Monday, June 14, 2010

Missing Gourmet

Today the NYTimes detailed the coming of a new food magazine, "Dash".  Slated to begin publication online in September and in print this November, Dash's slogan will be "Simple.  Fast.  Delicious."  The article notes that advertising spending by large food companies like "ConAgra, General Mills, Heinz, Hershey, Kraft and Smucker" has increased in the past quarter, and Dash is hoping to attract their dollars.


Though Dash will be published by Parade, it will collaborate with Conde Nast and Bon Appetit magazine, as well as "the archives of Gourmet magazine, also part of Condé Nast; and the Web site, part of Condé Nast Digital."

To me, it is a tragic contradiction to associate Ruth Reichl and Gourmet magazine with Dash.  Dash, as well as many other now popular food and lifestyle magazines, seem to paint Gourmet as catering to a wealthy elite with too much time on their hands.  Yes, some of Gourmet's dishes require more work than others (their garlic souffle is one of my favorites), but they also had an entire section devoted to main courses that could be made in under 10 minutes.  I always think of my mom, a working parent my entire life, who was able to get a Gourmet worthy meal on the table almost every night.  Gourmet, above all, promoted quality ingredients and the joy of preparing and sharing a meal with friends and family.  Dash just promotes making semi-homemade meals (sorry Sandra Lee) quickly.

When it comes down to it, a magazine survives through its ad revenue, and neither Conagra, Tyson, nor any other corn-driven processed food conglomerate was going to buy space in Gourmet.

Under Reichl, Gourmet also covered important issues of sustainable farming and ranching, grass-fed and free range meats, food worker mistreatment, and hazardous pesticides used in agriculture.  Gourmet was snooty in its demand for better ingredients with less ecological impact.  In this respect especially, Gourmet has no replacement.

1 comment:

  1. AMEN sista! Cheers to mama... Shes the best!