Wednesday, October 07, 2009

I’m just…devastated. The closure of Gourmet is not just the disappearance of another magazine on the shelf, or another food magazine. Gourmet was THE American culinary periodical. It was an institution, an elite “end-all, be-all," of food writing and restaurant reviews. If you made it into Gourmet, you MADE it in that world.

I can’t help but feel a loss not only for the absence of the magazine in my kitchen, but for the departure of a dream. I hoped that one day ultimately (and maybe delusionally) I would see my name grace those pages. It was the validation that I had aspired to, growing up as a cook, writer and reader. Now that’s gone. I don’t feel the same about any other publication. It would be great to be published in almost any food magazine, but nothing would be the same. Nothing has the name, the status, clout, and the global reach.

Gourmet closing shakes up my entire view on food writing and the culinary media industry. If a magazine like Gourmet (that covered politics, culture and sometimes history) is closing, what matters anymore? It takes away the hope for a certain kind of recognition in the food world – for me anyway. A flash in a website is nothing. A story in Gourmet is iconic.

Maybe I'm sentimental, but I'm not the only one. Food writer Diana Abu-Jaber feels similarly, and you can read her beautiful tribute in "More Than Just a Magazine, 'Gourmet' Says Goodbye." I love the way that she highlights the international recognition that the magazine built over time, throughout the world.

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