even though the chances of ever appearing in the photo credits of a Gourmet issue are slim to none, they've never let slip from my mind, even after decisions to slip the country. Though now, sadly, a photo in Gourmet is one of those little cabbage patch dreams that must be laid to rest.
I can't help but feel a bit guilty for aiding (not being, I am not THAT full of myself. yet.) in the demise of the print industry, an industry that I yet dream to get into. Lovely irony. Blogs, websites and the myriad online recipe indexes are strangling any chance of renewed success in the print industry. All print publications for that matter. I mean look at the kindle, we don't even have to buy books anymore. All in all, are magazines done for? Is Gourmet just the first of many to yet fall? (well technically Condé Nast already folded a couple of other publications, including Men's Vogue. Surprisingly there wasn't much outcry). I've worked for a food magazine, albeit a small North Idaho publication, but the business of publishing is brutal, and the demands for it are waning. Hopefully this isn't the end. There is something about print photographs that have a certain spark and light that computer screen photos lack. Tell you what, if someday they all fold - we'll come out with our own, Salty Cod Magazine, to live on the food mag legend.
In the end we are paying a mourn and tribute to Gourmet, for many years (first issue was January 1941) of stunning photography and inspiring stories about cuisine from every corner of the world. As a food writer, food photographer and travel writer, we will miss you Gourmet, but rest assured we will continue your work for you. Sadly though we now have one less thing to read in the tub.
Thank you to my 11 year old sister G for for braving my big ol' camera to take the photo up top.