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DIGEST: Gourmet magazine

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I was a little put off. I guess they are deliberately downplaying food in the new Gourmet, but that's not why I get it. I'm thinking of unsubscribing. The vegetarian Thanksgiving was really strange. It looked like a summer party on the beach.

Isn't there room for at least one mass market magazine that takes food seriously?

Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"
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I was a little put off. I guess they are deliberately downplaying food in the new Gourmet, but that's not why I get it. I'm thinking of unsubscribing. The vegetarian Thanksgiving was really strange. It looked like a summer party on the beach.

Isn't there room for at least one mass market magazine that takes food seriously?

Sorry, that was a plea, not a defence. No, on the recent evidence, Gourmet doesn't take food seriously. And in fairness, there might by a mass market magazine that does, but I don't read it. Any suggestions?

Edited by fresco (log)
Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"
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Gourmet - November issue

(roast turkey on a purple background)

Letters - several complaining about the TV issue, others liked it

Jay Cheshes NY - on the upper west side

Ouest - groudbreaking pioneer in a wasteland

Aix - adventurous food, most imaginative desserts north of Jean-Georges (60th street)

Nice Matin - an ode to clean and bright flavors in a friendly neighborhood spot

Caroline Bates California

Victorian Gardens in Manchester, nr Mendocino. A 4 b-room B&B with dining for 16 people. Sicilian tuna / braised leeks, vegetables from the garden, meat from neighbors, Zagat numbers equal to Gary Danko or French Laundry

Vermont Diners Roadfood / Stern selections

Mrs Murphys in Manchester for its donuts, no krispy kreme in vermont (yet)

Sonny's Blue Benn in Bennington for its cremed chipped beef in a monitor top diner

baba A Louis in Chester for the finest bread in Vermont. Sourdough, baguette, anadama

Dot's in Wilmington - berry-berry pancakes with real, local berries bursting flavor

Dorset Inn, Dorset - calves liver the equal of foie gras any where, raised waffles with maple syrup

City Harvest - neighborhood run greenmarket in the hard scrabble neighborhood of East new York, Brooklyn

Wine Notes - Gerald Asher suggests a Carlos VII Amontlillado or an Osborne of jerez for your turkey

Kitchen Notes Food porn. Fisher & Paykel 20k burner stove top for $1200 or a Whirlpool oven & fridge for $1800. Chills your food until the preset time, then turns into an oven.

Food Flash Lima bean puree, whipped chipotle sweet potato, mashed potatoes

Berlin, Act II Edward Albee discusses his trips to Berlin as he and the city changed over 50 years. He was deeply moved by the monument under the site of the book burnings. (A few paving tiles have been removed from the street. Empty bookshelves are visible in the under street chamber. An intense light emerges at night.)

Diekmann in Weinhaus since 1912. Old world charm and old world recipes like coq au vin

Maxwell on Bergstrasse. Duck breast in pepper sauce in the decadent old Berlin.

Aigner for old regional food in an updated beer hall

Borchardt Belle Epoque, but skip the food

Valley of the Ducks

Stone Church Farm in Rifton NY produces nearly extinct ducks for market. Duclairs, Rouen Clairs, Appleyards find their way to Wheatleigh, GT, and Bernard's Inn in Ridgefield CT. Big ducks with meaty breasts and old world taste.

Heartland Holiday

Bourbon chicken liver pate, Roast turkey with cider sage gravy, potato parsnip puree. Wild rice, apple and dried cranberry stuffing; shredded brussels sprouts with maple hickory nuts

Riding the TicoWave in Costa Rica

A rural beach area of Costa Rica, known for fesh fish, great sufing, wild boar and vegetables. Lola's on the Beach, Mono Congo Lodge, and LaPuerta del Sol are mentioned for their distinctive cuisines. Several pages of tropical descriptions, relatively low food content.

A Meal that bows to the Garden

Escarole, fennel and orange salad; eggplant lasagna with parsley pesto;

Tokyo: Into the Realm of the Senses

Ume No Hana, where exceptionally fresh fish is served to westerners at tables with wells for their legs. Cube Zen for 20ish and 30ish people who want to be seen. Kanae for its fine tasting menu, or Shirogane for its intimate alcoves. A recipe for yuuan yaki a pan glazed fish with citru and soy is offered. A map of the downtown subway system with emphasis on restaurants in the port district is presented.

