When Gourmet magazine abruptly ended its 68 year run last fall, fingers were certainly pointed, if abstractly. But no one took it quite as personally as former Gourmet travel writer Ann Patchett, who wonders in the Wall Street Journal if perhaps she was responsible for killing the magazine.
For ten years, Patchett made ample use of the Gourmet expense account, flying and eating and sleeping all over the world. For research! She "ate at the best restaurants" and slept "on the highest thread-count sheets." She once flew to Venice to research an opera house that had burned down ten years earlier, because it was "important, you know, spiritually." The way things were!
And she even demanded to have a nice birthday vacation: "For my 40th birthday I asked rather petulantly to be sent somewhere nice. There was a new resort opening in Antigua that needed to be reviewed. I was just the reporter for the job."
Patchett was certainly living the part of a writer for what she calls "a Magazine of Fine Living." Oops: A former Gourmet employee corrects her in the comments: it was, in fact, "The Magazine of Good Living." This is what happens now: No more expense accounts, no more copy editors, no more magazines. All we get now are shitty iPad apps. Welcome to the present.
Ann Patchett. [Photo: Gourmet]