The celebrity magazine is launching a food app, plus a new food channel
PEOPLE magazine has launched a food and entertaining channel, giving celebrity junkies an additional shot of food porn.
Just as Scientific American announces a food blog to talk about gut bacteria and molecular gastronomy, PEOPLE magazine announces a new channel called "Great Ideas," to talk about things like Gwyneth Paltrow's latest GOOP edition.
In a press release, PEOPLE announced a new CelebFood app where users can browse recipes, cooking tips, and videos from celebrities, in addition to a new section called "Great Ideas." A quick browse of the new site shows features like "Jessica Alba's 5 Favorite Kitchen Accessories," "Aziz Ansari's 'Greatest Culinary Accomplishments,'" and the ubiquitous ramen burger story. On the app side, celebs like Jenny Garth share the byline with chefs like Curtis Stone.
More stories to come: features about food, entertaining, home, and health, "all through the celebrity and entertainment lens that PEOPLE does best... Great Ideas is the place where PEOPLE readers can visit to be inspired to live more like the celebrities and entertainers they love," the press release says. Unfortunately, even if you buy everything Jessica Alba has in her kitchen, you still won't look like her.
In other food publication news, wine journalist Talia Baiocchi (formerly of Eater) has announced a new drink online magazine PUNCH, out this October.
About Simply Recipes
Simply Recipes is here to help you cook delicious meals with less stress and more joy. We offer recipes and cooking advice for home cooks, by home cooks. Helping create “kitchen wins” is what we’re all about.
Simply Recipes was founded in 2003 by Elise Bauer as a home cooking blog to record her favorite family recipes. Today, Simply Recipes has grown into a trusted resource for home cooks with more than 3,000 tested recipes, guides, and meal plans, drawing over 15 million readers each month from around the world. We’re supported by a diverse group of recipe developers, food writers, recipe and product testers, photographers, and other creative professionals.
Founding and early years Edit
Gourmet was founded by Earle MacAusland who went on to serve as publisher and editor in chief for nearly forty years.  Its first issue, dated January 1941, announced that the new magazine was to be for “the honest seeker of the summum bonum of living.”  It 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.  The Boston Cooking Magazine was founded by S.S. Pierce, a man who MacAusland took a lot of inspiration and lessons from. 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 illustrated 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.  In 1947, American Cookery closed, in part due to the rise of Gourmet.  From 1945 to 1965, Gourmet’s offices were located in the Plaza Hotel, in New York. 
James Beard came on as an editor at Gourmet in the 1940s, becoming the magazine's restaurant critic in 1949. He left in 1950 after feuding with MacAusland, but returned in 1969.  At some point, Craig Claiborne worked as a receptionist. 
The publication introduced two popular features: “You Asked for It!”, in which the magazine's staff answered recipe requests from readers, and “Sugar and Spice,” which allowed readers to respond to each other’s queries. In the 1950s, the magazine transitioned from illustration to photography under the supervision of Jane Montant, who would go on to become the magazine’s executive editor from the early 1960s to 1980, and its editor in chief from 1980 to 1991.  In 1965, Gourmet established its own test kitchen. 
Subsequent years Edit
Condé Nast bought the magazine in 1983.
In January of 1999, it was announced that Ruth Reichl would leave her post as restaurant critic of The New York Times to become editor in chief of Gourmet. (Reichl had joined the Times in 1993 previously, she had been the restaurant critic for The Los Angeles Times.) Gourmet then had a circulation of about 880,000.  Reichl was seen to raise the ambition level of Gourmet, introducing stories on such subjects as the plight of migrant tomato pickers in Florida, not-so-sustainably farm-raised salmon, and the ethical questions generated by boiling lobsters alive (in David Foster Wallace's now widely read piece "Consider the Lobster.")  The magazine went on to win a number of National Magazine and James Beard Awards, and, with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt publishers, brought out The Gourmet Cookbook in 2004.  The book featured 1,200 recipes published in the magazine over the previous 60 years.  (In 2002, the Modern Library published Endless Feasts: Sixty Years Of Writing From Gourmet.) 
The magazine poured extensive resources into developing and testing recipes, with 12 test-kitchen chefs and an in-house photographer. Food costs alone ran to over $100,000 a year. 
The English journalist and food writer Jay Rayner noted that "Working for Gourmet was like flying the Atlantic first class. It ruined you for other food magazines. It wasn't just the pay, which could be multiple dollars per word. It was also the awe inspiring heft of the operation: the way food photography events were organised like they were Hollywood movie shoots, complete with casting calls and on-site catering the attentions of the many editors the pursuit by dreaded fact checkers." 