Turkey Carving Instructions on page 216

For comparison, I pulled the November 1995 and 1997 issues of the same magazine. I've often commented Gourmet is a paint by numbers magazine.

1995 Sterns go to Vermont (same as 2003)

1995 Travel goes to London and India (2003 - Tokyo and Costa Rica)

1995 Europe = Germany/Wiesbaden, 2003 Germany/ Berlin

1995 Turkey Day is 13 pages, 2003 is nine pages

1997 Sterns go to Mystic CT

1997 Travel goes to London, Miami, Carribean

1997 Europe is Monte Carlo

1997 13 pages of turkey

1995 264 pages

1997 248

2003 230 pages

Links to follow...

Edited by Rail Paul (log)

Apparently it's easier still to dictate the conversation and in effect, kill the conversation.

rancho gordo

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  • 2 months later...

Gourmet Digest - February 2004


Cover photo is of Chocolate Espresso Pots de Creme

The Way We Were: February 1957. Featured recipe is Gumbo Z'Herbes.

Letters: How dare they suggest that Austrian doughnuts should be filled with raspberry jam! Heathens! Someone else complains that tasting menus make them want to go home and have a ham sandwich. Everyone else is either thanking people for recipes or sending in their own.

You Asked For It: Nori-Dusted Tuna with Ginger Rice Balls and Wasabi Sauce.

Caroline Bates: Cetrella Bistro and Cafe, Half Moon Bay, CA. Good local veg and seafood make for tasty Mediterranean fare in an increasingly less-out-of-the-way coastal spot.

Jay Cheshes: Mix, NYC. He didn't like the space, he didn't much care for the food, and he didn't even like the dishes. eG'ers tend to disagree.

Roadfood: The Sterns visit Sgt. White's Diner in Beaufort, SC. "Euphoric" and "seductive" BBQ at a little place just down the road from Parris Island, run by a former Marine drill instructor.

Kitchen of Leisurely Delights: Cynthia Zarin writes a glowing review of Paula Wolfert's The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen: Recipes for the Passionate Cook. "Ease reigns; erudition is taken for granted."

Canned Heat: A profile of Poppy Cannon, 1950's answer to Sandra Lee and the author of The Can-Opener Cookbook. Apparently she had good intentions and some ideas ahead of her time, but could never get past the seductive allure of canned goods and frozen pot pies.

Good Living: Out of this world focaccia from Port City Pasta Co., Lake Oswego, Oregon; Kokum, a relative of the mangosteen, starts making an appearance in cocktails and curries around the country; a report on Paris' Salon International de l'Agriculture; Mexican hot chocolate; winter grilling tips; upcoming PBS documentary on Tupperware (Feb. 9); Seville oranges; English translations (including recalculated measurements) of three-star French chefs' cookbooks offered by Ici La Press.

Travel: English country house hotels - one in Wiltshire and one in Hertfordshire.

Style: Asian teapots.

Drinks: A profile of winemaker Elias Fernandez of Shafer Vineyards, and a sidebar on Hispanic winemakers in Napa and Sonoma; new fruit and chocolate cream liqueurs; Three Thieves 2002 California Zinfandel; reds under $15; the sommelier at The Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia recommends Paul Jaboulet Aine Parallele 45 Rouge 2000.

Saving Grace: Gerald Asher's wine pairings for the menus featured in this month's issue - Australian sparklers, rieslings, Shirazes and dessert wines for the Dinner for Twelve, Murphy-Goode or Flora Springs merlots for the Scandinavian menu.

Dinner for Twelve: Cooking for a large group - with foie gras toasts, braised duck legs, wilted mustard greens, and sauternes-soaked genoise.

Memorable Meals: Jeremy Smith reminisces about meals at his Grandma's house - where the post-prandial dessert and tea is accompanied by a light snack of three roast cornish game hens.

Sympathy for the Devils: The men who keep Mexico City's central market humming - the diableros.

Cocoa Dreams: Mmmm. Chocolate. Lots of chocolate. Chocolate cream pie, chocolate fallen souffle cake, chocolate espresso pots de creme, frozen chocolate caramel parfaits, and hot fudge sauce.

Travel: Bangkok Baroque - John Powers visits the "Brazil of Asia" and eats his way around what he calls "one of the world's best food cities." Recipes include spicy pummelo salad and fish with red curry sauce.

