by Max Brantley
As the Arkansas Blog reported last week, the Democrat-Gazette today (Feb. 18) ended its free-standing Food section and rolled two pages worth of food coverage into the Wednesday feature section, which continues family topics on the front.
What do you think about local food coverage?
I don't think much of it. Just recipes with no particular rhyme or reason, a newspaper version of Bon Appetit magazine. (Yes, I know, there's the little column that reports every new brand of cereal or microwavable dinner.)
I've been spoiled by the Wednesday dining section in the New York Times. It has recipes -- a regular column caters to those looking to make a good dish for dinner with a minimal of effort. But it has a lot more emphasis on dining (admittedly, there's a bunch in New York), openings, new products, features on chefs, features on destinations where food's a big part of the charm, restaurant reviews, cheap eats, some deep coverage of beverages, not just tasting notes. It shows enterprise. There's always something surprising and mouth-watering. Today, it's about the creative chefs at fancy restaurants who've used doughnuts and other simple breakfast fare as the base for sophisticated desserts. The photo here is the Times' shot of oatmeal creme brulee.
What do you think?