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Alfresco Alterations

Primarily, I was shocked for obvious reasons upon hearing of Gourmet’s demise. It’s always been one of the more literate food magazines and with 68 years of history behind it, no less. I’ve never understood the appeal of Bon Appetit—new younger font or not—which is the same to me as Food & Wine (though I subscribe to the latter along with Saveur and Cooking Light) a little fluffy, entertaining-driven and more caught up with celebrity. I always thought of Gourmet as a glossier, less homespun Saveur, not the stuffy, elitist luxury rag some believe it to be (for me, that’s The New Yorker).

Superficially, though, I’m saddened because I really liked picking apart their frequently over-the-top alfresco photo spreads. I looked forward to what nuttiness they may have come up with each month, whether it be a forest picnic amidst discarded TVs and bric a brac or moody barefoot youths in fedoras and suspenders indulging in stone fruit pies while hammocking.

Just yesterday afternoon I was dismayed to realize I’d never received my October Gourmet (or Saveur, for that matter). I need my monthly dose of alfresco porn, though I’m quite certain that I’m the only one who was so amused by these jaunty photographs. Clearly, McKinsey was not. Those props and models don’t come cheap.

At the very least, I hope to get the final November 2009 issue. I’ve always marveled at how you can make Thanksgiving turkey seem exciting year after year.

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