The food world has been reeling from the shock.
On October 5, 2009 Condé Nast announced that Gourmet will cease monthly publication due to a decline in advertising sales and shifting food interests among the readership . The magazine’s November 2009 issue, distributed in mid-October, was the magazine’s last.
For 68 years, Gourmet represented the gold standard of food magazines. Its photography was lush, its travel writing smart. Guest contributors, enlisted at the height of their culinary powers, were treated like Hollywood stars. Recipes were rigorously tested, and its editorial fact-checking was legendary.
The magazine’s demise is more a story of changing tastes in media than gastronomy. Condé Nast might have given up on Gourmet, but there are legions of ardent fans who are not ready to give it up. When the announcement was made, angry tweets flew through the blogosphere, followed by an outpouring of grief. Lately, the passion and devotion has coalesced around Gourmet, unbound, an online effort to preserve the legacy and influence of the defunct magazine
Gourmet, unbound is a collaborative, crowdsourcing project assembled by a group of New York-based food professionals and bloggers. The group is soliciting tributes and reminiscences by asking monthly, volunteer participants to cook, adapt, and write about a Gourmet recipe from that month’s issue of any year of the magazine. Gourmet, unbound will post a roundup of all submissions on their site and will feature a few of their favorites from each batch. In this way, the Gourmet, unbound team hopes to celebrate, explore, and revive favorite recipes, keeping the memory of this beloved magazine alive in the hearts and kitchens of home cooks everywhere.
You don’t have to dust off an old stack of Gourmet magazines; the recipe database is maintained on the magazine’s sister site, Epicurious.
For another look at crowdsourcing recipes, you can visit Food 52: an exercise in culinary crowdsourcing from the Gigabiting archives.