Gourmet (magazine)

Gourmet magazine was a monthly publication of Condé Nast and the first U.S. magazine devoted to food and wine.[1] Founded by Earle R. MacAusland (1890–1980), Gourmet, first published in January 1941,[4] also covered "good living" on a wider scale.

Editor in chiefRuth Reichl (1999–2009)
Former editorsGail Zweigenthal (1991–1998)
Jane Montant (1980–1991)
Earle R. MacAusland (1941–1980)
PublisherEarle R. MacAusland (1941–1980)[1]
Condé Nast (1983–2009)
First issueJanuary 1941[1]
Final issueNovember 2009[2]
Based inNew York City[3]

On October 5, 2009 Condé Nast announced that Gourmet would cease monthly publication by the end of 2009, due to a decline in advertising sales[5] and shifting food interests among the readership.[6] Editor Ruth Reichl, in the middle of a tour promoting the Gourmet Today cookbook, confirmed that the magazine's November 2009 issue, distributed in mid-October, was the magazine's last.[2]

The Gourmet brand continues to be used by Condé Nast for book and television programming and recipes appearing on Epicurious.com.[5] Since the end of its regular run, Condé Nast has also used the Gourmet brand in a series of special edition magazines, covering niches ranging from grilling and Italian food, to quick recipes, holiday foods, and comfort foods.



Gourmet was founded by Earle MacAusland who went on to serve as publisher and editor in chief for nearly forty years.[1] Its first issue was January 1941, and its main competitor at the time was American Cookery, formerly the Boston Cooking School Magazine, also known as the “Boston Cooking-school Magazine Of Culinary Science And Domestic Economics”, which had been published since 1896.[7] The Boston Cooking Magazine was founded by S.S. Pierce, a man who MacAusland took a lot of inspiration and lessons from to start his own magazine. Much of the content was similar – articles on food, recipes by the magazine, recipes submitted by readers, recipes requested by readers and advice sought by readers. But American Cookery was in black-and-white, printed on newsprint, with smaller pages and content focused on America. Gourmet was upscale, slick, in color, with a focus on Europe and New York City, and most of its recipes carrying French names.[8]

Subsequent years

Condé Nast bought the magazine in 1983.

On October 5, 2009 Condé Nast Publications CEO Chuck Townsend announced that the magazine would cease monthly publication; the company "will remain committed to the brand, retaining Gourmet’s book publishing and television programming, and Gourmet recipes on Epicurious. We will concentrate our publishing activities in the epicurean category on Bon Appétit."[8]

A year after the close out of the magazine in September 2010, Conde Nast revived it as an app,[7] but stopped updating it two years later.


As of 2009, the editor in chief for Gourmet was Ruth Reichl. The executive editor was John Willoughby, the executive food editor was Kemp M. Minifie, and the executive chef was Sara Moulton.

Editors in chief:

  • Pearl V. Mezelthin (1941–1943)
  • Earle R. MacAusland (1943–1980)[1]
  • Jane Montant (1980–1991)[9]
  • Gail Zweigenthal (1991–1998)[10]
  • Ruth Reichl (1999–2009)[11]

Gourmet Today

In the aftermath of the announcement that Gourmet was folding, its cookbook, Gourmet Today, released a few weeks before the news, saw a significant spike in sales.[12] The cookbook includes over 1,000 recipes for everything from vegetable dishes to cocktails.[12]

Expansion into television

In October 2009, Gourmet launched Gourmet's Adventures With Ruth on PBS as a follow up to Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie which was also on the public television channel.[13] The show features editor Ruth Reichl visiting cooking schools around the world with well-known chefs.

See also


  1. "America's First Food Magazine Turns 60". Business Wire. FindArticles. August 28, 2001. Retrieved October 5, 2009. Gourmet founder Earle R. MacAusland acted as editor and publisher from the first issue in 1941 until his death in 1980.
  2. "Ruth Reichl: A New Book And The End Of 'Gourmet'". Fresh Air. NPR. October 14, 2009. Retrieved October 16, 2009.
  3. "Gourmet Magazine". Cook's Info. Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  4. Stephanie Clifford (October 5, 2009). "Condé Nast to Close Gourmet, Cookie and Modern Bride". The New York Times. Retrieved August 3, 2015.
  5. Jessica Dickler (October 5, 2009). "Gourmet magazine dies after 70 years". CNNMoney. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
  6. "Gourmet Magazine, 1941–2009: A recipe for obsolescence". The Boston Globe. October 7, 2009. Retrieved October 7, 2009.
  7. VanHemert, Kyle (September 23, 2010). "Gourmet Live: The Delicious New Gourmet Magazine For the iPad". Gizmodo. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  8. Nolan, Hamilton (5 October 2009). "The Wrath of McKinsey: Conde Nast To Fold Gourmet, Three Others". The Gawker.com. Archived from the original on 7 October 2009. Retrieved 6 October 2009.
  9. "Jane Montant, 85; Led Gourmet Magazine in Period of Growth". Los Angeles Times. January 17, 2002. Retrieved 2009-10-05.
  10. "A New Editor for Gourmet". The New York Times. March 7, 1991. Retrieved October 5, 2009.
  11. Alex Kuczynski (January 26, 1999). "Times Critic Will Become Editor of Gourmet". The New York Times. Retrieved October 5, 2009.
  12. Andriani, Lynn (October 26, 2009). "With mag's last issue on newsstands, sales of new book are up". PublishersWeekly.com.
  13. Moses, Lucia (August 17, 2009). "Gourmet Preps TV Show". MediaWeek.com.
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