I have read every issue of Food Arts since it first began publishing in 1988. Targeted for the industry when most trade mags columns were mainly advertorials , there has been no more influential publication for chefs and the restaurant industry. It is written like a retail magazine, and when you met founder and publishers Michael and Arianne Batterberry you knew why it was so good. After all, their first magazine was Food and Wine, which they started in 1978.
Filled with interesting stories and informative features, you can credit the magazine and publisher for unearthing many of the new ideas that would become trends. If you were a chef in NYC, a mention by Food Arts could springboard your career, and there are plenty of chefs that today can credit their success to just a few kind words by the publisher.
Sadly, Mr. Batterberry passed away on July 28th at the age of 78. He was a giant in the industry, and has done more for chefs and the restaurant world than anyone can ever imagine. I had dinner with Mr Batterberry and his lovely wife recently at Dan Barber's Blue Hill at Stone Barns. An incredible evening of food and inspiring stories that only he could tell.
Mr and Mrs Batterberry were our guests in the test kitchen in 2001, but my relationship with Food Arts goes back to 1988 and the second issue of the magazine. I was an executive chef in Palm Springs when I got a call out of the blue from a frantic guest asking to speak with the chef. One of the groups in house was a large potato manufacturing company, and our guest had flown from New York to pitch a leap of faith advertising idea to them for a new magazine they had never heard of...Food Arts. By the way, they had only one published issue in their history. "Had I ever heard of it?" she asked. I invited her to the kitchen and showed her my copy. "Great magazine," I said. I then spoke with the execs she was to see, telling them that I thought Food Arts had the potential to be the only magazine I would read. They booked the ad deal, and are still a client. Barb is still with Food Arts, and I am still an avid reader 22 years later.
The Batterberry's were honored in May with the James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award. His legacy will be with us for many years, and voice missed by all the chefs he has so deeply influenced.