As gourmet food and celebrity chefs have become more popular, dozens of magazines have devoted themselves to the culinary world. You can find magazines today dedicated to any number of specific cuisines or particular groups of readers. Like anything else, some examples have become outstanding in their field, while others flail helplessly with poor journalism and vision. Here are my choices for some of the best food magazines available.
If you haven't read Gourmet lately, it's time to start. Since Ruth Reichl (former restaurant critic of the NY Times) became editor-in-chief in 1999, Gourmet Magazine has become a stellar publication. Heavy on recipes, a large section of Gourmet is also devoted to travel and restaurants. Well written with decent photography, this magazine is a must for any culinaire.
This gorgeous magazine is filled with beautiful photos and fascinating food tales from around the world. The recipes and articles focus on authentic, regional cooking. Definitely for food lovers.
"The Art of Eating is about the best food and wine what they are, how they are produced, where to find them (the farms, markets, shops, restaurants)." - from their website. This quarterly magazine is written exclusively by Edward Behr, one of America's great food writers. If you love to read about food, this magazine is for you. Behr's knowledge and passion of food is eloquently displayed in this wonderful magazine.
Food & Wine is a general all-purpose magazine for foodies. Filled with recipes and articles on travel and entertaining, it has a definite upscale feel with decent photography. Don't miss Food & Wine's annual Top 10 Best New Chefs. Every year ten up and coming chefs from around the country are selected as the next culinary superstars.
Cook's Illustrated is a very beautiful how-to magazine. The contents are full of step-by-step illustrations on cooking methods and rigorously tested recipes. They give brutally honest reviews of kitchen tools and cookware, along with product taste tests. Cook's Illustrated has no advertising, so you can be assured their opinions don't favor any particular manufacturer. Published bi-monthly, the beautiful drawings and photographs are reason enough to get this magazine.
This quarterly magazine is expensive ($59/yr), but the issues come hard bound so you can keep them forever. Written for professional chefs, the articles and recipes are all contributed by professional chefs. The photography is outstanding. If you're serious about food, you should definitely consider this culinary masterpiece.
Another quarterly magazine, Gastronomica is published by the University of California and covers a diverse range of food topics. Slightly academic, the articles are well written and insightful. All aspects of food are celebrated from the most grandiose to the simplest everyday aspects. Fantastic photography lends to this magazine prominence as a great read.
Fine Cooking is a great magazine for people who love to cook. Packed full of great recipes, much space is devoted to teaching the art of cooking. Wonderfully illustrated with step-by-step photographs and instructions, Fine Cooking is sure to make anyone a better cook.
Don't let the name fool you. Cooking Light is about serious cooking. Dedicated to healthy living, recipes take no shortcuts when it comes to flavor. Whether you're looking for quick and easy recipes for lunch or a whole menu for a special celebration, Cooking Light will have the answers (healthy ones to be sure).
Bon Appetit is basically a lesser version of Gourmet. You'll find good recipes here and an occasional interesting article. The magazine is heavy on advertising (much of which has nothing to do with food). However, it is one of the cheapest food magazines to subscribe to, so you may want to get it just for the recipes.