I’ve subscribed to Bon Appétit for at least six years, and this past October I faced a question of conscience when my renewal slip came in the mail. Truth be told, Bon Appétit had fallen off my radar. It had become one of the mags collecting dust on my coffee table that offered me little more than guilt for all the fallen trees that had been wasted so I could decorate my apartment with foodie porn. Let’s face facts; Bon Appétit had become boring. The recipes were typical, the writing uninspired, and the layout dated. Flash forward three months and I’m thankful I gave Bon Appétit one more year to impress me. They have, despite others’ cynicism about their new approach. The 2008 issues have been spectacular! The new look is sleek, the typeface is daring, the photographs are brilliant: extreme close-ups and well-styled tabletops. But the face-lift is much more than skin-deep. New writers, such as Nina Planck of Real Food fame, Molly Wizenberg from the popular food blog, Orangette, and Dan Barber from restaurant Blue Hill at Stone Barns, are just three gems who’ve joined the Bon Appétit ranks to help make February’s “Green Issue” the on-the-pulse success that it is. Saveur and Food & Wine best move over; there’s a new show in town and its Editor-in-Chief, Barbara Fairchild, gets it absolutely right when she says, “Food is culture, food is big business, but most of all, food is the topic of conversation almost everywhere.” And I’m talking about Bon Appétit…
Some restaurants highlights include Di Fara (the famous Brooklyn pizza joint), Mozza (LA’s famous Batali-owned pizza joint), Taylor’s Refresher (home of the single best burger I’ve ever had), and Peter Lugar (need I say more?!). Menus range from BBQ to burgers, fried chicken to tacos, and chart American comfort foods from coast to coast. You can catch this special February 23rd at 7:00 PM ET/PT and February 24that 6:00 PM ET/PT.
this season: Start a subscription or pick up a copy of Bon Appétit at the newsstand; it won’t disappoint. Don’t believe me? Check it for yourself at their swanky, up-to-the-minute website. My favorite new section is the “Shopping the Seasons” ingredient guide to winter foods. This season they suggest: leeks, Meyer lemons, blood oranges, parsnips, cauliflower, kale, fennel, grapefruit, escarole, and Brussels sprouts. Bon Appétit indeed!
to build your library: The Bon Appetit Cookbook edited by Barbara Fairchild, is the sort of all-purpose collection readers will appreciate for its breadth (there are over 1200 recipes) as well as its brevity (you can finally throw away all those mags taking up space on your cookbook shelf).