Gourmet may be dead and buried, but last night’s party at A Voce Columbus for Ruth Reichl’s Adventures With Ruth didn’t feel like much of a wake — as guests knocked back wine and uni crostini, the deceased was barely mentioned. Reichl, accompanied by the show’s executive producer, Laurie Donnelly, screened clips of the show, which premieres tomorrow night on PBS, to an appreciative audience that included Calvin Trillin, Doc Willoughby, Drew Nieporent, Harold McGee, Jeffrey Wright, and Dianne Wiest. The series follows Reichl and a roster of guest stars (including Wright and Wiest) as they travel to cooking schools around the world: One episode has Reichl collecting ant eggs in Laos, while in another she and Frances McDormand don waders and attempt to do some fly fishing.
Before the screening, Reichl talked a bit about filming the series — “this was not luxury travel,” she stressed — and said that WGBH, which produced the show, was open to other seasons of both Adventures and the Emmy-winning Diary of a Foodie. Reichl also hinted that other Gourmet books are in the pipeline, and that there may be some online possibilities as well. So although its magazine may have departed this earthly realm, the Gourmet brand, it seems, may live to see another day.