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After a month or so of speculation, it looks like Ruth Reichl is indeed collaborating with Gilt Taste, the new food version of Gilt Groupe, the website that bills itself as a provider of “invitation-only access to highly coveted products and experiences at insider prices.”
Ben Leventhal Tweeted a photo of the invitation he got to the website’s launch party on May 18 reading “[Gilt Groupe CEO] Susan Lyne and Ruth Reichl invite you to celebrate the launch of Gilt Taste.” The site recently hired Francis Lam, another Gourmet vet, as its features editor, and is said to be working on producing features and profiles to accompany its more blatantly commercial content.
Reichl’s involvement will undoubtedly lend the site cachet; what Gilt Taste will in turn do for the way artisanal and gourmet food (and the people who make it) are packaged and marketed on the Internet is less certain. We can’t see people scrambling to buy discounted pâté and fruit butter in the same way they flock to Gilt’s sales on Gaultier sunglasses and Louboutin heels, but then again, given the way people will stand in hour-long lines for free kimchi tacos, never underestimate the public’s love of an edible discount.
Ruth Bourdain, incidentally, so far has no comment on the matter, Tweeting only “Fluffy joyful dog just frisked me right beneath the lilacs. Long walk through the park. He did have some nice ripe mangoes. Can’t resist.”
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