I'll try not to rant (per Chowhound policy), but I am really alarmed with what has been happening to Food & Wine magazine, a magazine that used to have a serious focus upon food and connoisseurship; a magazine in which the word "Wine," in the title, was not just an afterthought.
My main gripe is that Food & Wine appears to have drifted into the current inane obsession with "reality" TV shows, such as "Top Chef," and otherwise lost its meaning and focus. The latest issue, touting "secrets of the hottest TV chefs" on its cover, was the icing-on-the-cake and caused me to cancel my subscription. There is not a single article in that issue I care to read. Maybe its just me, but I just have no interest in what the latest winner of a reality TV food-fight thinks about food, or anything else. (And an Al Roker recipe on the cover? He's a TV Weatherman!).
What's weird is that Food & Wine jumped right from the top of serious food magazines to the very bottom -- passing all of the "food porn" magazines, on the way down, and going right for the mass Food Network audience. I am sure that Food & Wine's marketing experts tell them that this is the way to go, to "grab eyeballs" at the supermarket check-out. But in the process, I think they risk loosing their core audience.
In my cancellation letter, I suggested they change the name of the magazine to what it has become: "Food TV Guide." I hope I am wrong, and they regain their focus, but I'm afraid this "Paris Hilton-ization" of cuisine is here to stay and just getting stronger.