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Bon Appetit Magazine - Project and November issue   Go to last post Go to last unread
#1 Posted : Monday, October 28, 2019 9:19:58 AM(UTC)

Hello EYB friends. I recently started a project/blog where I make all of Bon Appetit's magazine recipes for a year and review them (what worked, what didn't, etc.). I, like a lot of people here, have mixed feelings about BA's content and overall vibe, but it seemed like the best magazine to try this project with. I love print food magazines and I've always wanted to try an experiment like this. It's not a BA fan account (though so far I've been pleasantly surprised by the recipes), but rather a social experiment about how realistic this kind of eating/cooking is for average people who don't live in New York city. 


For those of you who have seen the November issue, which recipes are you most excited to try, or, more importantly, are most curious about/intimidated by? I'd like some guidance as which recipes people are most curious about. What are some common issues you have with the magazine or BA generally? I'd love some feedback for ideas. 


(P.S., horribly bad/embarassed re: self promotion, but if you're interested in following the project, it's wannappetit.wordpress.com or @wannappetit on IG). 

#2 Posted : Monday, October 28, 2019 1:25:38 PM(UTC)

This sounds like an interesting project. Please do add Notes and photos on the EYB recipe index for all the recipes you make. I was a long-time Bon Appetit subscriber (the days of Barbara Fairchild) and I loved their recipes. However with the "hipster" vibe introduced when Adam Rapoport became editor I was finding there were fewer recipes I wanted to make and I wasn't even reading the magazine when it arrived. So I let my subscription lapse a couple of years ago. So I will be interested to see how you get on with your project.

#3 Posted : Monday, October 28, 2019 2:18:05 PM(UTC)

I will def. try my best to post my notes and photos! 


I get what you're saying about the magazine. I understand the direction they went with the publication, but agree it can sometimes be a bit off putting. Admittedly, I fit squarely within the demographic I believe they are trying to reach (urban-dwelling, millenial, social media active). Still, sometimes I find their media at times annoying or inaccessible (I'm in the minority of people my age who don't enjoy the videos they produce). 


That being said, I think the magazine is finally finding its groove within the new style.  For a while I too wasn't making the recipes in the mag, but lately I've found that they have been a great way to be exposed to new flavors/ingredients/cooking methods that I otherwise wouldn't be exposed to. Also, though I am an experienced home cook, I find their Basically vertical actually pretty helpful for people who want to learn how to cook as opposed to simply following recipes (though nothing beats out Cook's Illustrated for learning purposes). I'm also excited about the fact that for the first time, I'm seeing my peers get into cooking/experimenting in the kitchen, in large part due to BA's media efforts. 


Anyway, a long-winded way of saying thanks for your interest! I hope this experiment turns out to be useful to at least one other person out there!

#4 Posted : Monday, October 28, 2019 7:54:15 PM(UTC)

I  am interested in this project - I love food magazines but I don't think I ever purchased Bon Appetit.  I buy Good Food (a UK magazine) and Delicious (another UK magazine )  pretty regularly.  I love Food and Wine's recipes but I tend to find the recipes online rather than buy the magazine anymore as there doesn't seem to be much substance in the magazine. I also sometimes buy Saveur. 


 I don't how many recipes are in an average issue of Bon Appetit, it would certainly be a challenge if it is more than 1 a day!

#6 Posted : Monday, October 28, 2019 9:51:09 PM(UTC)

angrygreycat, Bon Appétit has been averaging less than 30 recipes per issue. EYB covers it every month; you can find all the issues we've indexed here.

#5 Posted : Tuesday, October 29, 2019 7:08:37 AM(UTC)

Originally Posted by: angrygreycat Go to Quoted Post


I  am interested in this project - I love food magazines but I don't think I ever purchased Bon Appetit.  I buy Good Food (a UK magazine) and Delicious (another UK magazine )  pretty regularly.  I love Food and Wine's recipes but I tend to find the recipes online rather than buy the magazine anymore as there doesn't seem to be much substance in the magazine. I also sometimes buy Saveur. 


 I don't how many recipes are in an average issue of Bon Appetit, it would certainly be a challenge if it is more than 1 a day!



No I definitely would not be able to do this if it were more than 30 recipes a month! My pants tighten just thinking of it!


Bon Appetit is a mixed bag, but I generally enjoy it. They divide the magazine into three general sections: Home, which consists of generally the simpler recipes and ingredient/home goods recs, Away: which is about travel and restaurants, and Read, which is their long-form articles and recipes centered around a theme. At the end, there is a section called Basically which is 1-2 pages of education about a basic kitchen ingredient or technique (i.e. "Everything you want to know about mushrooms"). 


I agree with the analysis of Food and Wine re: substance. I like Saveur because there is a lot of educational/cultural content, but often I find the recipes to be a bit more complicated than what I would want for a project like this (not a criticism, I think they prioritize authenticity and I respect that). 


I've never heard of Good Food or Delicious, but always love collecting books or magazines when I'm abroad. Maybe I'll check them out next time I'm in London. 

