In the fall of 2009, the food world was rocked when Gourmet magazine was abruptly shuttered by its parent company. No one was more stunned by this unexpected turn of events than its beloved editor in chief, Ruth Reichl, who suddenly faced an uncertain professional future. As she struggled to process what had seemed unthinkable, Reichl turned to the one place that had always provided sanctuary. “I did what I always do when I’m confused, lonely, or frightened,” she writes. “I disappeared into the kitchen.”

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The World Expands: 1978

These ads, from a 1978 issue of Gourmet, prove that everything old is new again. The anglo-American palette was widening its horizons, and “exotic” products entered the ad market. In the current age of coconut craziness, the idea that it was being "introduced" is extremely enlightening. What can you do with coconut cream? The world is wide: Trout coco amandine,...

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The Mutton Chop of Fish

What, you might ask, is this? No, this little fantasy is not dessert. And yes, that fish is real. This improbable confection on the cover of a 1952 issue of Gourmet Magazine is filets de sole Joinville. I like to imagine America's bravest cooks eagerly devouring this recipe, running out to buy the (extremely long) list of ingredients, and then...

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A Note from Pappy

Found this ad in the September, 1960 issue of Gourmet. What stopped me was the picture - it looked so much like the label on my bottle of Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve Bourbon. Then I saw the name. But I pass it on because it's difficult to imagine anyone writing ad copy like this today. This is, I believe,...

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