Gourmet from the Grave

Ruth Reichl Reviews Gourmet’s Revolution with Jonathan Gold

“You have ruined the best magazine in America,” Gourmet loyalists told Ruth Reichl when she took over the magazine in1999. The former editor joined former colleagues Jonathan Gold and his wife Laurie Ochoa last night at Zocalo Public Square to remember the magazine they revived from having “no sense of this food revolution.” Reichl encouraged writers to “follow their obsessions”, and Gold happily obliged. His goal, he said, was to “do for restaurant writing what Pauline Kael had done for movie writing.”

Gold, a critic for Gourmet, recounted the time he found a worm in his salad at one of Alain Ducasse’s restaurants. It didn’t bother him as much as it did Ducasse’s stressed-out staff — “it means the lettuce was organic.” Of course. Gourmet’s test kitchens may be a a ghost town, and the website static, but Reichl’s legacy, and the magazine’s, is lasting. Gourmet was “the voice of American food for a very long time…at the very time that American food was coming of age.”

A full video of the Zocalo panel is online.

Earlier: Gourmet Will Fold After Almost 70 Years

Ruth Reichl Reviews Gourmet’s Revolution with Jonathan Gold