The Gourmand is playing with its food (again)


I sometimes wonder whether these videos are really the best way of showing the magazines we feature. On the one hand, they do a good job of showing the physicality of the things; you get a sense of what they’re like to actually hold and read. And I like the way they show the flow of the magazine, how one story leads to the next, and it’s nice to be able to pause on particular pieces here and there.

The trouble is, though, that my brain sometimes struggles to keep up with turning pages and speaking at the same time. That was always bad enough, but now it leads to a very particular type of agony when it comes to writing the captions for the video. In this one, for example, I repeat the words “mice and cheese” three or four times, without actually managing to express the thing I was trying to say, which is that The Gourmand has come up with a brilliantly simple idea of showing what actually happens when mice meet cheese. (Spoiler: they don’t take a big cartoon bite out of it, or run off with it held above their heads.) This approach of creating a beautiful spectacle from real life is an idea The Gourmand has used before, for example in the IRL emojis they shot for issue 10, in which they created photographic portraits inspired by digital bananas, aubergines and cups of tea.

In fact the whole issue can be seen as a set of tried and tested approaches that deliver outstanding results – The Gourmand has refined its formula for creating original, entertaining and revealing stories inspired by food, and it’s looking better than ever. (I do manage to say that in the video, but my brain lets me down on the details – I say this is issue 11, when in fact it’s number 12.)

That’s not to say nothing has changed – Kyle Hugall and Jean Jullien have been creating their double-page missives on food culture since issue one, but they’re absent this time, marking a move away from one of the magazine’s core features. That might be a sign of gradual evolution, or the pair might be back again for issue 13, but if The Gourmand stays as strong as this it won’t matter either way: it’s a great piece of independent publishing built on sound editorial foundations that allow for some brilliantly assured, fresh and fun storytelling.

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