You know a party is going to be good when you get emails a week out asking if you are attending. Such was the case for last Tuesday's fête at Bar Boulud for the launch of Gourmet.com. Ruth Reichl and Daniel Boulud are both excellent hosts independently, but combined the.effect was exponential.
A non-culinary reporter (who was trailing a well-know chef to research a big story) surveyed the packed house and queried "so who are all these people? magazine people?" Not exactly. Practically the entire Gourmet masthead was represented, along with other journalists. At one point I found myself in the middle of a NY-media vortex of Braden Keil, Steve Cuozzo, Richard Johnson, Ben Leventhal and Lockhart Steele. It was a moment I thought it best to smile and be silent, lest I say the unpublishable thing. The rest were the restaurant industry like (a partial and alphabetical list) April Bloomfield, Jean Francois Bruel, Cesare Casella, David Chang, Tom Colicchio, Ken Friedman, Rita Jammet, Daniel Johnnes, Gray Kunz, Mark Ladner, Zarela Martinez, Drew Nieporent, Francois Payard, Eric Ripert, Michael Romano, Michael Stillman, Bill Telepan, Fabio Trabocchi, Jonathan Waxman and Jody Williams. But I digress.
Previously Gourmet was embedded online at Epicurious and now they have a URL of their own. I've spent some time looking through the site, which has a nice clean look and is relatively easy to navigate. Most of the content is different from the print version, although you can find all that there too. The old Choptalk blog has morphed into articles under headings like food politics and ingredients. There are links to timely news stories, though sadly for Snack traffic the blog roll is no more.
They also have snazzy videos produced by Zero Point Zero, the same production house that does Tony Bourdain's No Reservations and Gourmet's own Diary of a Foodie. I discovered you can subscribe to Diary of a Foodie in iTunes for free.
Gourmet.com is almost a completely different experience from print, because of the au courant digital format and all of the original content. I'm curious to see how it will impact the magazine in a general sense. According to the advertising media-kit the median age of Gourmet readers is 49.5. My guess is the website will turn back time.