I grew up cooking out of Gourmet—one of many subjects that Susan and I bonded over at my very first magazine job. Susan was the managing editor, and I was the assistant to the editor in chief. But it was Susan who gave me my first break, lobbying to our editor to promote me to assistant editor. I owe much to Susan. And now I owe her even more. A couple weeks ago, three large boxes arrived outside my office doorstep.
Inside were carefully wrapped binders containing Susan’s collection of vintage Gourmet magazines, spanning from 1971 – 1985. I laid them all out on my office floor, and then spent the next several hours leafing through them. It’s extraordinary just how progressive the magazine was. Looking through the issue from the month/year I was born, I stopped on a page with Susan’s handwriting.
She had made notes next to a recipe for pumpkin flan—which must have made quite a splash at a dinner party in Chicago 30-some years ago. But what was truly wonderful, and just a little bit weird, was that the previous evening I’d made a pumpkin flan from Gourmet, November 2005 for a dinner party here in Los Angeles. Something tells me these magazines will be very happy in their new home.