Here's Bon Appétit's editor-in-chief Barbara Fairchild final Letter From the Editor. It's from the January 2011 issue, the last issue under her watch before Adam Rapoport takes over. Titled "Clean Slate," the letter is sadly not online — we'd link to it if we could — so here now, the text, in full:
When the calendar turns to the new year this time, I am sure that numerologists and pundits will have a field day with 1/1/11. (Actually, I am kind of curious myself as to what all those 1's might mean.) For most of us, though, the first of the year means a renewed commitment to good intentions and changes for the better. You'll see throughout the pages of this issue that there are easy ways to incorporate those resolutions into your everyday cooking and eating routine, too, thanks to the clever ideas and recipes from Mark Bittman, Melissa Clark, and (as usual) the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen team, in their fantastic work for the "Fast Easy Fresh" column.
But on a personal note, this new year brings many changes. In this, my 33rd new year with Bon Appetit—and my 10th as editor-in-chief—this is the last issue under my watch. The magazine is moving from L.A. to New York, and I am stepping down: Not "retiring"—I'm a little young for that, and there is still to much to do, to learn, to see, and... to taste. And I'll remain bicoastal, since I am one of those crazy people who actually enjoy it. But a new editor and a new staff will be taking over. I'm looking forward to seeing what the future will bring for me, and for our every-changing and sometimes crazy culinary world. Food/chefs/restaurants have never been as all-pervasive in our cultural consciousness as they are today, and I plan to keep talking, too.
During my time with the magazine, I've worked with everyone from James Beard and Julia Child of the old guard to new pioneers like David Chang, and Roy Choi and Mark Manguera from L.A.'s groundbreaking Kogi truck—and almost everyone in between. Added to our roster over these past decades were superb food and travel writers, including Dorie Greenspan, Jean Anderson, Alan Richman, Bruce Aidells, Bill Bryson, Tama Janowitz, Paul Theroux, Pico Iyer, Steven Raichlen, Molly Wizenberg, and literally hundreds more. We were the first to present to a national audience "newcomers" like Lynne Rossetto Kasper, Rose Levy Beranbaum, David Leite, and Jose Andres. And every day I miss contributors like Richard Sax, Abby Mandel, and Michael McLaughlin, all gone too soon. We embraced the web at bonappetit.com, and the staff and I have done too many TV and radio shows to count. Probably not surprising to you, I've met and/or dined with chefs the world over. But I have to say that a real highlight was meeting Queen Elizabeth—or "being presented," as the saying goes—at a British tourism event at Buckingham Palace in 2003. Truly and unforgettable experience that I will cherish for a lifetime.
It has been a stimulating, challenging, and rewarding ride, always delicious and, thanks to my incredible staff, a lot of fun. The people who have brought you this magazine every month are a dedicated and talented group fueled by a true passion not only for what they do, but also for the subject matter. They are foodies to the core. My admiration and respect for them are limitless, and it has been an honor and a privilege to lead them. Eternal thanks to Pat Brown for hiring me as an editorial assistant way back when (apparently I showed some promise), and gratitude beyond measure to the late Bill Garry—my mentor, boss, and friend of 20 years. And to you—the millions of readers who come to us each month for the very best in food, drink, entertaining, restaurants, travel, and so much more: Know that we never took your trust and admiration for granted. Or mission first and foremost has always been to serve you, the reader. Going forward, I can wish you only one thing, of course: Bon appétit, always and forever.