10.06.2009

every last word

Yesterday's news about the demise of Gourmet magazine left me shocked, saddened, and speechless. I'll miss the many talented voices of Gourmet not only in the kitchen, but also in the living room, where I would do my first pass each month with sticky tabs in hand; at the table, where I'd flip through several issues at once, and plan the weekend's dinner party; and in bed, where I'd read every last word of every (last) issue, and often quote a few lines out loud from a particularly moving article to Eli before turning out the light. To mark the passing of this magazine that is about so much more than food, I'd like to share some images of the various corners of my home that it inhabits.

Dear Gourmet writers, photographers, editors, stylists, and recipe testers: Thank you. Truly. My thoughts are with you all. It's going to be a lot lonelier around here without you.

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gourmet stack

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20 comments:

Alice Q. Foodie said...

So sad. It's the end of an era. Literally.

Sara Reddy Coyne said...

Strange, isn't it, how this magazine was to so many of us like a friend -- reliable, helpful, alive. And now we're mourning, which seems dramatic and ridiculous, but is right. This was a part of our lives, something we trusted, looked forward to. I'm still in the denial stage... next I'm going to start bargaining.

Nina (n.c.p.) said...

what a way with words, jess, such a nice tribute. i'm sorry for everyone who held gourmet near and dear to their hearts. i'm sure your back issues will bring you comfort and perhaps there will be a revival down the road. your photos are a beautiful documentation of how much it means to you!

Linda said...

jess, this is exactly how so many of us feel...it is the end of a great era & we will miss that connection. thank you for this beautifully written post.

Jess said...

Alice Q. Foodie - Yes, so very sad.

Sara - I know what you mean. I resisted publishing this post at first, because I feared melodrama. But it seemed appropriate to mark this moment, somehow.

Nina - Thank you. And yes, I'm feeling grateful for those back issues on my shelves.

Linda - Thank you. I agree that it's about a loss of connection: with the voices and images on the pages, with the ritual of reading and cooking from the magazine each month, and with the imagined community of Gourmet readers out there.

Frenchie said...

Jess, that was a beautiful tribute. I cannot tell you how sad I am that they folded. Gourmet has held such a symbolic role in my life, and I just cannot believe that from one moment to the next it is gone.

Rosiecat said...

Gourmet's passing is a very sad moment in the food community. Although I was never a subscriber, just an occasional purchaser from the newstand, I feel shocked and bewildered on behalf of all the readers and cooks who did love Gourmet's arrival every single month. Gourmet was beautiful and classy--a little escape to paradise from mundane everyday life.

Great post, Jess. May you continue to plan wonderful dinner parties from your collection of Gourmets.

Jennifer said...

Oh Jess, your tribute says it all. I regret recycling all but a select few issues of Gourmet during a recent house cleanse. While doing so, I soothed my mind with promises of fresh issues to look forward to. Now, not so much. Such a bummer.

Dolce said...

I saw that too... what a loss... :(

kasey said...

Carolyn and I were mourning the loss last night. So sad...

Char said...

I know - crazy, right? beautiful shots in that magazine - just beautiful

maybelle's mom said...

amen

megan said...

I am sorry for everyone's loss. However, as I sit here eating some bok choy over tofu, I can't help but think that the demise of yet another fine print publication is in fact due, at least in part, to the rise of beautiful, touching, and tasty food blogs. Congratulations on becoming the new generation and good luck taking up the mantle...

xx
megan

Julie said...

My sentiments exactly. Sniff.

tara said...

The quiet elegance of your photos suits the style of Gourmet so very well. Perfectly apt tribute.

I owe that magazine so much -so many meals. I feel print is a whole different thing than online media; it is a treasure in and of itself that cannot be replaced. Such a loss.

bluejeangourmet said...

Jess, lovely photos & echo your heartbreak. almost didn't seem possible for something so lovely, so established to just...disappear.

lesson in impermanence? or just a sad thing. both, probably. there's something so luxurious about lying in bed and reading a whole magazine cover-to-cover. I'll miss that.

in the meantime, woman, I'm dying to know--whatcha been cooking lately???

Susan said...

It really is so sad to see Gourmet and the many others fade away.

Maggie said...

Such beautiful photos. And how much our time thumbing through the pages, over and over after each issue arrived, will be missed.

Jess said...

Frenchie - Thank you. It really is just crazy.

Rosiecat - Thanks for your thoughts. Here's to the Gourmet archives, and dinner parties to come!

Jennifer - I'm so sorry to hear about your recent purge. I know it's not the same, but I hear that Gourmet recipes will remain up on the Epicurious site.

Dolce - Indeed.

Kasey - I know.

Char - Yes, the photographs every month inspired me as much as the recipes and writing.

Maybelle's mom - Thanks for chiming in.

Megan - First of all, I love that you're enjoying that bok choy and tofu recipe. Megan, you're turning into quite the cook! You raise an interesting question about the role of blogs and new media in the food writing world. It is of course a huge compliment that you see blogs as potentially filling the gap left by dying print publications. But I don't know. I would hope that there's room for both traditional and on-line media at the table. Plus, I just can't cuddle up in bed with my laptop the way that I can with a glossy, sweet-smelling magazine, you know?

Julie - Yes, pass the tissues.

Tara - What a lovely thing to say about my photos. Thank you. I agree with you about the special quality of print. For me, it's about holding something in my hands.

bluejeangourmet - You totally busted me, Nishta! Mostly I've been "cooking up" my dissertation prospectus, a maddening process that has left me with little time for posting. I have, however, managed to stay busy in the kitchen ("you still have to eat," as my grandmother would say), and soon I hope to share what I've been cooking.

Susan - Agreed.

Maggie - Thank you. I know what you mean about flipping and re-flipping, again and again, through each new issue. Like a good book, a Gourmet issue would always have something new to show me with every pass.

ariella said...

Not melodramatic at all, I am regretting every single lost issue (i clipped and saved many, but there were others that did get recycled in some of my more manic cleaning sprees! AH how sad :( ) The only good thing that has come out of the end of Gourmet for me so far, is that now I am forcing myself to search for more and more like-minded food folks online. Your blog is gorgeous! Thank you.