Nordic Nights: A Scandinavian dinner to warm up the long winter nights - curried herring on rye toasts, celery-root and beet salad, pork loin with apples, prunes, and mustard cream sauce, sauteed green beans, hasselback potatoes, sabayon lingonberry mousse, and spice cookies.

Food Lovers' Guide to Montmartre: From wine bars to patisseries, from the market on the Rue Lepic to the old fashioned dining room at Au Poulbot Gourmet, see the culinary sights in the "last unspoiled Paris neighborhood."

Gourmet Everyday: Poached eggs with roasted tomatoes and portabellas; grapefruit sabayon gratin; roasted chicken with garlic confit; parmesan and black pepper polenta; pasta frittata with broccoli rabe and sun-dried tomatoes; Indian spiced cauliflower and potatoes; mashed potatoes with carrots and leeks; individual meatloaves with bacon crisps.

Five Ingredients: "Midwinter Melt" - Castellane with mascarpone and roasted grape tomatoes.

Low Fat: Rice noodle soup with ham and lettuce; steamed striped bass with ginger and scallions; broccoli spears in garlic sauce; steamed white rice; and cherries in the snow (almond milk gelatin with cherries in port).

Kitchen Notebook: Melting chocolate - microwaves vs. double boilers; how to make Hasselback potatoes; frenching green beans; Thai red curry paste, bread crumbs, and pickled herring.

Well Bread: Things to do with a day-old baguette.

"Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cookbook! Little Red Cookbook!" --Eddie Izzard
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  • 1 month later...

better late than never...

Gourmet Digest - March 2004

The New York Issue


This month's Gourmet covers all things foodish in New York, from Ruth Reichl's favorite stops to where to stay and where to buy spiffy place settings. There are way too many restaurants listed to mention them all in the Digest, but almost all are covered in some level of detail on the New York forum.

The Way We Were: Ritz Man's Stew - the original Ritz Carlton Hotel's recipe for Irish stew, thickened with a vegetable puree instead of flour.

Letters: Benriners are good, but buy cut-resistant gloves lest you lose a finger. Two recipes: collard green olive pesto and chicken curry.

You Asked for It: Rosa Mexicano's Boca Negra Chocolate Chipotle Cakes accompanied by sweet tomatillo and vanilla custard sauces.

New York A to Z: Arrivals; Beer gardens; "Classic New York" (including Peter Luger, Patsy's, and Barney Greengrass); hot dogs (Gray's Papaya; the Union Square Greenmarket, Harlem (including Amy Ruth's); Indian food (including eGullet's own Suvir Saran's Amma); joie de vivre (this photo of Daniel Boulud, Eric Ripert and Alain Ducasse at Gray's Papaya); Kitchen Reads (a list of cookbook stores); the Lower East Side (featuring Katz's, Sammy's Roumanian, and Yonah Schimmel Knishery, Laboratorio del Gelato, Teany, Doughnut Plant and Guss' Pickles); the Meatpacking District; "Not for Tourists;" Outdoors; Pedestrians; the QM2 (coming in April); Rolling Cuisine (outdoor food carts including Hallo Berlin, Moshe's Falafel, and the Mudtruck); Studies (cooking courses around the city); Taxis; Up the River (the Hudson River Park); Vino (wine bars); Williamsburg, Brooklyn; X Marks the Spot (unexpected or overlooked icons of art, science and history all around the city); Your Password, Please (unlisted or impossible to find bars); and Zillion Dollar Views (the River Cafe, the Mandarin Oriental, Ritz Carlton Battery Park, the Metropolitan Museum, and the Marriott Marquis in Times Square.)

State of the Onion: Cipolline in agrodolce, molasses-baked onions, fried onion rings, negimaki, pletzel (Jewish onion bread), and Alsatian onion tart.

Ruth's Roll Call: Alain Ducasse; Babbo; Caviar Russe; 'Cesca; Craft; Daniel; E.A.T.; Eleven Madison Park; Elio's; Esca; The Four Seasons; Fried Dumpling; Gotham Bar and Grill; Grand Central Oyster Bar; Grand Sichuan International Midtown; Great New York Noodletown; Hatsuhana; Honmura An; Jean-Georges; Le Bernardin; L'Impero; Lupa; Nobu; Pearl Oyster Bar; Peter Luger; The Prime Burger; Tabla; and the Time Warner Center.

