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CIA magazine, Kitchen & Cook


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CIA magazine, Kitchen & Cook

Caitlin McGrath | Jul 19, 2006 12:46 AM

I got a mailing yesterday begging me to subscribe to a year's worth of the the Culinary Institute of America's food magazine, Kitchen & Cook (6 issues per year for $19.97, with the standard come-on of a free issue). At first I thought it was a new publication, but there was a quote inside the five-and-half-page publisher's letter (yes, for some reason, I actually read the whole thing) from someone saying they were a subscriber. So...has anyone seen this amazing publication?

The shiny outer envelope trumpeted "Free Gift Enclosed!" I assume this gift was the separate enclosed page with the recipe for chocolate mousse "The CIA Way," a classic chocolate mousse with tempered egg yolks and sugar, French meringue, whipped cream, and melted chocolate folded together in succession, garnished with whipped cream and shaved chocolate. Lah-di-dah, an amazing new technique! The letter had shaded boxes sharing important CIA secrets, such as how impressinve a last-minute dessert raspberry fool (pureed raspberries folded into sweetened whipped cream!) is; that it's best to rinse but not scrub cast iron pans; and that serving dry white or high-tannin tannin red wines with artichokes isn't a good move, as they could impart an unpleasant sweet flavor. And artisanal was misspelled in the letter, a pet peeve error of mine. I won't waste my time giving more details, but suffice it to say that the rest of the letter, and the insert promising the kind of knowledge the CIA's instructors and famous-chef graduates would impart in each issue, was similar in both banality and grandiosity.

In other words, nothing anyone who's spent some time reading and asking questions on Chowhound's Home Cooking board, reading cooking mags (from which the CIA mag no doubt bought my name), or cookbook hasn't already or couldn't easily learn. I don't have any problem per se with CIA publications. I've caught a few random TV shows of theirs and flipped through a small cookbook or two, but man, was this mailing irksome.

I'm curious if anyone has actually seen this publication, what its tone is like, if it seems helpful, if its recipes seem interesting (and different from those in other cooking magazines), etc.

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