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Ever since the announcement in October 2009 that Gourmet magazine would cease publication, I’ve read countless tributes to the magazine and to the people who contributed to making it a favourite for those who love food and wine.

I don’t know how many times I read the word impeccable in those tributes. Ruth Reichl … impeccable. The magazine … impeccable. The recipes … impeccable.

I couldn’t agree more.

And I can’t tell you how pleased I was that a copy of Gourmet Today: More than 1000 All-New Recipes for the Contemporary Kitchen became mine right around the time the announcement of Gourmet’s demise was made.

By the (impeccable) Ruth Reichl, this book represents all that I loved about Gourmet. Beautiful recipes spanning the exotic to the comforting, it’s detailed and polished without even a the slightest hint of being impractical.

Gourmet walked that fine line between beautiful, sometimes lofty dishes and recipes that you can actually make at home.

The cookbook follows the same formula.

Be forewarned. With over 1,000 recipes this baby will take up some precious space on your cookbook shelf. And there are no pictures. That has certainly never stopped me from loving a cookbook but I know that for many, that’s a determining factor in whether or not to buy a cookbook.

If you’re wavering, consider this: the book covers every single menu item imagineable. Like the ubiquitous little back dress, this book will take you everywhere. You can go from drinks and cocktails to a dessert party with complete ease.

I have very happily sacrificed some lesser cookbooks on my shelf to make room for this treasure.

In one word: impeccable.

Ciao!

Masala Chai (pictured above). Recipe at Gourmet.com.

Note: It took me a very long time to decide what recipes to try from this book. I tried a few including a delicious Buttermilk Coffee Cake (pp. 669-70), but the one I loved the most was the Masala Chai. I was introduced to this delightful milk drink many years ago by a friend. Making it at home for the first time was lovely, both for the end result and for the process. I loved the way the kitchen smelled when I ground all those lovely spices that form part of the recipe.