Ruth Reichl has long been one of my idols in the food world. OK, I’ll admit that I’m actually mildly obsessed with her writing. She is a former restaurant critic for both the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times, the author of several books, and the current editor in chief of Gourmet magazine. I love her writing because she is able to tell a story with food, outlining her past by tastes. She finds a perfect balance with her use of descriptive words, careful not to go too over the top, as is easy to do when talking about food, yet still painting a clear and delicious picture.
Enough raving about Reichl and on to raves about her magazine, Gourmet. I’ve been a fan of the publication for quite some time, and I can’t express how happy I was when it began publishing a monthly vegetarian column. The column is still fairly new, but so far the recipes sound very promising—both interesting enough for longtime vegetarians and accessible enough for the new ones. The magazine has become so sensitive to vegetarian issues that in June 2007, it featured a cover story on the extreme pain and abuse suffered by chickens raised in factory farms. I couldn’t believe that a magazine that always features meat would take the time to address animal welfare. It signifies a significant step in the right direction.
In the April 2007 issue of Gourmet, Reichl summed up the publication’s view on vegetarianism when she said, “Isn’t it time we realized that eating vegetarian meals is neither penance nor virtue but simply another mealtime option?” Finally! A mainstream magazine that makes vegetarians a part of the culinary world instead of relegating us to “the others.”
Thank you, Ruth. And other food editors, take note.