Gone With Gourmet: a Taste for Expertise

There is no 'hard-won blood-on-the-floor kind' of editorial experience on the Web
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2009 10:02 AM CDT
"Gourmet" magazine.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – When Gourmet magazine absorbed his Cook’s in 1990, Christopher Kimball discovered the hard way that the publishing business is “a top-down, winner-take-all proposition, an oligarchy of sorts.” But the frazzling encounter also afforded him a meeting with Conde Nast chairman Si Newshouse, who “poured his fortune into his magazine properties and his editors, even when the prospect of return seemed dim.” Newhouse—and Gourmet—had “respect for those who had earned the chops.”

With the closing of Gourmet and the coming media apocalypse, Kimball writes in the New York Times, those days of “philanthropic publishing” and esteem for the “good breeding” necessary to “stand at the cultural helm” is on the wane. Those who oppose the “democratic economics of the Internet” must “ask to be paid,” Kimball suggests, “and refuse to climb aboard this ship of fools, the one where everyone has an equal voice.” Julia Child’s first question to a young chef? "And where did you train, dear?”