Here Come the Hotel Police: The rooms, service, and public spaces at New York's most glamourous hotels.

Only in New York: Shopping for tableware - 35 shops, large and small.

Eat Art: An artistic menu.

Toast of the Town: A menu inspired by an Irish manor house.

My Leningrad on the Hudson: Russian neighborhoods around New York - from Rego Park, Queens to Brighton Beach.

A Mexico of the Mind: Mexican neighborhood life in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

Gold Mountain: An insider's guide to Chinatown.

Gourmet Every Day: Ethnic dishes: bulgogi, coconut rice, sweet lassi, mashed plantains with bacon and onions, buckwheat pancakes with smoked salmon, chicken in almond sauce, roasted feta with olives and red peppers, squid in vinegar sauce, rice studded meatballs, and spicy okra.

Five Ingredients: New York pretzels

Dinner for One: Manhattan clam chowder, garlic bread, romaine with parmesan dressing, and ice cream with chocolate caramel sauce.

Kitchen Notebook: Twirling the perfect pretzel; the veal world; cipolline, Marcona almonds, and Irish bacon.

The Last Touch: Four things you can do with leftover Chinese delivery rice: coconut rice pudding, parmesan and rice spoon bread, rice pancakes, and savory rice cakes.

"Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cookbook! Little Red Cookbook!" --Eddie Izzard
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  • 2 weeks later...

Gourmet Digest - April 2004


It's the yearly Passover/Easter edition.

The Way We Were: Cream for a Day - Maryland fried chicken with cream gravy. Mmmm, gravy.

Letters: Rainbow cookie recipe reminds reader of her childhood; recipes for gouvej, an Armenian vegetable stew, and a caramelized apple omelet.

You Asked for It: Rice pudding from Thali in New Canaan, Connecticut; chicken marengo from O'Briens Bistro in Pensacola, Florida; ginger salad dressing from Sekisui of Japan in Memphis, Tennessee; chocolate and pistachio cookies from the Ritz-Carlton, Montreal; Belgian endive salad with mustard dressing from Town in New York.

Small Wonders: Jay Cheshes ponders the plethora of tiny New York restaurants with fabulous food: Jack's Luxury Oyster Bar, Chubo, ChikaLicious, and Bar Jamon/Casa Mono.

Best In Show: Caroline Bates visits two spiffy new restaurants in LA: Maple Drive and Table 8.

Louisiana Love Song: The Sterns visit gems of Cajun cooking, including Middendorf's near Lake Maurepas, Robin's Restaurant in Henderson, Black's Oyster Bar in Abbeville, Boudin King in Jennings, Cafe des Amis in Breaux Bridge, plus two places they'd never been. The new additions: Brenda's Dine in and Take Out in New Iberia, and D.I.'s Cajun Restaurant in Basile. Several of these have been discussed in the Louisiana forum's Cajun Country thread.

Another America: A review of The South American Table, by Maria Baez Kijac.

Good Living: Two new restaurants in Paris, Cafe Constant and Cristal Room Baccarat.

Put on Your Dancing Shoes: The Inn at Little Washington's chef brigade already does tai chi before service. Now the waitstaff are doing ballet, courtesy of a seminar by Washington Ballet director Septime Weber.

Java Nirvana: KitchenAid's new espresso machine will pull shots and steam milk at the same time. Also, a review of tampers.

Eating History: Two books by Mark Zanger, The American History Cookbook and The American Ethnic Cookbook for Students, present recipes in their historical context.

Tender is the Nut: Green almonds in all their fuzzy glory.

Caught in the Web: A review of various food websites, from individual blogs to the collective obsession that is eGullet. Featured are The Radical Chef, Chocolate and Zucchini, Meathenge, The Food Section, Bourrez Votre Visage, and eGullet, which I won't hyperlink because, well, you're already here. eGullet is "too mammoth to be considered a hobbyist blog."

Style: Everybody's got their own line of china these days. Kate Spade, Nobu, and artist Karen Kjaelgaard-Larsen have particularly nice ones. There are pictures.

Matzo Mania: Seven recipes that take advantage of matzo's good qualities: walnut tweed torte; Moroccan lamb and eggplant matzo pie with spicy tomato sauce; matzo almond brittle; strawberry rhubarb compote with matzo streusel topping; cheese matzo blintzes with asparagus and dill; and turkey breast stuffed with matzo and fennel.

