About 16 years ago, right before I began cooking professionally, I met with a chef who gave me some advice about the path I was about to take. She said I had two choices: culinary school or just get into kitchens and learn from the bottom up. Behind curtain number two was a short list of all the magazines I should subscribe to, to amend my on-the-job learning in lieu of paying an establishment to teach me everything I needed to know.
Gourmet magazine was number one on that list. I promptly subscribed and read every issue cover to cover until I could no longer. I let my subscription run out in the late 90's. Gourmet stood still, was getting dusty and needed a breath of modern air.
In stepped Ruth Reichl, in the spring of 1999. Some say she ruined the magazine and the letters section for a number of months stated this angrily from innumerable longtime readers, many of whom stopped buying and reading Gourmet then and there.
But I happily picked it in the summer of '99 and haven't looked back since. I consider Gourmet magazine required reading for myself and anyone who works for me. Whether it be for thoughtful articles, controversial viewpoints, industry insider dish, lively photography, food travel-logs, or Ms. Reichl's editor page, I love Gourmet like never before.
And so when I learned that Gourmet.com was launching this week, I could barely wait! I'm sure I speak for many when I say that keeping up with media is overwhelming. Hearing about a new online community or an easier way to read a newspaper can feel like bad news because it means I might not have time for something else I barely have time to do.
But this is really good news. Because it means if you don't have access to Gourmet's printed pages, you can now see and read all there is if you have access to the Internet. Plus, for those of us without unlimited TV channels, there's Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie. From Gourmet.com:
"With the breadth of international travel combined with a passion for food, Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie delivers a unique cultural look at the world, food first. Each episode dives into the diverse realm of the world's greatest cuisine, from New Zealand's purest honey to Italy's famous Parmigiano-Reggiano. Infused with 'green' elements, the delicious series reveals examples of sustainable farming and fishing, as well as new efforts to cultivate organic dairy, meat, and plant products."
With just a few minutes to spare this evening I caught the ineffable Marco Pierre White cooking Dorade (fish), "Jamaican-style," an Italian chef named Fabio Trabocchi reminded me how Nepotella could be used in the savory kitchen, (my favorite way to use Nepotella is to make "mint" chocolate chip ice cream), and I watched Sam Mason make desserts with beets and mustard.
Welcome Gourmet.com! Here here for dynamic reporting, envelope-pushing, well-researched, pavement-pounding food journalism!
Have you been yet? Thoughts?