Thursday, 10 December 2009

Fire and Knives: A New Quarterly Magazine

The other day I came across the new quarterly magazine Fire and Knives whilst reading the Dos Hermanos (Dos Hermanos', Dos Hermanoses, Dos Hermani's?)  blog.  This is the brainchild of Tim Hayward, the official Guardian food blogger and has contributions from such notables as Tom Parker Bowles and Mathew Fort (The Great British Menu, etc).   A couple of days later I received the first issue through the post.  Its a beautifully produced item, printed on high quality matt paper, about the size of an old-school gentleman's journal.  They have no advertisers and instead each spread is based around high-quality, slightly retro feeling design - much nicer than being based around Sainsbury's adverts.  The writing is a mix of well known food writers and 'enthusiastic amateurs'.  Enthusiasm is really at the centre here and the editors have tried to steer well clear of connoisseurs telling the readers what is what.  At root it tries to genuinely focus on food and food culture rather than the lifestyle pieces that characterise a lot of newspaper food writing.  

All pieces are good, but the real standouts were probably Tom Parker Bowles' article about his cook book buying habit (which includes the revelation that he is a big I Spit on Your Grave fan) and an article about cooking with Tobacco.  Other article include the role of food in Withnail and I and an inside look at a Bangladeshi woman's gardening club in inner city London and an actually very funny short story.  As has been said elsewhere a subscription would make a great Christmas present for people who like this kind of thing.  Actually any one with an interest in food who enjoys good writing would be well advised to subscribe, especially as this doesn't really seem to be a commercial venture and is rather a labour of love by the editors, something I think is well worth encouraging. (Not least because I enjoyed it a great deal and hope it makes enough to continue).

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