Flat Delicious: Pictures from the archives of Streit's Matzos.

My Kind of Town: Jonathan Gold summers in Umbria, and lots of folks drop by to cook - like Nancy Silverton and Mario Batali.

Suave Sauvignon: Sauvignons Blancs from all over the place - France, New Zealand, California, Italy, and Austria.

Who's Drinking What: Michael Jordan (no, not that one - this one's the general manager and sommelier at Napa Rose in Anaheim) recommends the Edna Valley Vineyard Paragon 2001 Pinot Noir.

Single Malternatives: "Vatted" or "pure" malts (blended Scotches without the added grain alcohol) aren't so bad - apparently Compass Box Eleuthera and Johnnie Walker Green are worth a try.

Grand Openings: The sudden appearance of lots of corkscrews that look remarkably like the original Screwpull is no coincidence - the original patent expired in 1999. They review six of the lookalikes.

Wine Advice: Pairings for the Russian Easter and Spring Buffet menus.

Iceland Cometh: The foods of Iceland - hverabraud (sweet rye bread steamed in a volcanic vent); smoked arctic char; smoked lamb; herring; and brennivin (caraway schnapps).

In Thrall of the Wild: Luxury safari and game reserve accommodations in South Africa.

A Home in Rome: Roman home cooking - torta di ricotta.

Memory and Desire: Easter feasting in the Russian Orthodox tradition. Fourteen recipes for an hours-long feast: pierogies, Russian Easter bread, paskha cheese, herb-stuffed leg of lamb, stuffed veal breast, kielbasa with beet and white horseradish sauces, asparagus with lemon and butter, sauteed mixed mushrooms, sweet-and-sour sauerkraut, watercress salad with pickled quail eggs, prune and caraway ice cream, and poppy seed shortbreads.

Getting Sauced: A visit to Vietnam's largest island, Phu Quoc.

My Brilliant Buffet: An Indian-inspired buffet menu of chicken tikka, mango and red pepper chutney, mint raita, cumin and orange-glazed carrots, spinach salad with tamarind dressing and pappadam croutons, cilantro coconut rice, and strawberry and cream cake with cardamom syrup. Sounds good - unfortunately, there's no link to the recipes.

Food Lover's Guide to Texas Hill Country: Beard nominee Alison Cook of the Houston Chronicle describes the culinary highlights of central Texas's Hill Country. Gourmet has no links, unfortunately, but for more info, check out the Texas Hill Country thread in the Texas forum.

Gourmet Every Day: Quick Kitchen - recipes galore, including salmon and dill chowder, turkey and cheddar burgers, tuna in tomato sauce, skirt steak with cilantro garlic sauce, panfried potatoes with lemon, roasted asparagus with feta, bacon and avocado sandwiches (this month's cover picture), and inside-out carrot cake cookies.

Five Ingredients: Lemon creme brulee.

Low Fat: Fresh Focus - grapefruit coolers, crab cakes with spicy avocado sauce, frisee salad with cucumbers and radishes, and rhubarb frozen yogurt torte.

Kitchen Notebook: Torches for creme brulee, roll-cutting carrots, paskha cheese molds, quail eggs, horseradish, and how to bone a turkey breast.

The Last Touch: Five recipes show you what to do with parsley besides sprinkling - carrots with gremolata, parsley garlic butter, parsley, cabbage, and mushroom salad, parsley soup, and parsley and sweet onion sandwiches.

"Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cookbook! Little Red Cookbook!" --Eddie Izzard
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  • 6 months later...

Anyone else have thoughts on the latest gourmet: the restaurant issue?

I found the articles to be wonderful for the most part, if you could find them!

There are so many adds in that gosh dang restaurant issue.

PS, anyone else interested in reinstituting these threads?

Some people say the glass is half empty, others say it is half full, I say, are you going to drink that?

Ben Wilcox


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I really like the digests and am sad to see they have taken a back seat. I know they're a lot of work, but if there is a wide interest I think we should try.

I generally receive F&W, Bon App, Saveur, Cooking Light, and the NY Times and would be happy to cover one or two. (We place a lot of food ads for one of our clients, so I get put on a lot of comp lists. :biggrin: )

We should probably start a separate thread to determine interest.

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