Sunday, July 26, 2009

Rating Cooking Magazines

I just got my first copy of Gourmet magazine this week and it got me to thinking about cooking magazines I have encountered in the past. There is something relaxing and tantalizing about flipping through the glossy pages and seeing beautiful images of food you could make in your very own kitchen that I just can't get enough of. So in the spirit of Cook's Illustrated - one of my favorites - here's an off the cuff rating of cooking/food magazines I have encountered in the past; although, I have to admit I am nowhere near as methodical as Cooks.

Highly Recommended
Cooks Illustrated: This non-glossy, non-frilly magazine takes top honors for their straightforward approach and well-investigated articles. Explanations of gadgets, chicken parts, and the best way to grill a rib eye accompany accounts from the test kitchen that will encourage any home chef, no matter how infrequently they enter the kitchen. The magazine does not include any advertising (another perk) which bolsters their objectivity and my trust in their product reviews. This is the perfect gift for any serious or aspiring chef in your family. Issues come out bi-monthly, but are chockful of recipes and will keep you busy for the duration.

Gourmet Magazine: The fabulous photography in this glossy monthly will make your mouth water. Between the covers you will find over 50 recipes interspersed with stories about cooks and cooking that are funny, inspiring, or just plain entertaining. Gets a number two spot for a minimal amount of advertising.

Food and Wine: Another great magazine, this periodical branches out from the kitchen to cover restaurants, chefs, and the fruit of the vine. Glossy pictures, a good number of recipes, and lighter content.

Not Recommended: There are two magazines out there that I think are over-hyped and really kind of boring.
Food Network Magazine: I realize that we all love our celebrity chefs, but really they do much better on television. The magazine is light on content and feels like a multi-page Food Network advert. Save the trees and stick to the tube.

Bon Appetit: More like Bore Apetit, the beautiful pictures can't make up for the plethora of advertisements. Plus, I'm not sure I like the recipes that I see in there. Can't say I've ever been inspired to make them, so it might be a hasty judgment on my part, still I'd say your money is better spent elsewhere.

Do you have a favorite cooking mag? Any suggestions? Disagree with one of my rankings? Let me know in a comment!

Buen Provecho! (that means bon appetit in spanish, but I thougth that it would be wrong to use that term since I just slammed the glossy!)


Anonymous said...

I never thought of buying a cooking Magazine but i will certainly go out and get one soon. I would like to share though an excellent book our family has been very loyal to through several generations. "El libro de Nitza Villapol" as we all call it lovingly. If you want to own a book that has ALL and I mean all Cuban recipes, you must have this one!

whatsthedeal said...

Hi Carmen! It was so lovely to meet you tonight -- looking forward to our Julie & Julia get-together! I just subscribed to both Gourmet and Bon Appetit, and I agree with your conclusions. LOVING Gourmet, but kinda "eh" about Bon Appetit so far.
- H