Friday, May 30, 2008

Saveur the Cuisine

Yesterday, I had the wonderful opportunity to tour the New York office of Saveur magazine as part of a French Culinary Institute club outing.

I love to follow food trends and culture and have been a loyal subscriber to Saveur magazine since its inception. I can even remember the day I got my hands on the very first issue. I was working as a paralegal after a failed attempt in the food industry and a colleague handed me the magazine to peruse Prior to my paralegal position, my partner at the time and I bought a rotisserie/catering company that specialized in comfort take-out food. At that point the business of food was already in my blood having worked a stint at an upscale café under the direction of a Belgian chef and his endearing wife who managed the entire operation. So my baptism by fire into the business was invigorating and tapped into my innate passion for food. Unfortunately, our food company was gobbled up like an amuse bouche in the recession of the early 90s hence my professional diversion into the legal field.

One article among many that has stayed with me from the early days of Saveur was about the Italian-American kitchen in San Francisco (I can even picture the cover in my mind) – the writing, photography and editorial content of the magazine was so authentic and presented undiscovered or overlooked topics that other magazines just weren’t covering. I found the articles to be written with sincere enthusiasm and depth – it was nourishment that fueled my own appetite for all things food-related. I’ve devoured every issue since then and was thrilled to have the opportunity to see where it all actually happens.

I met up with the group of students who signed up for the tour at FCI and we headed over to Saveur. We toured the offices and stepped into their newly completed modern test kitchen – it was gorgeous. The office has natural light coming in from three sides of the building and the kitchen was filled with warm light that welcomed you with open arms.

Food Editor, Todd Coleman, took the time to meet with us and answer all of our questions – it was great to get an insider’s look into the creative structure of what makes Saveur, well…Saveur! I felt like a groupie getting a full-access backstage pass at some sold out rock concert, or one of those celebrity chasers who finally have the opportunity to meet the person they have admired for so long. Another part of me felt the experience was like meeting an old friend – you know the kind of friend you haven’t seen for awhile but has known you forever and the flow of conversation is just effortless. Yeah, Saveur and I, we go way back.

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