Being a foodie and actually eating has become really hip recently. Gone are the days of being young and not eating, abiding by drunkorexia and finger foods. Instead, people are actually enjoying eating and being indulgent (and dealing with the consequences by being proactive). Perhaps it is just the early onset of adulthood or the reanimation of the young urban professional, but eating good food, having dinner parties, knowing about cheeses and wines and the like are cooler ever.
With the rise of food culture for the young and hip comes the resulting cultural relics. We now have cool(er) cookbooks, cool(er) cooking tools, and even cool cooking apps for our iPhones and iPads. Moreover, we have bodies of art devoted to food and intelligent dialogue around it, which has brought about two great new journals about different corners of food conversation: Condiment and Meatpaper.
A little silly and very fashionable, Condiment chronicles “adventures in food and form.” Very much an intellectual diary on food stuffs, the journal features essays, interviews, and stories about cool people doing cool things with food, intermixed with fashion, photography, poetry, and art about food. The journal is a dense, little read that is a bit of Nylon mixed with Art History 101, splashed in with loads of items that compliment and season a good dish: there is talk about a Fluxus restaurant in 1970s Soho, gardens and Los Angeles, and “expanded gastronomy.” To me, Condiment felt a little ridiculous, as strange staged cutouts of models litter the journal, portraying them chewing on sunglasses and drinking champagne. Similarly, the journal has a few products they are selling (one new one for each issue): Issue 2 featured the graphic and fairly cool Daily Harvest Bag tote bag intended for food shopping; Issue 1 (I believe) featured the Wearable Picnic Rug which seems like a Snuggie combined with table wear, portrayed as a very sad item to own by downtrodden models. All in all, Condiment is a fun, quick read; however, don’t expect too much advice on cooking and eating, but rather philosophy and theory surrounding it.
Meatpaper, like meat itself, is a fuller talk about food, specifically all things carnivorous. Featuring lots of interspersed original art about meat, Meatpaper features lots of great conversations about meat. The latest issue features a talk with the artist who created the iconic Gaga meat dress, an article on talking to children about the moral implications of eating meat, a look at meat in Mark Ryden’s work, and various artists and movements where meat and art intersect. The journal is really a lot of fun and got me super excited to read about food. And, since it is about meat, there is a lot of respect and love for the animals involved and who become meat, a surprising fact that makes the journal really a super find. And, barely bothered by advertisements, Meatpaper takes its subject very seriously–but not in a pretentious manner: it makes you want to eat more meat and maybe even try out butchering yourself. Like Condiment, you won’t find that much advice on cooking and eating, but you will find a lot of great talk about the most influential items surrounding meat today.