‘Gourmet’ Hits El Alto; ‘Bon Appétit’ Hails Chang

Buon Appetit
As we near the end of the month, it’s time to look at the latest batch of food magazines. Gourmet‘s entire October issue is devoted to Latin American cooking and has two big features that New Yorkers will want to check out: a profile of “El Alto,” the Dominican enclave in upper Manhattan, with a focus on the area’s restaurants, and a mouthwatering survey of taco trucks around the USA.

David Chang’s tenure as the culinary “It” boy may have reached its apogee with his James Beard Award, but apparently no one told Bon Appétit. The soup savant got the mag's Chef of the Year prize, lauding him for dispensing with the folderol of fine dining: “on any given night, [Ssäm Bar] is packed with high-society New Yorkers, hipsters, chefs, and celebrities, all perched on backless stools, loading Berkshire pork into Asian style burritos, and sipping Japanese beer — with not a sommelier in sight.” How about a busboy?

Saveur devotes itself to the food of Chicago, which might seem to be of marginal interest to us, except for the fact that the whole issue is mouthwateringly beautiful, with intelligent writing and a laudable effort to capture the city’s spirit. Definitely worth reading.

That isn’t the case so much in this month’s Food & Wine, which is pretty much a big collection of recipes. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) The one standout feature is a profile of a Brooklyn glassblower who, when not creating bowls and vases for good New York restaurants, cooks pizzas for himself in his glass oven.

* Correction: the Gourmet issue described above, and the one currently in stores, is the September, not the October issue.