Looking Back at Gourmet

October 13, 2009

Stella’s curled up next to me, purring.  Hailey’s at my feet.  I’m getting ready to tape an interview with Terry Gross, and I’ve been thinking about the pieces that made me proudest at Gourmet. There were so many that transcended recipes and dealt with food as culture, science and politics. 

These are the ones that came immediately to mind:
The first farm issue ten years ago, with all the articles on hard times for farmers, and how they coped. The Latino issue, with that terrific Junot Diaz piece.  David Foster Wallace’s Consider the Lobster, which drove so many people crazy.  Barry Estabrook’s piece on tomato slaves, which had such a profound impact. His early piece on problems with fish farming, which also had an impact. The stunning piece about transfats, and how the bad news about them was kept from the public for more than 20 years. Daniel Zwerdling’s piece on chickens. David Rakoff on Jews and bacon. Bruce Feiler’s hilarious adventures as he tried to buy his way into restaurants.  All those gorgeous Ann Patchett essays.  Francis Lam on omelets. Michael Pollan on Joel Salatin. Aleksandra Crapanzano on falling in love in Paris.  Ben Cheever working at Cosi. John Haney’s Fair Shares for All. Phyllis Richman on land trusts… the list goes on and on. 

I am so sad that it’s over.

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What now?

October 12, 2009

While we were creating gourmet.com, it didn’t feel right to be posting here. But now that Gourmet is, sadly, a piece of the past, this is where you’ll find me.

At the moment I’m still working on Gourmet’s Adventures with Ruth, which debuts this weekend on public television.  Right now I’m viewing the rough cut of the China episode, getting really hungry as I watch myself and Dean (Fearing) cooking spicy eggplant, the best sweet and sour pork I’ve ever tasted (the secret is a syrup made from osmanthus flowers), and wonderful little egg-wrapped dumplings.  We were in Yangshuo, a stunningly gorgeous part of the world. The whole time I was there I had the surreal feeling that I had walked right into one of those achingly beautiful 16th century Chinese ink drawings.

I’m still on booktour, too, and as soon as I know where I’m going to be, and when, I’ll post that.  Right now I can tell you that I’ll be reading at The Book Loft in Great Barrington this Saturday at 1, and I’ll be in Philadelphia on October 26th.  Tomorrow I’m going to be talking to Terry Gross on NPR.

You can follow me on Twitter, too.

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