#7 Posted : Tuesday, October 29, 2019 7:52:27 AM(UTC)

I let my subscription lapse a while ago due to their new hipster vibe, as another commented. But I started it up again. (Then due to their doorstep delivery I missed quite a few issues without noticing - I was busy getting ready to move). I now have the November issue. I do like the magazine again, as I feel they cover a lot of food trends and have reliable recipes that I would like to make. I will check out what you do and try to make some of the recipes.

#8 Posted : Wednesday, October 30, 2019 1:55:49 PM(UTC)

I subscribed to Bon Appetit for 17 years and I loved it.  But, in 2008 I did not renew my subscription because I was really disturbed by the direction the magazine had taken.  Many of the articles were superficial and the photographs were really unappetizing -- who wants to look at a dish of half-eaten food with a dirty utensil on the plate? Not me.

#10 Posted : Saturday, November 2, 2019 12:24:38 PM(UTC)

I love the idea of this project.  I have subscribed to Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Saveur, etc. for years and enjoying reading them.  I try to cook at least one recipe a month but never thought about all of them.  Can't wait to see what you find.  I will follow you on Instagram.  I disagree with some of the comments here.  Adam Rapport seemed to bring a much needed modernized view to the magazine which seemed timely to me.  I do not fit into the targeted demographic but I like it anyway.

#11 Posted : Sunday, November 3, 2019 2:41:37 PM(UTC)
I had a chance to browse thru the November issue at my hairdresser's and was excited about trying the turkey roasted in pieces and several other recipes so I decided to buy a copy of this issue. But after trying all the stores in my area I could not find any place that still carries the magazine on their newsstand. I could probably get one by driving another 10-15 miles closer to Portland but did not want to spend any more time driving around trying to find one. I let my subscription lapse in 2013 after subscribing for 21 one years. Happily I went to the Bon Appétit website and did a couple of recipe searches and found and printed out the three recipes I wanted. So now if I spot an interesting recipe I will just head to their website and grab it.
#9 Posted : Monday, November 4, 2019 10:46:15 AM(UTC)

Originally Posted by: Laura Go to Quoted Post
I subscribed to Bon Appetit for 17 years and I loved it.  But, in 2008 I did not renew my subscription because I was really disturbed by the direction the magazine had taken.  Many of the articles were superficial and the photographs were really unappetizing -- who wants to look at a dish of half-eaten food with a dirty utensil on the plate? Not me.


This is the primary reason I did not renew my very long-held subscription, in addition to the change in content and how it was presented.  Those photos turned my stomach half the time! 

#12 Posted : Monday, November 4, 2019 11:06:28 AM(UTC)

hillsboroks and other former (and current) BA print subscribers, did you know you can "subscribe" to Bon Appétit on EYB? We've indexed over 160 issues going back to May 2006, with almost 8,000 recipes indexed...and almost 7,000 of those have online recipe links. Instructions on how to subscribe to a magazine on EYB are here in our Help and Support Center.

#13 Posted : Tuesday, November 5, 2019 12:21:39 PM(UTC)

My subscription lapsed a few months ago, so I haven't seen the November Issue. But one of the biggest reasons I didn't continue was that I didn't like what they were doing with the photography, editing it to have that vintage feel of a photo whose color has faded over time. Photography is a hobby of mine, so this impacted my enjoyment of the magazine. If I remember correctly, they started putting the recipes later in the magazine instead of right with the articles? If I'm thinking of the right magazine, I don't like this either.

#14 Posted : Tuesday, November 5, 2019 3:47:59 PM(UTC)

What an interesting project! I will follow along. 

#15 Posted : Wednesday, November 6, 2019 5:48:12 PM(UTC)

What I have noticed with this magazine is their recipes now have very few ingredients and simple recipes. It is geared toward someone starting out cooking, someone with little time for cooking, someone with limited space/ingredients etc.  It is not me anymore.  Their magazines have big splashes of photos, but those are mostly beautiful veggies scattered about but I would not call those necessarily cooked items.  Very few recipes now.  For a while, I could not stand to look at the pages because the text went sideways, upsidedown, in circles (yes, I am exaggerating here), but it was totally crazy stuff.  I would get the magazines monthly but quit looking.  I have thought about cancelling too, but I have noticed that their crazy texts have cleaned up. Like others, I was turned off by "I want to be young, urban, and hip" vibe.  That too is easing now.   


Went through their November issue, but there is nothing there that interested me.  I have been their subscriber since mid 70s and I remember some of their older issue recipes.  I spent many weekends making their lengthy and sumptuous recipes then.  I hate to cancel the subscription, but who knows.  I never look at their videos.  I look at all of Milkstreet, Cooks Country and Americas Test Kitchen.  I am also considering stopping Saveur too.  Not enough content.  I cancelled Sunset 4-5 years ago when their cover became showing of beautiful people lounging around rather than good looking food, home decor, or gardens.  It changed so much.  


marciK I think it is Food and Wine putting recipes in the back.  Not sure if all are that way, but I also don't care for that styling too.   

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