It may be just me but it seems like every issue of Food Arts gets worse. Since being sold on the newsstands, which admittedly happened a long time ago, this magazine has gone from being an industry specific, useful publication to a basically consumer-oriented magazine supported by the worst of the foodservice manufacturer's advertising.
The events calendar is a joke. I got the current issue (December 2004) 8 days ago. The featured calendar is for December. The "plan ahead" section includes January & February. Show me any person of responsibility in a professional kitchen who can plan on participating in an event with a month and half's notice. There's a new recipe supplement, sponsored by Simplot, Clear Springs Foods, et al that is just garbage and the review of the new round-up of chef's coffee table books belongs in Gourmet.
Don't get me wrong. I love recipes, I love coffee table books, but there are other places for me to read about them. The same for Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich's culinary foray to Sardinia or Rick Bayless' latest adventure in Oaxaca. I don't need to read about the same handful of 15 chefs every other publication features.
Hospitality Design on the other hand is a treat. Partly because I haven't been reading it that long but mostly because it's a real trade magazine. The articles and profiles aren't aimed at the home decorator with restaurant fantasies. Plus it's fun to see what a multi-million dollar budget can do. A guy can dream, no ? Particularly when we spent $43,000 on our entire restaurant, from building the kitchen from scratch, buying the equipment and smallwares, furniture, fixtures and opening food and wine inventory. Undercapitalized ? I'll say, but we're here 6 years later.