Now Serving: Chef-published Titles in Print

Love foodie titles? You just might find your next favorite magazine here. 

Food always makes for good magazines. And magazines created by the same people who create the food? Amazing.

It’s admittedly a tough niche, notes Greg Morabito writing in Eater. But when it works, it’s a feast for the sense.

“Over the last decade, countless food magazines and newspaper dining sections got slashed, gutted, or drastically reconfigured to keep up with the changing tastes of readers and advertisers,” writes Morabito. “The recent announcement about Lucky Peach’s impending demise serves as a reminder of just how hard it is for boundary-pushing print publications to stay in the game.

“But despite these major shifts in magazine publishing,” he continues, “some chefs and restaurateurs across the country are keeping the print flame alive.”

Take Plate magazine, for example, which focuses on the culinary side of the restaurant business…a magazine about being a chef, written by chefs. Or the next title from Cook’s illustrated former star Christopher Kimball, who now publishes Milk Street as part of his new business venture. Kimball is a firm believer in the power of print to build brand relationships, and is fearlessly forging ahead with his ideas about what he dubs “the new home cooking.”

Whether B2B or consumer based, what many of these food titles have in common is that…well…they don’t have much in common. And the print titles are a perfect vehicle with which to define themselves.

“When people ask what our place is all about, it’s easiest just to hand them a copy of our quarterly — it’s a good primer,” explained Bart Sasso about Ticonderoga Club’s aim to “expand the culture vision of their restaurant,” notes Morabito.

Meanwhile, Bay Area pastry chef Nick Muncy is launching Toothache as a way to express his team’s creativity in new ways. “I guess what makes the magazine unique is that there aren’t any food writers or other non-chef people working on it,” Muncy said to Morabito.

It’s a delicate balance to strike to make a successful food magazine; it’s a business, for certain, but with a creative heart and soul. These folks are part brave, part crazy and all about their niche. Morabito’s article offers a great guide to some of the more notable chef-driven titles; browse at your leisure, but not on an empty stomach.