Posts filed under ‘Bon Appetit’

Hey, Bon Appetit? What’s with Gwyneth Paltrow? Where did the food go?

Gwyneth Paltrow on Bon Appetit Cover - June 2011

When my June 2011 issue of Bon Appetit arrived last week, I have to say, I was shocked and saddened to see Gwyneth Paltrow paraded on the cover just like on any other fashion or entertainment magazine.  “This is a “food” magazine”,  I thought.   “Why is there a person on the cover?  Has Bon Appetit gone all Hollywood?”  Not that I have anything against Gwyneth Paltrow (I love her work as an actress), it’s just that every month I look forward to getting my Bon Appetit and seeing what the creative editors, chefs and food stylists have selected to grace the cover of my sacred food bible. 


I started to write this blog post immediately to voice my disapproval.  However, since I have yet to use this blog to complain, write anything negative or even diss a product, I sat on it for a week.   All week, I was annoyed.     I did not even crack open the magazine to read the cover article to find out why Ms. Paltrow replaced the seasonal vegetable or fruit desserts that usually get their day on the June cover.  I am aware that she has a new cookbook out, and recently traveled to Spain with Mario Batali, however, she is not a famous chef or owns a fantastic NYC restaurant, or hosts a food TV show.   I’ve actually never seen any personality, living or dead, not even Julia Child, on the cover of Bon Appetit.  So, why Gywneth?

But then I read new editor-in-chief, Adam Rapoport’s editors letter, somewhat defending his atypical choice of putting an actress on this month’s cover.   To be fare, perhaps I had over reacted a bit.  She does have a strong food connection with her new book etc.  So yesterday on a long train ride, I stopped my private Bon Appetit boycott and devoured the rest of the June issue.  

I can’t say I found the article about Gwyneth Paltrow, THE GIRL CAN COOK, incredibly interesting however, due to her new book and celebrity status, I can understand why people might be interested in reading about her.   I was more interested in the gorgeous photos in the article, FREEZE! RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE…of ice pops, granita and frozen creations that I expect from Bon Appetit and THE TOAST WITH THE MOST, how to make crostini like a pro.  And don’t get me wrong.  I love to read about people doing creative and interesting things with food, like in the article THE FANTASTIC MR. AND MRS. HENDERSON, featuring Fergus Henderson who recently opened London’s new St. John Hotel. 

The article itself featured mostly a photo shoot with beauty shots of the actress rather than of her recipes.  But to make matters worse, the recipes themselves were relatively bland, like the article.  Perhaps she was just the wrong cover choice,  not because she is a Hollywood celebrity, but because she is not really doing anything new or innovative with food.  So, I wish her luck on her new book and am curious to see if this cover helped sales of the magazine.  As evidenced by the negative comments on the Bon Appetit site, I highly doubt this will help.

So to my friends at Bon Appetit, I don’t mind an occasional celeb gracing the cover, but to satisfy those who frequent your establishment, make it a person that’s more of an “main course” than a “starter”.

May 24, 2011 at 4:13 pm 3 comments

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