Gift Guide 2015: A Bold New Food Magazine

December 23, 2015

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Every year I try to feature a food publication in the annual gift guide.  In the past I’ve suggested Lucky Peach, Cherry Bombe, Modern Farmer and Fool. I  was searching for a new candidate when this issue of Sabor arrived.

I’ll admit that the cover reminded me of this:

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It’s the restaurant issue from 2006 featuring the late Homaru Cantu eating the menu of his Chicago restaurant (it was printed on edible paper).  I still love this cover, even though it turned out to have the worst newsstand sales in Gourmet’s history. But then, all my favorite covers did badly; if you want to really sell a lot of food magazines there are two ways to go:

  1. A cover line that trumpets: “Our new chocolate cake diet.  Eat as much as you want and lose 30 pounds a week!” or
  2. A plate of pasta that’s been romanced by a fine photographer.

But that’s what I appreciate about the first print edition of the two-year-old ipad magazine (it’s published in The Netherlands): they haven’t played it safe. This issue’s theme is What’s Up in Paris, which tells you something about the magazine’s swagger.

It contains an interesting dialogue between Yale professor Paul Freedman and Aaron Ayscough on the Paris dining scene. It’s not easy to breathe new life into this conversation, but Sabor’s done it. The magazine is well written and edited, it’s got a sense of humor, and it’s beautifully produced.  I can’t wait to see what they do next.

In the meantime, issue one would make a really good last-minute gift for a food-obsessed friend.

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