January 1, 2010
Did any story make a bigger splash this year than ? The announcement in October that the November issue would be the last for the venerated glossy left both readers and But when the fog lifted, the blogging began. Chefs, and casual home cooks by the thousands about the loss of a nearly 70-year-old institution. The magazine’s editor, Ruth Reichl, was as surprised as anyone by the news. “It just breaks my heart,” she told the New York Times.
When it was first published in 1982, The Silver Palate Cookbook became an instant hit, and made its authors, and Julee Rosso, culinary heroes. The pair were credited with introducing home cooks to gourmet ingredients; and their iconic became the go-to dinner party dish for a generation. Though the women later parted ways, Lukins remained at the forefront of the good-food revolution, with more cookbooks, a Parade magazine column, and countless personal appearances. Her from cancer at the age of 66 left a hole the food world will be hard pressed to fill.
Although her television show ended in 1973, was more popular than ever in 2009. Thanks to ‘s movie “Julie and Julia,” an entirely new generation of cooks and moviegoers fell for Child (via Meryl Streep’s much-lauded interpretation). Based on Child’s memoir and the efforts of to cook her way through the legendary manual of French cuisine, and its buzz sent Mastering the Art of French Cooking back to the and made Child queen of the kitchen yet again, more than forty years after the book’s original release date.
While many of us were revisiting Lukins’ chicken dish or Child’s , others were moving away from meat altogether. like “” and “,” as well as the growing number of food recalls inspired many Americans to fight for food-safety changes (like the) and to turn toward a more vegetarian approach. Author Jonathan Safran Foer wrestled with his own food demons and chronicled his conflicts in the book, “.”
While the number of seemed to be on the rise this year, so, unfortunately, did the number of fat kids. High rates of prompted much discussion of and attention to , vending machines, and . The government came down hard on the Program, not to mention Kellogg’s claims that
cast herself as the first lady of the healthy-food movement. Inviting local school children to help her work in the new , Obama showed them firsthand where their food comes from—or should come from.
In kitchens and on blogs around the U.S., quinces became the darling of the food world. overcame its heart-unhealthy reputation and began appearing in everything from soup to nuts (to to ). rolled in to cities across the country and dished up meals to rival many a bricks-and-mortar competitor. Depression-era made a comeback, caught fire, and rose to new heights of popularity. Chef cookbooks were the gift to give (just try finding Thomas Keller’s “” in stock anywhere); “” Rhee Drummond took the country by storm; and Julie Powell trashed her happily married “Julie and Julia” persona in the new memoir, “.”
Oenophiles bid farewell to John Brecher and Dorothy Gaiter, as the writers wrapped up their renowned on Dec. 26. With their down-to-earth assessments (“yech,” comes to mind) and easy writing style, the pair made buying wine a far less terrifying undertaking for many of us. Their departure, though, opens the field for the growing number of wine bloggers. With writers like Tyler Colman (“”) and Mike Supple () on the job, we can all be educated consumers.
And consume we did. this year despite the recession, although we were definitely shopping for bargains. growers struggled to keep their prices up, while buyers actually found some deals. For fans of suds, a Scottish brewery unveiled the , while Samuel Adams produced the . When it came to expense, none were spared at Europe’s biggest-ever wine auction. Paris’ famed restaurant sold a huge wine collection, including from 1788 that fetched a cool $36,935.
We at Food News Journal have enjoyed reading and sharing these stories and so many more, and we look forward to the food news of 2010. We’ll be back on January 4 with the best of the food news and blogs. In the meantime, we wish you all a Happy (and delicious) New Year!