11 hours ago, I received a startling text message from Caitlin. Shocked, I hurried to my computer, fingers typing frantic keywords into Google. My heart sank as my eyes raced through this article, phrases like Condé Nast will close Gourmet magazine and Condé Nast would close one of its food titles jumping out at me.
Gourmet has been my favorite magazine for as long as I can remember. Before I could even read, I perused the back-issues of the magazine that my parents kept in our front hallway. I looked at the glossy photos from the April 1981 issue, the month my parents married. I thumbed through October 1987 to see what foods my parents were cooking when I was born. When I was old enough, I interned with the magazine, sitting in on editorial meetings with Ruth Reichl, sampling foods in the test kitchen, organizing the You Asked For It column. Every month, I’ve looked forward to Gourmet‘s arrival in my mailbox, each photo more beautiful and tantalizing than the last.
When I read those words this morning, I felt completely bewildered. Gourmet has consistently turned out brilliantly written articles about exotic travel escapes, hot new chefs, the hidden hole-in-the-wall that will shatter every preconceived notion you have about food. One Thanksgiving my mom and I baked their innovative Ginger Cake with Crystallized Ginger Frosting, wowing guests expecting a simple pecan pie. Another night, early in my culinary career, I baked a beautiful chocolate layer-cake with candy-colored polka-dots from their cover for a simple family gathering. In college, I relied on their Quick Kitchen column for cheap, tasty meals that wouldn’t break my student’s wallet. In the 1960s, my grandfather’s hotel was featured in their travel section. This truly is the end of an era.
Cookie and Modern Bride are also folding. It seems the market just isn’t receptive of print culture anymore. As I ready this blog post for online publication, I can’t help but feel, on a small scale, responsible for the death of the magazine. I really hope the two can coexist in our modern world, but I just don’t know if that’s the case.