In January 2008, Gourmet launched its own website. (Its content had previously been funneled into Epicurious.) The site included stories, reviews, videos, recipes, and archival material dating to the magazine’s launch in 1941. Contributors included John T. Edge, Michael Pollan, Eric Ripert, Heston Blumenthal, and Colman Andrews.  Reichl had been lobbying Condé Nast for a standalone Gourmet site since 1999. (To the chagrin of the magazine's staff, Gourmet's recipes would continue to appear on the Epicurious site.) 
On October 5, 2009 Condé Nast Publications CEO Chuck Townsend announced that, as part of the continuing fallout from the economic downturn of 2008, the magazine would cease monthly publication the company, he said, "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."  Townsend acknowledged the difficulties for magazines in the wake of the economic meltdown of 2008.  Reichl noted, "Our biggest advertising categories were automotive, banking, beauty, travel, high-end appliances and virtually that whole market was hit.”  The decision to close the magazine was unexpected the chef and restaurateur Alice Waters is said to have nearly cried when she heard the news of Gourmet's demise.  (The magazine's circulation was about 980,000.) 
In the aftermath of the announcement that Gourmet was folding, a new cookbook, Gourmet Today, released a few weeks before the news, saw a significant spike in sales.  The cookbook included over 1,000 recipes for everything from vegetable dishes to cocktails. 
In December of 2009, the 3,500 cookbooks in Gourmet’s research library were acquired by the Fales Library of New York University. 
In September of 2010, Condé Nast revived the brand as an app,  but stopped updating it two years later.
In 2019, Reichl published Save Me the Plums, a memoir of her time at Gourmet. 
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.
- Pearl V. Mezelthin (1941–1943) (1943–1980) 
- Jane Montant (1980–1991) 
- Gail Zweigenthal (1991–1998) 
- Ruth Reichl (1999–2009) 
Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie premiered on PBS in October 2006.  The series won a James Beard Foundation Award in 2008.  In October 2009, Gourmet's Adventures With Ruth premiered on PBS as a follow-up to Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie.  The show featured Reichl visiting cooking schools around the world with well-known chefs.
The Cloquet Fire Department brings its own mojakka to the cook-off thanks to the efforts of Fire Engine Operator Pat Marciniak and Captain Steve Kolodge. Their recipe came from Steve's wife's grandmother, Mayme Ronkainen - quite the passing of tradition.
To summon sufficient sisu – fortitude – for his task ahead, St. Urho first dined on hearty mojakka before heading out to rid the ancient Finnish vineyards of those pesky grasshoppers.
At least, that’s what my uncle told me.
Perhaps my uncle embellished the story a bit – as if adding to the legend was really necessary – or maybe he was trying to get me and my cousins to eat our mojakka – a “leftovers” soup that, it turns out, originated here in the “New Country,” just like the story of St. Urho. (St. Urho’s Day, for the uninitiated, is March 16, the day before St. Patrick’s Day, and thereby one-upping the Irish chaser of serpents.)
Finnish immigrants who settled in this Lake Superior region in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ontario are credited with creating and naming this signature dish.
The origin of the word mojakka is a bit of a mystery in modern Finnish the word for soup is a not-even-close keitto.
Mojakka can range from a thin soup to a thick stew. Made with beef and a generous helping of rutabagas and potatoes, it is lihamojakka (LEE-ha-moy-a-kah), my children’s favorite food after a day outside skating and sledding.
Made with fish, it is kalamojakka (KAH-la-moy-a-kah), otherwise known as “the soup that frightens children.” My friend’s mother called hers “fish head soup” and used to tease us about getting an eyeball in our bowl.
“It will pop in your mouth just like a blueberry,” she used to claim. It would take another decade for me to work up my own sisu to try kalamojakka, only to fall in love with a buttery, milky version of this fish soup flavored with allspice.
Truly, you can make mojakka out of anything – chicken, pork, sausage, venison. Any leftovers you have in the fridge are fair game, although some mojakka purists say that without allspice, it’s not really mojakka.
Mojakka changes from kitchen to kitchen. Influenced by family traditions and personal preference, it seems every cook has his or her own favorite ingredients and signature method of making mojakka.
