Ruth Reichl Thought It Would Have Been ‘Certainly Justified’ to Fire Her from Gourmet
Damn, cold self-analysis there, Ruth!
Ruth Reichel stopped by America’s Test Kitchen to talk about her art history degree, her use of disguises, and her experience being wined and dined at Le Cirque many years ago, and her pet peeves of restaurants in New York today (yes, they’re all way too loud!). But in this “up close and personal with one of America’s best known foodie” really got serious when she discussed her tenure at Gourmet (which she must just get so sick of talking about in and day out). She defended her work and the magazine; she said, “I tried to make what I thought would be the best possible magazine, feel really strongly that great mags are a refleciton of their editor.” And yet Gourmet still crashed and burned — and wasn’t even really told why. From the interview:
“I wasn’t given a reason [why Gourmet was closing]; I was just told that we were closing. I will say that we, unlike most food magagazines, our advertiers were luxury advertisers. In a recession, if you’re a car manufacturuer, if your’e going to advertise in four mags and going to cut one, it was Gourmet …we got hurt very badly by that, but no one every told me that. I just know that our advertising was way down. This was a mag that was profitable for 67 of its 69 years. It was incomprehensible to me and many other people. I thought that they would have been certainly justified in firing me, getting a whole new group of people to run the magazine, but to to close the magazine seemed really harsh.”
And of course, she talks about her new novel, and why reservationists are usually the first reason she likes a restaurant. She’s not going to ever use Open Table then, huh?