February 08, 2005

Could this be the end?

I've written before about my concern over Cook's Illustrated. They seem to be spreading themselves thin, re-using basic concepts or whole entire recipes in various media/forms, and just plain running out of new ideas. Two current examples (and I realize that a sample size of two out of a span of more than ten years does not a trend make) drive the point home.

The most recent issue of Cook's itself has only a single contribution from writers I have respected in the past. It seems that the 'A' team is off filming their TV show -- America's Test Kitchen -- instead of working on new concepts. America's Test Kitchen's new season also shows them in some snazzy new digs, which suggests that they may be headed in the "form over function" direction.

I also received a sample issue of "Cook's Country" which is their attempt to spin their franchise into the "more casual cook" territory. An awful layout in a "Family Circle" style. Recycled recipes from original Cook's, written in an attempt at the scientific approach. Recipes from readers?!? Tear out recipe cards?!? A salad "featuring" iceburg lettuce?!? Worst of all, some of the articles come to different and directly opposing conclusions from the original articles! This suggests a lack of editorial control or consistency, or worse yet, maybe nobody is checking up on this team at all.

Posted by dowdy at February 8, 2005 09:26 AM