In March, the most competitive (and fun-loving) of mojakka masters will face off at the annual St. Urho’s Day Mojakka Cook-Off at the historic Northeastern Hotel in Cloquet, Minnesota, owned by Bert and Judy Whittington.
Although it’s usually held on the Sunday before St. Urho’s Day, this year it actually falls on the day of the “wearing of the purple.”
The regional cook-off was born in 2003 after Tim Winker of Wink Timber Media Agency came back from Newfoundland, where he discovered regional foods like “fried cod tongues.” (Who knew cods had tongues.) He tried to think of a very regional dish to use as a fundraiser for The Friends of Animals Humane Society of Carlton County. (He is webmaster of www.mojakka.com.)
The Whittingtons, who have a tradition of hosting about one fundraiser a month for various groups, agreed to host the cook-off. (In 2006 their Northeastern Saloon and Grill received the business of the year award from the Carlton Area Chamber of Commerce.)
Each year, a team of three esteemed mojakka judges is charged with the difficult task of choosing the “best of the best” in three categories. After a fair-minded blind taste test, first-place trophies are presented for the best Kalamojakka (fish), the best Lihamojakka (beef) and the best non-traditional Potluck Mojakka. Of course, the judges aren’t the only ones doing the tasting about 100 people attend every year, paying a small fee to enjoy some award-winning mojakka. Their donations raise $600 to $1,000 every year for the Friends of Animals.
“We have children to 90-year-old people here,” says Judy.
Everyone in attendance is invited to vote for their favorite mojakka and the highest vote-getter receives The Gary Eckman People’s Choice Award.
Neither Bert nor Judy claim Finnish heritage, but Judy makes her delicious kalamojakka to share every year. (She politely doesn’t enter it in the contest, but has won the People’s Choice Award.)
Bert strives to be impartial as well: “I try them all, every year.”
Bert, whose ancestry is British, became familiar with mojakka while growing up in Aurora, Minnesota. He was once crowned king of the Laskiainen Palo-Markham’s Finnish sliding festival, but that was by association and not heritage he was dating the woman (of Finnish stock) who was named “queen” of the festival.
As for the dreaded mojakka “fish eye” story, Judy says after years of tasting kalamojakka, “We’ve never seen an eyeball.”
Although mojakka was born of immigrants dating back, perhaps, a hundred years, it has kept pace with the times. You can find more recipes and information about the St. Urho’s Day Mojakka Cook-Off at mojakka.com.
Some will say that the old ways are still the best ways. For them mojakka is best when made outdoors in a big iron cauldron, bubbling over a wood fire. Eaten with homemade rye bread and shared with good company, it’s the perfect way to celebrate a mid-summer’s night, a mid-winter’s day, or St. Urho’s Day.
On TV! Cooking with Martha Stewart
I&rsquove appeared on the Martha Stewart show, The Today Show, The Food Network and lots of local news programs, cooking up a storm with the hosts.
I still do a lot of recipe development, food styling and content production for food brands and I just love what I do. (Click here to contact me about consulting work!)
How 12 Female Cookbook Authors Changed the Way We Eat
Of all the cookbooks that made their mark in the past 300 years, Fannie Farmer’s The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook—known today as The Fannie Farmer Cookbook—may have changed at-home cooking the most. When Little Brown & Company released the 600-page tome in 1896, the publisher expected minimal sales, and even made Farmer, then principal of the Boston Cooking School, pay for the first 3,000 copies. Yet, she ended up selling 360,000 copies of the book in her lifetime—and more than 7 million to date.
“She invented the style of recipe writing that is consistently followed today: a little header at the top, a short sentence that puts the recipe into perspective, a list of ingredients with quantities in order, and step-by-step instructions,” says Anne Willan, founder of LaVarenne Cooking School in Paris.
Willan’s new book, Women in the Kitchen, uncovers the ways that 12 female cookbook authors, spanning from 1661 to present day, redefined the way people eat and share recipes. She explores how these women—from both England and America—reshaped the practice of home cooking and broke barriers in the male-dominated food industry. Historically, while women were seen as unequal to their male chef counterparts, female cooks’ style transformed the kitchen their dishes required less expensive ingredients, simpler tools and included step-by-step instructions. These personable recipes both influenced family tastes and encouraged the passing down of knowledge to aspiring cooks.
