Goodbye Gourmet

Early Work
The early days of my food styling & photography with Gourmet’s Apple Pie… so much still left to learn. circa 1993

It is with a very heavy heart that I, along with many others,  bid farewell to a magazine that threw open the doors of an exciting culinary world for me to explore. You can read more about the shuttering of Gourmet Magazine here.

It nearly has me to the point of tears, it’s like saying goodbye to a life long friend who had an instrumental hand in the changing of my life and my career path.  For if not for Gourmet Magazine I never would have seen my first shots of food porn or have learned that life is more than Meat, Potatoes & Gravy.  Gourmet Magazine has been in my home since the late 80’s, always there to offer up a recipe to impress friends and family, to inspire me to create something new of my own design or to whisk me off to some exotic destination where photos and explicit descriptions would set my mouth to water and my mind to wander.

My life as a food photographer and food stylist, well I think it was just fate, some luck and a whole lot of passion for food.  I’ve always loved cooking and entertaining, for me there is no greater satisfaction than feeding loved ones and seeing the bliss of something delicious that I prepared swathing over their palettes, or hearing the “yum, ohh mmm” sounds coming from them.  That is the greatest reward for me as a cook.  I put love, attention and my passion for food into everything I cook and I love it when those things are conveyed to the plate successfully.

It was on one occasion that I had a large dinner party at my house where I had served a hazelnut dusted ahi tuna steak wrapped in prosciutto that my friends sat looking at their plates in awe.  I insisted that everyone dig in but my guests insisted that the food was too pretty to eat and said that I needed to take a picture before they ate.  So I dug out my old Polaroid camera and snapped a quick picture.  For dessert we had Gourmet Magazine’s Apple Pie 1993, before serving it up I decided to try my hand at staging a shot in the kitchen before bringing out the slices to be devoured.  I had alot to learn and my curiosity in the world of Food Photography & Food Styling was sparked, or better still… it was ignited.

Over time, off and on, I tried my hand at documenting my own personal culinary journey.  This was in the days long before blogging existed so my documentation ended up in several 3-ring binders and photos in ziploc bags inside the binders, most of what I shot was a quick snap on Polaroid or using my old Canon 35mm film camera.  I didn’t have the luxury of fancy lighting, so I learned to make due with available light.  I learned that props were a key in creating a great mood to an image, because let’s face it who wants to look at a bunch of food photos on the same bunch of hexagon black plates circa 1990?  So the collection of new dishes began.

Shelves of Props
Can you believe I still don’t have enough props?

And with new dishes… well that meant napkins, silverware, cookware, colorful papers, baskets, towels, cutting boards…  enough stuff to fill a 10’x15′ storage space with prop goodies

Gorgeous Wood
Oodles of boards

Years later, my passion for food and photography would lead me down a road that would change who I am forever.  Magazines like Gourmet were there to inspire me, to make me think outside the box and to stop cooking from a box.  To this day I relish every savory, beautiful bite that this world has to offer.  I am a food geek, a food stylist, a food photographer, a lover of the origins of food, a supporter of farmers and artisan food producers.  All of which I would be none the wiser, if not for the enlightenment given by publications like the one whose cover so elegantly and deliciously closes forever.
Goodbye Gourmet, thanks for everything.

Beautiful Cheese
It’s been a long, wonderful road and I’ve come a long, long way.  Looking forward to the rest of the journey.

Apple Pie
adapted from Gourmet Magazine 1993
via Epicurious
(Please visit Epicurious for the full instructions & original recipe)

  • about 8 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 3/4 cup tablespoon sugar
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon Allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
  • milk for brushing the crust

Pâte brisée:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
  • 2 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons ice water plus additional if necessary


To make the pie:
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Roll out half the dough 1/8 inch thick on a lightly floured surface, fit it into a 9-inch (1-quart) glass pie plate. In a large bowl toss together the apples, each peeled, cored, and cut into eighths, 3/4 cup of the sugar, the flour, the cinnamon, the nutmeg, the salt, and the lemon juice until the mixture is combined well, transfer the filling to the shell.

Roll out the remaining dough drape it over the filling, and trim it, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Fold & crimp the edges.  Brush the crust lightly with the milk, cut slits in it with a sharp knife, forming steam vents, and sprinkle the pie evenly with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Bake the pie on a large baking sheet in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes, reduce the temperature to 350°F., and bake the pie for 20 to 25 minutes more, or until the crust is golden and the apples are tender.

To make pâte brisée:
In a large bowl blend the flour, the butter, the vegetable shortening, and the salt until the mixture resembles meal. Add the 2 tablespoons ice water, toss the mixture until the water is incorporated, adding the additional ice water if necessary to form a dough, and form the dough into a ball. Dust the dough with flour and chill it, wrapped in wax paper, for 1 hour.

***Gourmet Magazine’s recipes will still be able to be found over at, there is always a link here at nommynom.

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12 Responses to Goodbye Gourmet

  1. Maria says:

    Great post! I will miss Gourmet and your photos are stunning!

  2. What a beautiful tribute to Gourmet.
    As for your props… they are gorgeous! Porn or no porn, I would like to put my hands on them and fondle them…
    Your photography is amazing. (and I still need to buy a better lens!)

  3. Kristina says:

    Kelly – I loved this post. I’ll be honest and not claim an overwhelming attachment to Gourmet magazine – so many magazines to read and not enough time. But reading about your sadness and hearing everyone else’s sorrow makes me wish I had made more time.

  4. Wendy Edwards says:

    Totally love the props. I’m jealous! I’m very sorry about the magazine tho.

  5. This is such a sweet tribute to Gourmet, indeed, exactly the type of writing that connects food with people and memories that Ruth Reichl introduced into the magazine. I love your collection of props and one day, perhaps, we’ll have a space big enough for a collection that size!

  6. Sean says:

    I used to peruse my father’s Gourmets in the 80s and 90s and even had a subscription for a while, but the recipes were just too esoteric and complicated for my style of cooking. I do enjoy Bon Appetit’ more these days. It has changed somewhat from a few years ago, and I enjoy the style today. It is sad to see Gourmet close though. You certainly wouldn’t expect that.

  7. Alice says:

    Beautiful post Kelly. I am so glad that although Gourmet may not be with us for much longer, your work continues on.

  8. Kelly! What a beautiful post. I was saddened & shocked to hear the news as well. They will be missed dearly.

    I have to say that your collection of props is incredible (I’m completely envious). Thank you for sharing your early pictures. You are so talented & your pictures are inspiring to me.

  9. Angela says:

    Lovely! I couldn’t possibly put it any better! Thank you.

  10. As a food lover and Gourmet subscriber, I know I should be focusing on the Conde Nast/Gourmet debacle. But as a food blogger, I have to admit, I’m suddenly experiencing a serious case of prop envy! ;)

    Seriously though, nice tribute to Gourmet. I enjoyed your reminiscing.

  11. Jennifer says:

    What a beautiful farewell… and I covet your props.

  12. Helen Shorey says:

    Wow! and my hubby complains about 1 large box of bits – I can’t imagine what he’s going to say when I show him your prop collection :)

    I’ve never come across Gourmet magazine but I commiserate with you anyway. Any magazine that hooks you for so long has to be worth trying to preserve – it’s such a shame so many are shutting down now.

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