Ever had the niggling suspicion that the Data Protection Act isn’t
working for you? I never lost much sleep about it myself until Food
Illustrated launched, bringing with it the realisation that John Brown
Publishing must have acquired my consumer profile via a database.
If ever a magazine was designed for me then Food Illustrated is it.
Stunning food photography, interesting but accessible recipes, features
on everything foodie from the world’s most stylish deli (New York’s Dean
& Deluca) to the excellent Nigel Slater on chicken soup, a street market
in Bolivia and cheese-making in Ireland.
The boldness of its art direction is key. Page after full page of
mouth-watering portraits. Warm watercress salad, griddled leeks nicoise,
and duck with chilli-fried kale never looked so good. A double-page
cloudy sunset over west Cork stopped me in my tracks. It’s confident
stuff. A 132-page amuse bouche for top nosh. Salivating, I want to go
out now, buy the ingredients and cook up a storm.
But how many ’me’s are there? After the sad demise of Eat Soup, has the
food bubble burst? Food Illustrated is several notches upmarket of the
Loaded clone, but it launches at the height of the food-as-fashion fad.
It felt a little light on ads.
Future advertisers must surely be more Smeg than McVitie’s.
Minor quibbles: there could be more news and views on restaurant food
and there’s not much to read. Visually, it oozes a passion for food that
is let down a little by a lack of opinion or debate.
Right now, however, it seems to be the magazine for the moment. If I
described it as a cross between World of Interiors and Sainsbury’s the
Magazine, I couldn’t be paying it a greater compliment.