Earlier today, Amanda Hesser tweeted: “At least the print version can go out on a high note — Gourmet’s last two issues were beautiful and inspiring. I’m holding onto them.” Gawker and the Feed are the first to pen what are sure to be many lengthier tributes to Gourmet. The latter is especially poignant, as Feed editor Gabriella Gershenson recalls growing up with the magazine.(“Gourmet was a pinnacle that represented what a life in culinary journalism could mean. As I cobbled together my career, it was always in the back of my mind.”)
Gershenson is the first of many who will doubtlessly wag fingers at reality TV and the blogs: “What will young people today who love food aspire to? Cheaply won celebrity chefdom? Dumbed-down cable programming? Blogs that feed off of restaurant gossip rather than a love of food and the people behind it?” But she is a blog editor herself and, at the end of the day, it wasn’t young people who kept Gourmet alive — Gershenson’s mom was the subscriber, after all. Gershenson herself admits that she hasn’t read the magazine as much in recent years. In any case, the point stands that Gourmet was an epicurean cornerstone. Check back here later — we’ll add more tributes to this post as they come in.
Update: Corby Kummer also mourns the loss, especially given what he sees as the magazine’s recent improvement under Ruth Reichl, and hopes for a return. Meanwhile, Reichl herself tweets: “Thank you all SO much for this outpouring of support. It means a lot. Sorry not to be posting now, but I’m packing. We’re all stunned, sad.”
Update #2: Serious Eats looks back on the magazine’s first issue.
Slate reprints a 2004 article in which Laura Shapiro reflected on how it eventually had to adapt to new concepts of class and luxury.
Robert Sietsema reports that employees were only give 48 hours to leave their offices.
Bloomberg gets quotes from Michael Pollen and Saveur’s James Oseland, who calls this “an American tragedy.”