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Lick the Plate’s favorite culinary magazines

David Boylan

Saveur magazine
The Saveur Top 100 issue is essential reading for Lick the Plate. Photo Saveur

As much as my world is consumed by all things digital, I am still a fan of a well designed and written magazine in print form. There is something exciting about opening my mailbox to new issue of Saveur, Rolling Stone, or Sunset and the anticipation of devouring it’s content. I’ve made the transition to tablet consumption of many of my print publication, but there are still a few that I will always prefer in their paper form.

Given that Lick the Plate is all about food, I thought I’d share some of my favorite magazines in that category. I’ll start with Saveur, one of the most attractively designed magazines in any category. I’ve framed several covers from gorgeous publication that is as beautiful inside as it is on the cover. While the photography and art direction in Saveur are world class, the recipes and articles focus on authentic, regional cooking from around the globe. They are not always the most accessible recipes for the casual cook, but I sure love reading about them. They also have a food festival/event calendar that spans the globe as well and it’s always been a food fantasy of mine to spend a few months traveling to these festivals. On top of all that, this magazine just looks amazing sitting on your coffee table. www.saveur.com

I would liken Cook's Illustrated to the NPR of the consumer cooking magazine category. It’s almost academic in it’s approach to recipe, more of a how-to magazine. The contents are full of step-by-step illustrations on cooking methods and rigorously tested recipes. They give brutally honest reviews of kitchen tools and cookware, along with product taste tests. Cook's Illustrated has no advertising, so you can be assured their opinions don't favor any particular manufacturer. Published bi-monthly, the detailed drawings and photographs are reason enough to get this magazine. www.cooksillustrated.com

For the simple fact that I like experts to suggest food and wine pairings in the same magazine I’ve always been a fan of Food & Wine Magazine. Food & Wine is a general all-purpose magazine for foodies. Filled with recipes and articles on travel and entertaining, it has a definite upscale feel with decent photography. Don't miss Food & Wine's annual Top 10 Best New Chefs. Every year ten up and coming chefs from around the country are selected as the next culinary superstars. www.foodandwine.com

Edible San Diego is our local outpost of the Edible publications found in many markets around the country. In a somewhat food snobbery moment, I’ve found myself secretly judging cities based their participation in the Edible family. But aside from that, it’s a nice local mag that supported by a lot of the establishments it covers and that I’ve featured on Lick the Plate. They tend to celebrate the publication of their issues and that always brings together a fun group of people with a genuine interest in food…namely what’s going on in our region. It’s free and can be found at restaurants and farmer’s markets around San Diego. I tend to pick it up at the Leucadia Farmers Market and enjoy it with a Cuban sandwich from Annel & Drew’s Kitchen. www.ediblesandiego.com

Gastronomica is the self proclaimed “go-to journal for important conversations about food”. Well, just for the record, I’d say only about half the conversations I have about food I would classify as important. Unless you consider debating the necessity of the upgrades at Juanita’s important. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a cool publication with some serious food journalism going on that is important in the big picture of food culture everywhere. And it also makes for great cocktail party fodder for conversations with elitist food snobs. Well I read in Gastronomica that the herring are spawning and it’s been a bumper, yet sustainably harvested crop. Go ahead, use that line courtesy of Lick the Plate. www.gastronomica.org

That’s about all I can handle on the print side of things in the magazine category. I will say that the New York Times Wednesday food section and Sunday Magazine food feature are in a class of their own when it comes to newspapers and food. Every so-called foodie should be either picking up the print copy or reading it digitally, it’s that good. I know strayed outside of the magazine realm but I just had to pass that along. I’ll finish with a magazine runner up in San Diego Magazine just because Troy Johnson is a world-class writer whom I enjoy immensely.

Read on foodies, there is a lot of great content out there!

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