I am one of those people who loves food. I love to cook it and eat it but I also love to read about it and talk about it and serve it to my loved ones. Since I do love food so much, I have a collection of recipes for all occasions but Bon Appetit keeps me finding new ways to cook.
There are several sections of this magazine that are among my favorites. The first is RSVP - where people ask Bon Appetit to get them the recipes that they have enjoyed in restaurants, etc. I find these recipes to be awfully involved and rarely try them but I must admit to trying one or two over the years and the ones I have tried have been great. Besides, I do like to read about various specialties of restaurants and keep a list of things to try should I get to those places.
Another favorite section is the kitchen design one. I have a small working kitchen right now. I am not planning on doing any sort of renovation but I love to look and dream about the "ideal kitchen".
The month menus are amazing. I get to see new ways of cooking favorites and great side dishes and desserts accompany the main dishes. While I have never made one of these menus as it is printed, I have taken recipes to match with some of my favorites and everything I have tried has been delicious.
The 30 minute main course is my bread and butter. While I do plan and execute big, involved meals for holidays my day to day cooking is either cooking and freezing hearty meals on the weekends or meals that I can make easily at the end of a long work day. This section is a god-send for that last description.
The Feedback section is also a favorite not because it gives me vital information on cooking but because I get to read a few paragraphs about someone else's food obsession. (It is nice to know that I am in good company.)
For all that I like about this magazine, I do have a few complaints. I would love to see more meatless options in all the categories. I do eat meat but it is nice to have alternatives. I would also like to see more menus that aren't for 6-8 people. I can split things out but the fact is that most people aren't sitting down for dinner with 6-8 people for most of their meals.
I have been reading this magazine for more years than I care to mention. Over time I have found lots of recipes that I have since added to my list of favorites and I keep coming back for more.
Recommended For: Hobbyists/Enthusiasts
I don't eat meat; I probably love Bon Appetit, "America's Food and Entertaining Magazine" more than I should. I've had subscriptions to the vegetarian monthlys, like Vegetarian Times, and I own just about every vegetarian cookbook you can imagine. All I know is every time I make dinner for friends and they are raving about what I've cooked and begging me for a recipe, I found it in Bon Appetit.
I've been taking and saving Bon Appetit magazines since 1988. They are arranged in my kitchen systematically according to month so that when it is February in Ohio and there is barely any edible produce to be found, I can find all the February issues and they'll tell me what to do with what's available. In June, they give me recipes for all the berries, and in August, ones for tomatoes and sweet corn. I lay out my treasured November issues sometime in October and spend days pouring over them trying to decide about Thanksgiving dinner; which cranberry relish?; how to do the mashed potatoes?; will I do a fussy pie or traditional ones?
Even though there are always new ways to prepare the food, the magazine, itself, is like an old, traditional friend with things I can count on rather than constant changes and surprises. Every month I look forward to my favorite departments:
Too Busy to Cook is probably the section with the most pages stuck together from me spilling things on them while I'm cooking. Here, readers contribute their own recipes; they've shared many practical, surprising ways to make easy things for dinner. I always feel like I am stealing family secrets when I use them.
RSVP is a fun monthly standard that answers requests from readers, getting them recipes of things they've liked in restaurants they've been to. For some reason, my husband and I like reading RSVP and making fun of the sometimes supercilious tone of the letters. The writers of them do tend to sound a bit pleased with their amazing good taste in restaurants and food. My husband insists he's going to write and beg them for the recipe for Kraft Macaroni and Cheese: Oh please, dear Bon Appetit, come to my assistance and convince those marvelous chefs at Kraft to share their secret!. The recipes in here are great -- we're just being rude.
I guess we tend to make fun of the Entertaining section too. They usually do a voyeuristic article about a real person's party or dinner with lots of pictures of them and their fancy friends who all have sweaters tied around their necks. These are parties for Martha Stewart, not me, but I get some good ideas for things to do at my own dinners. I've copied entire menus and passed them off as my own.
The Cooking Class has pictures of people making things I'd ordinarily be too intimidated to try. I can now make a decent pie crust thanks to one of these.
The Thirty Minute Main Course gives you nifty ideas for things to do with what you probably have in your pantry already.
The Recipe Index is well organized and easy to use. I am way too lazy to make copies of recipes I want to remember, and I don't want to cut up the magazines, so by keeping them in order of month, I can go back and find what I'm looking for in the index.
Feedback is fluff, but lots of fun and a great way to close each month's issue. They feature somebody who is famous for one thing or another (recently Peter Jennings, Brenda Blethyn, and Michael Crawford) and ask them questions about food. Was their Mom a good cook? What is always in their refrigerator? What restaurants to they love? Things like that.
