Monday, October 5, 2009
Gourmet to Fold After 68 Years
It's a black day for food and wine journalism.
Gourmet, Conde Nast announced, would fold with its November issue, after a run of nearly 70 years. The significance of the failure can't be underestimated in terms of what it means to the food world. Imagine, by comparison, the impact on the literary community if The New York folded. It's like that.
It has been widely speculated for months that Conde Nast, hit hard by the Great Recession and bleeding ad pages, would have to through one of its big food titles under a bus, but many expected it would be the more youthful Bon Appetit. Apparently, the clout of editor Ruch Reichl wasn't enough to save the magazine. Now she has won the dubious of being Gourmet's last editor.
Gourmet magazine was first published in 1941, in the dark days of food and wine journalism. It has illustrated covers and focused on Europe and New York City. Some of the most important early wine journalism in America was written by Gourmet's Frank Schoonmaker. Later on, the magazine employed Gerald Asher, Hugh Johnson and James Beard. These were collected in the valuable anthology "History in a Glass."