Combine food with literature, and what do you get? Foodieodicals!
A festival within the three-day Food Book Fair, this event-within-an-event on Saturday (4/26) celebrated creative food publishing, featuring more than twenty inspiring culinary publications from across the globe.
About the Fair
The Third Annual Food Book Fair, running from April 25-27, brings together food enthusiasts, chefs, artists, writers, designers and publishers to celebrate the intersection between food culture and food systems. It is the brainchild of Elizabeth Thacker Jones. This year’s three-day fair spans a pop-up bookstore with more than 200 books, 20-plus food magazines, 60 visionaries, panel discussions, a film screening, pop-up brew pub and pop-up farm, an entrepreneurial resource clinic, and a second annual Pitch Competition.
Tickets were sold out and the crowds were overflowing (but enthusiastic) at the festival’s location within the Wythe Hotel.
There were so many great publications (and a real can-do spirit among like-minded entrepreneurs), that we’ve decided to try to give everyone we managed to talk with a brief shout-out.
“I’m excited to be part of such a unique food event!” VenderPloeg said. Her publication is an illustrated cookbook with delicious recipes from her weekly series, featuring drawings inspirited by the animal kingdom.
Modern Farmer is a print quarterly based in Hudson, NY.
“We’re overjoyed to be here,” Reyhan Harmanci of the magazine told me. In addition to the magazine, the publication also has a daily website for people who care about where their food comes from.
Staff from the farm were on hand with their Spring Journal, which contained captivating photos and intriguing recipes.
Don’t let Mariana Gatti’s (of White Zinfandel) stoic presentation and sleek-but-simple cover fool you. It’s an important contrast to prepare you for what’s inside:
“We’re an art magazine,” Gatti explained. “But we feature work with food-related themes.” Very cool.
The festival ran from noon to 4 p.m., but was packed to capacity quickly after opening. We were soon bombarded and overstimulated, and needed a short break.
So we found refuge with Jessica Kausen, marketing director with SquareSpace. A word to the wise: SquareSpace is NOT the company where you can seamlessly pay your barista at the coffee shop, but equally as useful.
“We offer a low cost way for anyone to build a high quality web site,” Kausen told me. “Restaurants are using it–we’re even integrated with OpenTable,” the internet-based reservation service. “So we love getting involved with an event like this.”
Thanks, Jessica! Rejuvinated, we went on a lightning round.
“We started a year ago, and just moved the magazine to New York from Brussels,” Mario Villar San Juro of Mood Magazine said. “We’re a music and food magazine–we explore how they interplay.”
“This is the best place to meet other indie food periodicals–I love how they brought us all together!” Gharib said.
It was nice meeting Alvin Diec from Atlanta, who produces Brother (Journal).
“Each issue focuses on not just a type of food, but the people who produce it,” Diec said
Here are some more great publications that we didn’t catch in person:
Break No. 2 With Quinciple!
Honorable Mentions! (Fatigue Setting In)
Publications I Somehow Missed (But That You Should Still Check Out)
ACQTASTE, American Food Roots, Cereal, Design Trust for Public Space, Diner Journal, Gather Journal, Good Company, Hyphen, Lucky Peach, Meatpaper, Remedy Quarterly, Rocket, Saucy., Swallow Magazine, Sweets and Bitters, and Wilder Quarterly.
Runner Up To My Personal Favorite: Put an Egg on It
Ralph McGinnis’s Put an Egg on It is the bellwether for most indie food zines. “Starting in 2008, Gastronimca and Meatpaper are the only mags I know to precede us,” McGinnis explained.
Inspired by fanzines of the 1980s and early 90s, his publications contain essays focusing on authors’ personal relationships with food.
In tandem with Egg, McGinnis also publishes Salt magazine, which includes stories by chefs and theirs friends. Issue 1 contains war stories by chefs of their worst on-the-job injuries, along with a “Heartbreak Map,” detailing what restaurants were involved when a writer “did the deed” (or same was done to them).
Personal Favorite: Middlewest Magazine
In substance, presentation, and utility, David Tamarkin’s “Middlewest” was my personal favorite. Embarking on a new zine, Tamarkin went to a copy center in the hopes of finding a cheap binding material. Less than ecstatic about the options available, he got the idea to produce an unbound magazine, shipped to subscribers as a bundle of individual sleek, glossed over pages.
Each page contains engaging photographs and useful recipes, so that readers can keep what they find helpful (or share it with others) without having to ruin or give up the entire magazine. A great gift idea for anyone with culinary aspirations.