You don't have to be rich or even a good cook to love Bon Appetit, but using it will make you look like you're both. And you don't have to eat meat. I just skip over the pictures of pork roast and try to figure out how to make the "Spicy Bean, Pasta, and Sausage Soup" with textured vegetable protein!
Recommended For: Anyone
I've subscribed to Bon Appetit, off and on, for about 25 years and have seen it grow from an ambitious wanna-be to a full gourmet magazine. In the process, it has gone through a number of editorial changes, each with definite ideas of what makes good cooking (recipes in the 70's called for cake mixes and tinned soups, those in the 80's required readers to hunt internationally for exotic ingredients), but the present editor, William Garry, has a down-to-earth practical style that is very much in step with my own. Reading his monthly editorials is always enjoyable. I like to cook, but I don't like to spend all of my spare time in the kitchen. However, I do enjoy reading about people who have more time than I to create fabulous dishes.
I very much enjoy the RSVP feature which obtains requested recipes from restaurants for readers. Some of my favorite dishes come from this column. Others are, frankly, good for a laugh.
A very helpful feature to me has been the articles on kitchen design. I've been planning a kitchen remodel for several years and some of the suggestions will certainly be incorporated into my future design.
The travel sections have been of great use to me in planning trips. It's nice to arrive in a strange city and have an idea of where a good place to eat is . . . these are not always the most expensive (and pretentious) establishments, but also diners and small places with low advertising budgets and great food. And, it's fun just to read about locations I may never visit, but can enjoy vicariously.
Each issue also has a column where readers can submit their own tested recipes. This is fun to read and some of the recipes are well worth trying.
The main reason I keep subscribing to Bon Appetit is the page design. I like reading the articles, but the pictures are beautiful as well, and the layout and design of the entire magazine is very well done.
This magazine makes great bedtime reading and on a few occasions, I've gotten out of bed to try a new cookie recipe . . . brownie souffle . . . etc. etc.
I need to start this by stating the truth about myself: I hate to cook. Baking I can happily do, but cooking I find too frustrating. Nevertheless, I have to say that I love this magazine.
Last year, I decided to give my husband, who loves to cook, a subscription to Bon Appetit for his birthday. Little did I know that I would come to look forward to it's monthly arrival in the mail!
The first and most obvious thing about this magazine are the photographs of food. Wow! Their food stylists must be truly amazing. Sometimes I actually feel like trying the recipes - in fact, I did make a batch of brownies a few months ago from one of the fall issues. The only thing that could improve upon the pictures would be if somehow they were edible. They're that beautiful.
Of course, there are also recipes... lots and lots and lots of recipes. I always enjoy perusing the column called "R.S.V.P," which includes recipes that readers have requested from their favorite restaurants. There are not just two or three recipes in this column every month - there are over ten! Another monthly recipe column features readers' best recipes. There are also columns on quick cooking, cooking for health, a monthly "cooking class" article that tackles something difficult step by step, and "theme" articles that focus on particular kinds of foods. A few months ago, one of the themes was "strawberries and chocolate," which was phenomenal, and last month the whole issue was dedicated to the food of Tuscany, in Italy. The number and diversity of recipes in Bon Appetit is astounding.
Are the recipes good? Definitely! The brownies I made were fabulous, and my husband has made several things for dinner that have turned out well. A close friend of mine likes to play hostess a lot, and I know she uses this magazine as a recipe source, too.
Bon Appetit also includes other regular columns about food. I usually ignore the article about wine and spirits, but I have noticed that it seems very thorough. (Many, many wines are detailed). Cookbook reviews are done enjoyably. There's a monthly column called "Tools of the Trade," which details the latest cooking gadgets. Off the top of my head, I can remember reading about strawberry hullers, melon ballers, ice cream makers, and springform pans in that column. There is also a sometimes strange amalgam of items pictured and described in a monthly feature called "Bon Vivant." New foods and food items appear here. The oddest thing I've seen lately are chocolate truffles with flavors like paprika and curry. (They look divine, but sound horrible!)
The only thing about Bon Appetit that I don't like is the "special advertising sections" that go on for pages, which seem to be making their way into many magazines these days. Even so, I can't complain about these too much, because often there are recipes included that look wonderful!
I've given this magazine as a gift subscription three times in the past year - to my husband, to my sister, and to my father. None of them has been disappointed. Even I, an avowed non-cook, enjoy perusing this magazine once a month. Don't miss it!
