The Gourmand on the Cutting Edge of Foodie Content

The image is surprisingly uncomfortable and yet fascinating … a snail, complete with shell, poised delicately on the razor’s edge of a chef knife.

“No snails were harmed in the making of this photo story,” notes the editor. Phew.

The image appears in the recent edition of The Gourmand, a magazine dedicated to a creative approach to food, in a story about snails climbing on food and things.

“Not many food magazines would buy this idea, but The Gourmand, which publishes its number 10 issue this week, is not your average food magazine,” writes Killian Fox in The Guardian. “Since launching in June 2012 it has commissioned articles about alcohol archaeology, the social status of ketchup and artist Yayoi Kusama’s love of pumpkins. In one memorable piece, Italian architectural features were recreated using appropriately shaped pasta.”

For publishers David Lane and Marina Tweed, the off-beat is their beat. And their approach to their food magazine — “to publish nice, inspiring, creative content around food, which, surprisingly, there wasn’t that much of” – has come with some nice surprises.

Their magazine is now distributed globally, in the “double figures,” and helped launch their commercial design agency Lane & Associates.

“This helps fund the magazine and keeps it relatively ad-free, allowing the editors to run oddball features about snails without worrying about commercial viability,” Fox notes.

For Tweed, print is the right medium for The Gourmand, without a doubt. And that’s largely due to how the physical medium allows them to go deep.

“There’s so much imagery in the world which looks nice for a second on Instagram, but there’s not much depth to it,” says Tweed. “Even if the motivation for one of our pieces is a bit fantastical or silly, we try to make sure it’s got integrity.”

Integrity, charm, and razor-sharp wit to boot; The Gourmand is taking full advantage of the rising popularity of niche foodie magazines, and we wish them continued success. Do they deliver?