Don't miss the August issue of Gourmet
I usually throw away these special supplements away as soon as I can, since they are almost always just an excuse to squeeze in a bunch more ads along with some tepid advertising content -- a bunch of cartoons and some car and vodka ads. This is so not that.
This handy subway-reading sized supplement has 15 stories and essays from excellent writers, no all of whom usually specialize in food writing.
Here are some quick quotes from my two favorites in the supplement:
"The coffee shop is the ultimate sensational way to start the day . . .
Everyone is polishing off this , and washing it down with that. It gives one
"Please do not underestimate the charm of the doily or the dearness of the
five-minute egg sitting innocently next to the toast. Or the heartbreak
of a dish of butter or the hope of a dish of marmalade. I will complement them
from "Sunny-Side Up On the Love of Breakfast" by Maria Kalman
I didn't recognize Kalman's name, but I should have. She drew the New Yorkistan cover for the New Yorker and illustrated the new version of Elements of Style. In the Gourmet supplement, she created an "ode to breakfast" that reminded me of the attention to detail of Clotilde Dousiller, the weird wit of Wallace Stevens and the detailed drawings found in Alison Bechdel's Fun Home, my other favorite read of the summer.
I was more familiar with Ann Patchett, author of Bel Canto. Patchett writes about escaping to the Hotel Bel-Air, "staying in my room and frustrating the housekeeping staff," looking for true anonymity and a space get some work done. At the Bel-Air, she says:
If you don't feel up to a very fancy meal you can slip off to the bar where the
waiters are friendly, the pianist is charming, and the food is very bad.
If you accidently slip up and order the chicken pot-pie do not, under any
circumstance, eat it.
from "Do Not Disturb" by Ann Patchett
The supplement also introduced me to Junot Diaz and a series of still life photos of "what remains" after eating by Laura Letinsky. These photos inspired me to post a photo of my own dirty dishes.
Megnut has a post about these "steel-trap brains turned to the subject of food" at the 92nd St Y event that launched the supplement.
Congratulations and thank you to Philips and their ad agency Carat for funding this supplement. When R* and I soon go searching for our flat screen TV, we'll keep this in mind :-).