'journalism' on Serious Eats

Time for a Drink: Journalist Cocktail

The Journalist Cocktail goes back to at least 1930, when it appeared in the Savoy Cocktail Book. Essentially a perfect martini—"perfect" in the cocktail sense meaning it's made with equal parts dry and sweet vermouth—with a dash of this and that for flavorful accents, the Journalist is dry and crisp, yet has a complexity and hint of richness that make it especially endearing. More

'Fire & Knives,' an New Quarterly Magazine from the UK

The blog Eat Me Daily hips us to the premiere issue of Fire & Knives, a new quarterly magazine out of the UK: ...some of the best writing we've come across in a while. Standouts include the unpublished review of a Fanny Cradock book by Elizabeth David, pieces by Oliver Thring, Matthew Fort, Tom Parker Bowles, [the Guardian's] Tim Hayward himself, and a satirical restaurant review by "The Gastrician." A subscription is £20. If you're based in the U.S., shipping is an additional £20 (for a total of about US$65).... More

'Advertising Age' Talks to Condé Nast CEO About 'Gourmet' Shutdown

From Advertising Age's Q&A with Charles H. Townsend, president and CEO of Gourmet publisher Condé Nast: Advertising Age: A Condé Nast employee asked me today whether choosing Gourmet over Bon Appétit signals the future of Condé Nast. Do you shut down the title that's beautiful and smart with good writing, the employee asked, and go for the title with recipes and pictures of cheeseburgers? Do you go with mass over the esteemed, narrower title?Mr. Townsend: That's not Condé Nast. I think that Bon Appétit certainly has broader appeal but I would by no means characterize it as a mass magazine. It's still a high-end magazine. You look at its demography, its price points, the advertising it carries, you look at... More

'Gourmet' Magazine: 1941–2009

"For me Gourmet has always been the gold standard for food magazines." The editor's letter from the premiere issue (January 1941) of Gourmet magazine. By now you've all read the shocking news this morning, courtesy of the New York Times, that Gourmet is going to cease publication with its upcoming November issue. The news hit anyone with a love for great writing and seriously delicious food hard. Really hard. For many of us Gourmet symbolized much of what we love about food journalism: terrific writing, careful editing, and beautiful photos. In recent years Gourmet editor-in-chief Ruth Reichl has also added food politics and harder food news reporting into the magazine's editorial mix, which was much appreciated by me, at least.... More

'Washington Post' Launches New Food Politics Column

Gut Check is a new column that will, in author Ezra Klein's words, be "a provocative look at the policy and politics of the plate. It's about the high cost of cheap meat, and whether eating local actually makes any sense, and why the world might be better off if Congress dissolved its agricultural committees." In the inaugural installment Klein reviews Food Inc. and talks to Eric Schlosser, who consulted on the film.... More

The Organic Milk Business Has Gone Bad: Are You Buying Less Organic Milk?

©iStockphoto.com/cmisje According to the New York Times, the organic milk business has gone bad in a hurry. Are you drinking less organic milk these days, serious eaters? Before we get to the reasons why these farmers are struggling, at least according to Times contributor Katie Zezima, I feel compelled to say that it's this kind of story that demonstrates why we need newspapers to endure. Because without quality institutions like the Times, with its wealth of reporters, editors, and stringers, stories like this might go unreported. Or, at the very least, they wouldn't be made available to the general public. Has anyone read about the plight of these farmers in any other consumer publication, online or in print? Now... More

'Am I Obsolete?' Asks 'San Francisco Chronicle' Food Critic Michael Bauer

Image from Between Meals On his blog Between Meals, longtime San Francisco Chronicle food editor and restaurant critic Michael Bauer recounts discussion from a recent forum concerning the changing face of food journalism. Panelists were asked about the rise of Yelp, reviews on OpenTable, and the profusion of food bloggers on the Internet. At one point, Bauer said, “It used to be that newspapers were the only local voices; now we're one among many.” In reflecting on the panel, Bauer asks his readers, “Am I obsolete?” It’s a question that crops up more and more, as user-driven review sites and food-centric blogs take off. Ruth Reichl recently suggested at a Columbia Journalism School lecture that the days of the critic's... More

The Year That Was on Serious Eats: Food Media

It's an old trope that the only people who care about media news are members of the media themselves. And while we are a "blog," we do indeed consider ourselves part of this illustrious and infamous industry. So please indulge our navel-gazing here in this installment of The Year That Was. In the interest of getting this particular retrospective over with in one shot, I'm going to lump many different media fields together. Newspapers and Magazines ©iStockphoto.com/ideabug It was not a good year for newspapers in general, with several dailies reducing frequency and coverage, going web-only, and even filing for bankruptcy. It's no suprise then that newspaper food sections were also downsized accordingly (and Serious Eats readers were a mixed... More

How to Become a Restaurant Reviewer

It's a popular question for San Francisco Chronicle food critic Michael Bauer, who says people should "follow their passion and write, whether on a blog or on established websites. The unique, interesting and trusted voices will rise to the top.” Or you could just join Yelp.... More

James Beard Awards Add Blog Category

The so-called Oscars of the Food World will now accept nominations for blogs: "The Journalism Awards program has established a new James Beard Foundation Award for Blogs focusing on Food, Restaurants, Beverage, or Nutrition." It's not like web entities had been barred from entering, but its nice to see the foundation tip its hat explicitly to the impact blogs have had on the food world. Enter here, bloggers! [via Eater]... More

Has Today's Food Writing Gone to Pot?

Paul Levy, a 30-year veteran of UK food writing, says he's grown tired of the macho posturing of today's crop of food writers: The food writing that's in vogue today consists chiefly of a bellow of bravado. It's a guy thing, sure, but (with a few honorably hungry exceptions) these scribblers mostly ignore what's on the plate. They view themselves as boy hunters and despise sissy gatherers, thrive on the undertow of violence they detect in the professional kitchen, and like to linger on the unappetizing aspects of food preparation. The gross-out factor trumps tasting good as well as good taste. The perps? Anthony Bourdain and Bill Buford I could see. But the New Yorker's Adam Gopnik? Please. Levy posits... More

Los Angeles Times: Food Critics Not So Anon Anymore

Though much hand-wringing was done about the waning anonymity of food critics last month and in various publications (including here on Serious Eats), Regina Schrambling manages to write a new take on the issue in the Los Angeles Times by going big-picture and surveying all the recent unmaskings. In the article, Schrambling (Gastropoda) points to instances of food critics either getting outed (Craig LaBan, Philadelphia Inquirer; Jonathan Gold, L.A. Weekly) or outing themselves (blogger-cum–newspaper critic Danyelle Freeman; legions of food bloggers who don't necessarily try to hide their mugs). Google, she writes, has led to a new openness, though Schrambling doesn't really opine too much on whether that's good or bad, instead gathering the thoughts of those affected as well... More

James Beard Journalism Awards Announced: A Few Thoughts From Your SE Overlord

I attended the James Beard Journalism Awards, and as you might imagine I have a few things to say. First of all, the big winners: Best Food Section: The San Francisco Chronicle rightfully bested the Boston Globe, which has a pretty good food section, and the Chicago Tribune, which really doesn't. One thing to note: The New York Times has a policy against entering. The Best National Television Show Award went to Gourmet's intriguing attempt at doing something that isn't the same old, same old: "Diary of a Foodie." America's Test Kitchen, which is fun in a geeky way, and Lidia's Family Table, which is homey and heartfelt to the max, rounded out the field. I have many reservations about... More

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