The new BBC Good Food magazine has been revamped with new
photography, articles and ideas. Well, wake me up, somebody. I thought
I’d picked up an old copy. It is no fresher than the stuff at the back
of my fridge and about as inviting as the food at a motorway cafe on a
bank holiday Monday.
I’m hugely disappointed. There are three reasons for this. The first is
that everything to do with eating, food and cooking is moving so fast -
with so much style and innovation - that surely the basic criterion for
any magazine in this market would be to reflect this.
The second reason is that, as a potential reader, I would have liked
some inspiration. The best magazines in the market, like Vogue
Entertaining (from Australia), Saveur (from New York), Food Illustrated
(published here by John Brown) and even Sainsbury’s The Magazine all
inspire. I suppose BBC Good Food is responding to this competition but
the revamped magazine falls flat, like a poorly cooked souffle. The art
direction, the photography, the whole approach, while showing some
improvement, are anchored firmly in the past. Compared with the titles I
use for recipes and ideas, BBC Good Food is dull.
The third reason for my disappointment is that there is no ’wow’
When I read a magazine like this, I want to see something that makes me
lick my lips with anticipation and arouses my hunger. The copy I was
given was about as appetising as yesterday’s breakfast. Even the recipes
from Anthony Worrall Thompson and other personality chefs felt terribly
I admit the magazine is successful and there’s a lot in it but it will
need to do more than this to stay on the shelves.