“When you eat, eat. When you read, read. When you eat and read, eat and read.”
-Zen Master Suzuki Roshi
Food media. “Foodieodical.” Narrative food writing.
It’s difficult to put a label on the hybrid form that has recently taken the print world by storm. Bespoke carries four such gorgeous beasts: Lucky Peach, Sweet Paul, Kinfolk, and Diner. Each one of these quarterly magazines is quite likely to become your favorite indulgence—and each for its own reasons.
Sweet Paul evolved from the personal blog of one Paul Lowe, a self-proclaimed food-geek and guru for all things crafts + entertaining. The first print edition debuted last spring at Anthropologie stores, and quickly became a hit with readers from a variety of professions. What’s inside? Profiles of designers and artisans, seasonal recipes, travel features, and staging ideas. It has a clean look, and a layout that seems somehow light-filled, which makes it a pleasure to read.
Lucky Peach is McSweeney’s answer to the foodieodical. It’s the kind of clever, quirky mash-up you’d expect from Dave Eggers’ multi-armed publishing house—which is to say, wholly unpredictable. Sometimes the only thing binding the wide-ranging pieces together is that issue’s theme. There’s a bit more lit in this quarterly than the others; fiction, poetry, and personal essay belly up to the bar alongside recipes and travelogues. No telling what they’ll do next.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, there’s the beautifully quiet Kinfolk, a neutral-palette-on-matte-paper tribute to the small gathering. Spend a half hour reading through this journal in the middle of a stressful day, when your house is a mess and you don’t know what to make for dinner, and I promise you’ll feel a sense of instant calm. In endlessly varied ways, Kinfolk reminds us that the act of coming together around food is a timeless source of renewable energy.
A happy medium between the last two publications might just be Diner, a quarterly of lit, art, and recipes, with the hand-painted feel of your best friend’s nature journal. Each issue has a three-hole punch through the whole thing so you can stick several issues in a binder for easy reference in the kitchen or off the bookshelf. Based in Brooklyn, the quarterly is published by Marlow Goods, the family-run collection of restaurants and retail focused on artisan goods sourced nearby.
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