Well, the excruciating demise of Gourmet continues with the arrival of the final issue. The cover illustration is pale and washed out, in contrast to the last several issues, which have been wildly colored and dark. This being November, a turkey is featured, as is traditional with the magazine. But this is as unlike the famous devil turkey of a couple of years ago as night is from day.
The bird appears to be pregnant, lying on its back with its stubby shackled hands raised in prayer. Apparently, the prayer fell on deaf ears.
The clear-plastic sack the magazine came in also contains a subscription offer. The headline shouts: “LAST CHANCE OFFER FOR GOURMET SUBSCRIBERS.” Indeed.
The magazine contains many fine pieces, including one by my former editor at Gourmet, Nanette Maxim, detailing her childhood jaunts to the Adirondacks, and then revealing the wonderland of local food it has now become, a piece whose simultaneous modernity and elegaic tone make it classic Gourmet. With their emphasis on celebrity chefs and work-free recipes, few magazines print pieces as good as this anymore.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 15, 2009