Mourning.

How does one eulogize a magazine? I’m stricken, feeling punched in the gut, my breath gone. I suppose I will wend my way through the stages of grief, through shock and denial, perhaps anger and depression, then finally acceptance.

But I do not find this situation acceptable—it simply makes me sad. Unacceptable, because 180 people will lose their jobs (not only at Gourmet), just like that, poof, gone. Dollars are more important, as they almost always are in big-company America. People no longer matter, and I find that unacceptable.

Unacceptable, too, because the world loses a food institution, a resource that has inspired cooks and informed thinking eaters for nearly 70 years. Some of world’s best writing has appeared on Gourmet‘s pages. The magazine didn’t publish recipes and dinner spreads alone; it covered politics, history and trends in food culture. In this age, we can’t afford to be less knowledgeable about such crucial issues.

I have met and worked with outstandingly talented professionals in the last five years. Gourmet cultivated that. There were no ethical compromises or conflicts of interest allowed in the magazine. No reviews of free meals or free nights at luxury hotels (which happens far more than you might believe in this world of food and travel publishing). Gourmet actually ran reporting, not just food writing. It was a magazine of people who inspired excellence and nurtured it in a human way.

Thank you to everyone I have worked with.

And thank you, Rambling Spoon readers, for keeping your eyes on these pages. I want you to know that I am not going anywhere. Or, rather, I am: first to Montana, then California, eventually back to Asia. I’m taking this blog with me, as I always have. I will continue to write about food and food issues. And now, I will focus even more heavily on projects that have been shoved to the back burner way too long.

6 thoughts on “Mourning.

  1. Karen,
    How sad, Gourmet was an excellent publication and I had no idea about its demise. I hope all of those who have contributed in whatever way manage to find something new and rewarding and take inspiration from what you do and that is to help people to ‘escape’ for a while. God knows we all need that once in a while. Good luck to you and your colleagues Karen, it’s a huge loss. It really is.

    Miles

  2. Karen,
    So, I was sitting here sipping my tea, crunching through my baguette and reading an article on NPR about rice when I found myself exclaiming Rambling Spoon!!! Rambling Spoon works for Gourmet! I had heard about the magazine’s demise earlier but didn’t make the connection until now.
    I feel quite gutted for you and can commiserate with you about suddenly finding yourself without a job. I’m in the same boat and all I can say is that it’s a head trip and to go easy on yourself.

    Your blog has been a great resource and inspiration for me both in planning my trips to Asia and as a salve for the “reverse homesickness”(?) I feel when I’m away from Asia. Plus, it’s beautiful and never fails to make me hungry.
    Take care and be good and kind to yourself,
    Kate

  3. Kate, thank you for your lovely note and words of concern. I wish you the very best in your own job search. I feel lucky at the moment that food is not the only subject I cover. And stay tuned, as I have a couple of exciting new projects in the works. Take care and visit often! I would love to learn more about what you find in Asia.

  4. Karen,
    I’ve so enjoyed reading your blog over the past year, using Gourmet’s great website for travel/food tips and of course your articles. We’re foodies/travelers heading to Bangkok and SE Asia for the year. Looking forward to your new projects.
    BTW, as a former cruising sailor with my husband, I read Pacific Lady. She’s from Oregon as are we! Courageous lady!

  5. Thanks, Nancy. Enjoy your year in SE Asia; perhaps our paths will overlap.
    Glad you enjoyed Sharon’s story. Good news today: Bison Books will publish Pacific Lady in paperback next year.

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