Any student of the food and
restaurant industry needs a list of preferred reading. Any potential restaurant reviewer or food industry reporter needs the same.
Industry textbooks are for
background. The food and restaurant business changes daily. Here is a list of suggested publications for all concerned. -- Doral Chenoweth
Restaurant folk, this magazine says it for you: Suze Orman, thanks for killing off a whole industry's slim margins. Or, for at least trying to beat down America's biggest collective employer. This
This is 2009 and time for major changes in trade magazines. Profits may be walking out the door for operators failing to keep up with patron-expectations these trying days. Besides huge numerical competition, bubbling upward food costs, and a customer base wary of spending too much eating out anyway, now we have a gabby TV pitch person telling viewers they can save money by limiting restaurant visits. The coup de grace: One Suze Orman with a business cable show and a limited viewing audience, wanted more eyeballs than she can muster on her own. She sits in with Oprah. That's big time. To plug what amounts to a ratings week bit of advice, she tells Oprah's audience to stay out of restaurants for a month. May she forever be banned from Four Seasons. Wish that 900,000 restaurants in my USA mix one more sign into their decor and colors...SUZE, EAT AT HOME. The Suze recovery plan for 2009: Do not spend money for one day...do not use your credit card for one week. If you think the car industry is in trouble, Suze is advising Americans to limit doing business with 13 million people depending upon the food industry for their livelihood. Closer to my home, my city, this Suze person toys with the good life of more than 80,000 wage and tip earners. Two of them are my wonderful neighbors...just across my street. Oprah should give them equal time.
Nation's Restaurant News
Nation's Restaurant News, the foodservice bible publishes weekly; maintains a nationwide staff of fulltime reporters covering both food trends as they relate to restaurants, but the most important aspect has to be the business of restaurants. NRN readers are the busy sorts. One of the most popular reads is the “What's HOT...” in a particular city. Five quickie reviews, the briefest ones in the nation, describe cuisine, specialties, sometimes how the platter is prepared, ingredients, entree prices, owners and chef names. All that's hard to do in five lines.
QSR, a monthly for Quick Service Restaurants, the food segment that is serving more people than any other in this fast food nation. Features stick to the trade group that serves food with speed. QSR is issues oriented - smoking problems; quick format changes; lots of pizza topics; lots of Buffalo wing matters; and one recent issue went deep into restaurant IPOs...the title: Street Games.
QSR is well-researched, well-written and, apparently, well-edited.
SeaFood Business, a monthly keeping track of both finfish and shellfish issues: consumption trends, international dumping reports, aqua farming; mercury contamination; fish farming; seafood safety; import issues; eco-labeling matters.
One recent issue touched on the “demand for sushi chefs.” Want to know more about the newly popular finfish, Opah? Demand is exceeding supply for this cross between swordfish and tuna. SeaFood Business is the international authority for fish health, safety, supply and political issues.
Chef, the glitzy, glossy food magazine for professionals will be your most interesting read. It is monthly loaded with chef pictures, their bios, what and how they are cooking, and usually with fine-grade photography of what they are putting on plates.
A recent issue had an in-depth discussion of the tomato...”America's favorite 'vegetable' isn't even a vegetable.” Another story told of a chef finding “inspiration wherever he goes - even an Indiana grocery.” Chef, the magazine, is geared to the trade, but is could make it as a general circulation publication for those interested in restaurant food prep. If nothing else, Chef always has the prettiest covers in the biz.
Cheers, the pub for anyone serving spirits with food. is published nine times a year. Stories abound about matching cocktails with meals. A recent issue touched on the growing popularity of Mexican beers; another noted that “bar food” is still comfort food from coast-to-coast.
Every issue hawks new promotions for the spirits industry. Server training issues are routine. One big plus for Cheers is that it is not overloaded with boring wine writing, the sort appreciated by snobs who best remain with Robert Parker.
Cheers recently carried spirits reviewer Gary Regan as a guest columnist. It was a reprint from San Francisco Chronicle. Cheers should consider Regan for at least nine guest appearances annually. He's not writing for the Wine Spectator followers, a distinct minority when it comes to the restaurant and bar business.
Well-written puff for the nation’s fastest-spreading condiment, the chile pepper which has remained hidden for generations. Blame Heinz 57 for dulling our tastebuds with tomato (only) ketchup. Praise chile peps for making us appreciate salsas. Chile peppers today are not just for Mexican fare. Our mixing cultures - Mexican/Italian/Thai - open new chile vistas for our tables.
Chile Pepper Magazine
Lifestyle Media, Inc.
110 William St, 23rd Fl
New York, NY 10038
Any student of the food and restaurant industry needs a list of preferred reading. Any potential restaurant reviewer or food industry reporter needs the same.