Recommended For: Anyone
Let me start by saying I am not an outstanding cook by any means. I enjoy cooking but have never found it an easy task to WOW people with my meals. My mom is an incredible cook and I could kick myself for not paying more attention to her skills when I was living under her roof. She has however given me a second chance by buying me a subscription to Bon Appetit every year for Christmas for the past 4 years. This magazine comes once a month to my home and I love to explore the new recipes they have for me!
I really enjoy this magazine. Unlike Martha Stewart Living, I find this magazine IS usable by the average cook. You don't have to be "supercook" or have exotic ingredients in your cabinets for all of the recipes. Sure there are some that will require you to go find some obscure spice but I am always able to find a whole bunch that are made with ingredients I am familiar with.
The magazine is overflowing with recipes. They are found in different sections. One of my favorite sections is called RSVP and this consists of readers writing in about favorite items they have enjoyed at restaurants around the globe. Bon Appetit then prints the recipe from the restaurant.
They will highlight a city or region in each issue as well. They will write of the sights and culture of the city as well as feature several of the restaurants. This will be accompanied by various recipes. This is nice and combines food with travel! You will find great cajun recipes when they visit New Orleans or creative seafood dishes from Maui.
Each issue will also have a sort of cover story if you want to call it that. These are often seasonal. In the summer they have a Barbeque issue which has lots of great recipes from beverages to main courses to desserts that fit the Barbeque theme. They do a wonderful holiday issue and always seem to offer different ways to cook the traditional turkey. It is from Bon Appetit that I learned to cook my first Christmas turkey actually and it was wonderful basted with maple syrup!
Readers also send in recipes that are near and dear to them or are quick items they have created. The best part about these as well as all the recipes is the wide variety. There are lots of vegetable side dishes, main courses, soups, and desserts--you name it!
A convenient chart is found in the back which itemizes all the recipes in that issue to different categories. They list the page number that you can find it on. This is so helpful. I save all my back issues and if I am looking for a new soup to make I can just go to the back and see immediately what is in that particular issue. They will sometimes create menus as well. They may have "Romantic Dinner for Two" or "Bridal Shower Brunch" and then list recipes from that issue, with page numbers, which could be used for that situation. This is another helpful feature.
I enjoy this magazine for its great pictures and its multitude of recipes. Most of all I enjoy it because I can actually use it!
Recommended For: Anyone
My mother instilled in me a love of cooking and a compunction to browse cook books looking for new recipes. A few years ago, she sent me a subscription to Bon Appetit as a birthday gift. I was a little overwhelming seeing my first issue with food that seemed impossible to reproduce unless I had graduated from the CIA. Not having anything else to read, I opened Bon Appetit with only the idea that the pictures would be neat to look at.
Imagine my surprise when I found recipe upon recipe that I knew I would have no problem making myself. Despite the misleading name and the stunning pictures, the recipes are actually quite simple and most often only need ingredients that could be purchased at your local grocery store and not a gourmet store.
Bon Appetit has many sections that will appeal to cooks of all abilities and include a wide taste range. Every month, they show a feature section with food. Depending on the month or holiday approaching, they could run the gammut from a barbecue to a full course Turkey dinner based on 4 different geographical regions of America.
My favorite section is letters from readers where they ask Bon Appetit to obtain recipes of their favorite dishes from their favorite restaurants. There are usually 15 or so different recipes ranging from soups and salad to entree right down to deserts. This is wonderful because if you've eaten in a restaurant and loved something, you can then recreate it at home. Also, if you are planning a trip and see a restaurant posted, you might be inclined to visit it.
Bon Appetit also offers a section with the latest in kitchen gadgets, food items, plates, etc. You can also write in and ask them a kitchen or cooking question whether it be about cooking a certain item of food to how to carve a turkey the proper way.
While the recipes are definitely not basic hot dog and hamburger fare, you can easily learn to tweak the same old chicken or find a new way to serve up salmon. Their recipes give all the ingredient information especially if the recipe includes an item that is not run of the mill (they tell you where to find it). All included are step-by-step instructions for each recipe and most do show a picture of the finished product.
Towards the back of the magazine, are your typical ads for gourmet food stores, buying seafood, cooking schools, kitchen products, etc. Their last page always features a celebrity figure with some questions about what they eat, favorite restaurants, foods eaten as a kid, what's in their refrigerator. It's nice to know that someone like Elle McPherson will eat a burger and french fries like everyone else.
