I'm back from vacation and working in San Francisco for a few days. This means I'm three hours behind the East Coast news cycle, and so this morning my email and Twitter feed were positively packed with messages about one tragic thing: the closing of Gourmet magazine.
To put it simply, I'm crushed. I've read Gourmet religiously for the past five years or so, and have fallen completely in love with its open-minded approach to food, its passion for travel domestic and foreign, and its gorgeous writing and photography. The current incarnation of Gourmet owes most of its soul and much of its aesthetic to the wild-haired, obscenely-talented Ruth Reichl, who left her job as the New York Times' restaurant critic to take up the helm at the (soon-to-be) late magazine.
Under her guidance, Gourmet became a publication for those truly passionate about creating and consuming food. Less chef-obsessed than Food & Wine, but more worldly than Bon Appetit, Gourmet emphasized home cooking but never forgot about the restaurant world.
Many people have criticized the magazine's photography as cold or hard; I disagree, and heartily. The simple, spare aesthetic on show at Gourmet far outpaced most food magazines in its sophistication and pure illustration of good, homemade food.
This blackberry brown sugar cake is one of my favorite Gourmet recipes of all time. I shall be making it in the weeks to come, as a sort of remembrance. While I can't wait to follow the next steps of Gourmet's immensely talented staff, that anticipation hardly softens the blow.
Now, excuse me while I go sniffle in the corner for a bit.