English writer Hannah Woolley was one of the first to earn a living publishing books on how to manage a household. (Courtesy of Anne Willan) An 1882 engraving of Lydia Child, an abolitionist who also authored a very successful cookbook, The American Frugal Housewife. (Wikipedia) Maria Rundell's A New System of Domestic Cookery was hugely popular during early 19th century, selling a half a million copies during the author's lifetime. With middle class housewives as it target audience, the book helped home cooks limit food waste. (Wikipedia) Amelia Simmons’ American Cookery was published across eight different New England towns between 1796 and 1822. (Library of Congress) First published in 1847, Sarah Rutledge's The Carolina Housewife is a classic when it comes to Southern cooking. (Library of Congress)
English cook Hannah Glass, for starters, penned The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, considered the most influential cookbook of the 1700s and printed in more than 20 editions. Amelia Simmons’ American Cookery was published across eight different New England towns between 1796 and 1822. Irma Rombauer’s Joy of Cooking, first published in 1931, circulated more than 18 million copies worldwide. Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which has sold 1.5 million copies since 1961, even had a resurgence in 2009, appearing on the New York Times bestseller list for nonfiction thanks to the film Julie & Julia. And Edna Lewis’ The Taste of Country Cooking—published in 1976 and chock full of pure and fresh ingredients, southern cultural traditions and childhood stories—was among the first cookbooks written by a black southern woman that did not hide the author’s true name, gender or race. Willan chronicles the lives of each of these cooks (as well as Hannah Woolley, Maria Rundell, Lydia Child, Sarah Rutledge, Marcella Hazan and Alice Waters), incorporating original recipes and offering updated dishes for modern home cooks.
Smithsonian spoke with Willan about the value of a cookbook and how these women found success across their careers.
What made these 12 female cookbook writers stand out for you?
They were all so different, and one fairly clearly led to another in each generation. The very fact that they wrote down and recorded what they are cooking means that they were intelligent women who thought about what they were doing and how they were doing it. This book looks back at the first women who were not just writing down their recipes, but had the initiative to turn their ideas into a reality.
Whoever was in the kitchen had enormous power in the household. For one thing, they were almost certainly buying the ingredients and feeding the family. But that means they were controlling a large percentage of the budget. Throughout history, there was an ongoing saying: “You are what you eat.” Cooking in a household feeds the family and influences them in subtle ways.
Edna Lewis published The Taste of Country Cooking in 1976. The cooking was among the first written by a black southern woman that did not hide the author's true name, gender or race. (Martha Cooper/New York Post Archives/(c) NYP Holdings, Inc. via Getty Images) Irma S. Rombauer (right) and her daughter, Marion Rombauer Becker, confer on their famous publication, The Joy of Cooking. Irma produced the first version in 1931 and later brought her daughter into the business. (Bettmann/Getty Images) Marcella Hazan's cookbooks, published from the 1970s to the 1990s, helped educate Americans about traditional Italian cooking. (Santi Visalli/Getty Images) Chef Julia Child poses in a hail of brussels sprouts in her kitchen. (John Dominis/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images) Alice Waters—chef, author and owner of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California—has been championing local sustainable agriculture for decades. (Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images for ChefDance)
Tell me about some of the women in the book.
The women I picked were the ones who led the pack. They wrote the ‘go-to’ books of their generation. Hannah Woolley was writing magazine-style books about beauty and cosmetics for prosperous women. Hannah Glasse was wacky. She was an illegitimate young girl who ran away with a penniless soldier who went bankrupt. Glasse was also a dressmaker to the 18th century Princess Charlotte—which is the front piece of one of her books. She managed to convince a china shop to sell her book, which she wrote when she was in jail for bankruptcy. Her cookbook is special because it has lovely, funny remarks throughout.
Amelia Simmons, an astonishingly buried character, was an early New England semi-pioneer. While her date of birth and death are unknown, she was this sort of modern, liberated woman. Fannie Farmer spent the formative years of her youth as an invalid—she suffered paralysis that left her bed-ridden. But after she attended the Boston Cooking School, she flourished as a writer and was known for her recipes that used precise measurements. People still cook from Fannie Farmer today. And then Alice Waters is [part of] the new generation who most certainly led us into a new era.
Anne Willan (left) and Julia Child (right) were good friends. (Courtesy of Anne Willan)
You had a close relationship with featured cookbook writer Julia Child—describing her as a “second grandmother to my own children”. Can you tell me about your relationship?
She was a very good friend. She was around when my daughter, Emma, was born and was very fond of her. Our husbands, Paul and Mark, would also sit side by side while Julia and I did our stuff on the stage, also known as our kitchen. They would look at each other and roll their eyes when things went a bit too far.