I would recommend this magazine for someone who likes to cook but may need to spice up their menus and expand beyond tuna casserole and macaroni and cheese. Don't be fooled by the French name and pate de fois gras pictured on the cover. With Bon Appetit at your side, you can be a five star chef to you and your family.
Recommended For: Anyone
As a relatively novice cook with high culinary standards, I have searched for both cookbooks and magazines with great but uncomplicated recipes - Bon Appetite fits the order and satisfies every time. The magazine is packed with great recipes that don't destroy my kitchen, my modest cooking reputation or my love for cooking. Each issue contains a multitude of delights that get rave reviews from all dinner guests and often get several requests for the recipe! The R.S.V.P. section is amazing. This section contains recipes requested by readers and often contains gems that become family favorites.
The magazine has become my first choice due to the high concentration of recipes and the wide spread appeal of their recipes. The magazine has proven time and time again to be an excellent investment providing good value. I often obtain more "keepers" (recipes I refer to over and over again) from one issue of Bon-Appetit then from some of the cookbooks I have purchased.
Other magazines such as "Gourmet" are good but often contain recipes that are very elaborate and require hours of preparation or contain ingredients that are virtually impossible to find without scouring the city. The highly impressive high brow magazines such as "Saveur" and "Fine Cooking" are lovely but often impractical as they are both costly and contain only a smattering of recipes.
Bon-Appetit is a versatile, valuable magazine for both new and experienced cooks who love to cook but don't necessarily have the time or the inclination to become consumed by their passion. I love it and the food that is born from its pages!
I used to read this magazine in the library and copy recipes I liked. Then I found I wanted the whole magazine and subscribed at one of those bargain rates. I clip everything I think I might want. I put the clippings into my personal cookbook which I have categorized in more useful way than other cookbooks. I have collected many Bon Appetit recipes as "possibles." I try them and if they don't work out I toss them. I have found more "keepers" than I expected because the recipes are easy and practical.
Almost every section caters to the amateur cook's needs. It represents the entire country which is helpful. Also each issue features foods which will be seasonal in the next few months.
This magazine covers nearly every aspect of food, dinners, table decorations, tools of the trade, wine and spirits, books, kitchen design, tableware, and travel for foodies.
I like the section where readers ask for recipes they have sampled in restaurants. It often has good recipes. The other section I like is "Ask Bon Appetit" that answers questions about entertaining, cooking, and the proper way to do things.
The central feature, the recipes, are well written and tell you which parts can be prepared ahead and the time required to cook the recipe. They also suggest what to serve with it. There is one group dinner featured in each issue. It is usually regional and may be for friends or for a family gathering.
If I have one complaint, it's that they go a little heavy on the desserts, both in numbers and richness. It seems the desserts are gaining in numbers in the issues.
I even find the ads enjoyable and find interesting recipes in the ads.
I would recommend this magazine for someone who likes to cook but doesn't want to spend a lot of time doing it. I found from taking a gourmet cooking class from a local chef that there are ways to speed up cooking the evening meal. Combined with what I learned and the recipes from Bon Appetit we are eating more delicious meals.
Recommended For: Hobbyists/Enthusiasts
I started to subscribe to Bon Appetit 10 years ago and have faithfully re-subscribed ever year. I began subscribing because I was getting married to a man whose mother was a gourmet cook, and I could barely boil water. This magazine has helped to turn me into a gourmet cook as well. When each months issue arrives, I make a quick pass through to "dog ear" the new recipes that I am going to try. Then on the second pass I read all of the great articles. With the help of Bon Appetit, I have been able to develope quite a repetoir of recipes that friends and family request over and over. The recipes that Bon Appetit provides are always fairly easy and contain ingredients that you will either already have or are very easy to find. Most importantly, I have never made a recipe that I did not like. Some I loved more than others, but that is a matter of personal taste. Bon Appetit provides a wide range of recipes. In each issue you will be sure to find not only quick, great tasting week day meals, but also menu ideas for dinner parties, back yard BBQ's, holiday feasts etc. Each issue is also packed with tips to make entertaining easier, on the host. In addition to all the recipes you will find informational articles about foods around the world, wines, new products, new chefs. I await the arrival of every issue.
Recommended For: Anyone
Bon Appetit is "the" magazine for gourmet chefs or wannabe gourmet chefs. With recipes that run the gamut from simple to complex anyone can find a recipe or menu that fits into your lifestyle. Recipes are easy to follow and have been fully tested. Wine suggestions as well as table settings round out menus and recipes in this attractively presented and photographed magazine. Whether you are an experienced cook or just starting you can find a recipe to successfully prepare and present to your family and friends.