Why does crafting a cookbook matter in the first place?
There's a nice little rhyme in the introduction of Hannah Woolley’s book:
Ladies, I hope your pleas’d and so shall I,
If what I’ve Writ, you may be gainers by:
If not: it is your fault, it is not mine,
Your benefit in this I do design.
Much labor and much time it hath me cost
Therefore I beg, let none of it be lost.
‘Let none of it be lost’ is the whole reason for writing a cookbook. These women want their children and their grandchildren to be able to enjoy the tradition. For me, I have two grandchildren who come to my place once a week to make different recipes. Then they take what they make back to their homes so they can get an outsider's opinion. So my book is meant to be taken into the kitchen and enjoyed with younger generations.
Women in the Kitchen: Twelve Essential Cookbook Writers Who Defined the Way We Eat, from 1661 to Today
Culinary historian Anne Willan traces the origins of American cooking through profiles of twelve essential women cookbook writers—from Hannah Woolley in the mid-1600s to Fannie Farmer, Julia Child, and Alice Waters—highlighting their key historical contributions and most representative recipes.
How has the ever-changing kitchen—its expectations and societal norms—influenced the women you write about?
Today, the kitchen is easier and cleaner. You can turn the burner on and off, for example. But my mother, born in 1910, was brought up with the idea that food was never something you paid attention to or discussed at the table. Nowadays of course, it's very different. Julia Child had a lot to do with it because she made the practice of cooking food and enjoying the process so popular. But I think it really began with Irma Rombauer. She must've discussed the dishes she described with her friends. And Fannie Farmer just loved food—she loved going up to New York and eating in the newest restaurants.
How do these women pave the way for future budding female cookbook writers?
It’s now taken for granted that any female chef must have a cookbook—whether or not they've written it themselves. Now there’s a whole subset profession of writing cookbooks for other people. These women inspired future budding cooks to write down what they were doing, whether by hand or on a blog online.
Why do you find cooking and cookbooks so important?
Well, the one thing about cooking is that it’s about the people you're cooking for. It involves sitting down at the table with family and friends and talking about the food you’ve created. Cooking pulls in all sorts of people and new experiences, such as the butcher and the way you buy your ingredients. It involves a much wider world than just the kitchen.
About Lily Katzman
Lily Katzman is an editorial intern at Smithsonian magazine. She is a senior at Northwestern, where she studies journalism and Spanish.
In ‘À Table,’ stylish French recipes for a return to entertaining
As more people are getting vaccinated and able to gather in small groups, Rebekah Peppler’s new cookbook “À Table” has come along at just the right time. A comprehensive guidebook to the relaxed French way of entertaining at dinner time, the book is packed with the sort of dishes to help ease us back into the type of gathering we used to do.
In “À Table,” Peppler — who splits her time between Paris and Los Angeles — catalogs French food that is low on effort but delivers high-impact results. Look no further than an appetizer of puff pastry twisted with Comté cheese and sesame seeds. It’s a brilliant three-ingredient appetizer that requires only a bit of cutting and shaping to deliver an hors d’oeuvre that’s stylish, easy and delicious all at once.
Dinner is equally relaxed: a French shrimp boil that asks of the cook only to do a little staggered simmering of potatoes, artichokes and shrimp in a full-bodied broth of white wine, lemon, garlic and Dijon mustard spiked with herbs de Provence, paprika and a pinch of cayenne. Whether toppled onto a newspaper-lined table in your backyard or strewn about on a large platter indoors, it’s an elbows-on-the-table dish - the type that many of us can’t wait to eat again with friends.
And for dessert, “À Table,” has a dish that couldn’t be simpler: the first of spring’s strawberries, macerated in a little sugar and served with whipped cream enriched with crème fraîche. But the icing on the cake — or in this case, cookie on the crème — are Peppler’s intensely buttery and salty sablés, a type of French slice-and-bake cookie that’s crumbly and rich.
But in the cookies, you get a two-fer: first, a flavorful topping to crumble over the berries and crème and second, a take-home snack for your guests. It’s the type of lagniappe, or gift, that will make your guests’ whole day better when they remember they have them. In “À Table” you get a book full of these little extras, “remarques” on how to stock your house wine or which outdated dinner party rules need to be retired.
As we all start returning, albeit sporadically, to life as we knew it, Peppler’s “À Table” is a fantastic guide to re-learn how to entertain in a way that makes everyone feel like we’re back in the good ol’ times.