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Cook's Illustrated's sneaky moves.

Cook's Illustrated's sneaky moves.
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  • Cook's Illustrated's sneaky moves.

    Post #1 - January 23rd, 2012, 11:36 am
    Post #1 - January 23rd, 2012, 11:36 am Post #1 - January 23rd, 2012, 11:36 am
    I've subscribed to Cook's Illustrated magazine since its rebirth, and to their website since it opened. In general, I enjoy the mag, and find it quite useful. But lately they've started to pull stuff on their website that reeks of really bad faith with its customers. As you go through the recipes, you note that all the most interesting ones, or most recent, or both, have had a qualifier added, for example, "Italian Classic". Then you click on the recipe and discover that only the folks seated in first class have access to that recipe, not we folks back in steerage.

    Example: the category "Pizza Dough" has sixteen recipes. Nine of those are sequestered behind the curtain. And the remaining seven are mostly oddball: grilled pizza, pizza made with bread dough, etc. Any actually sought-for, useful recipe, requires an upgrade.

    What's the %@#$%fi value of subscribing to the website??


    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #2 - January 23rd, 2012, 11:42 am
    Post #2 - January 23rd, 2012, 11:42 am Post #2 - January 23rd, 2012, 11:42 am
    Wow, I just saw what you mean. An extra $15/yr, on top of the $35 for the main membership. That's just terrible.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #3 - January 23rd, 2012, 11:45 am
    Post #3 - January 23rd, 2012, 11:45 am Post #3 - January 23rd, 2012, 11:45 am
    I hate to say it, but this doesn't particularly surprise me. They have been consumer-unfriendly in many little ways for some time now. The Lovely Dining Companion got me a subscription more than a couple years ago and for some reason it fell between the cracks. They had evidence of it but still insisted that they would do nothing until they were provided a photocopy of the cashed check? They had already cashed it and even acknowledged that they might have done so. But they refused to budge until they received a photocopy. Hello? There have been some other instances of their being more than a little difficult and so, it pains me to say, I pay less and less attention to them as time goes by. There's just too much competition from quality sites and companies to play their games. Pity.
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #4 - January 23rd, 2012, 11:47 am
    Post #4 - January 23rd, 2012, 11:47 am Post #4 - January 23rd, 2012, 11:47 am
    This is along w the price increase is why I didn't renew my membership this year.
  • Post #5 - January 23rd, 2012, 11:57 am
    Post #5 - January 23rd, 2012, 11:57 am Post #5 - January 23rd, 2012, 11:57 am
    Christopher's jaunts to Paris and Greece to try a dish with his entire extended family don't pay for themselves y'know!

    Love the show, not going to subscribe.
    I used to think the brain was the most important part of the body. Then I realized who was telling me that.
  • Post #6 - January 23rd, 2012, 2:04 pm
    Post #6 - January 23rd, 2012, 2:04 pm Post #6 - January 23rd, 2012, 2:04 pm
    I upgraded after discovering that there were some things I wanted to see.

    Still pay for print as well.

    At some point I will probably drop print, but I'm a cover-to-cover reader, even Kimball's woebegone opening and all of the meat stuff.

    Had a Eureka at the dinner at Burt's once I realized all of the home cook recipe testers, 2 were at the dinner at Burt's, probably makes this magazine/website preferred by me over so many other food recipe magazines.
    Last edited by pairs4life on January 23rd, 2012, 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #7 - January 23rd, 2012, 2:37 pm
    Post #7 - January 23rd, 2012, 2:37 pm Post #7 - January 23rd, 2012, 2:37 pm
    HI,

    For a while, I paid for the print subscription and the online. I realized I was paying twice for the same material.

    I dropped both the online and print subscriptions. What I am waiting for: at some point this year they will sell the book bound 2011 issues and half price (or is it free?) on 2010. I will have everything in print once more.

    I still search the website using it as a master index. The recipe might be fuzzed over, but I see what month and year the recipe was in the print version. I then grab the copy off the shelf.

    I do admire Cook's Illustrated model of the users paying for the content instead of the advertisers. I have purchased subscriptions for Saveur for far less than $10 a year. I have never found a discounter for Cook's. They do their own sales and don't rely on advertising dollars or reader stats to justify their ad costs.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #8 - January 23rd, 2012, 3:17 pm
    Post #8 - January 23rd, 2012, 3:17 pm Post #8 - January 23rd, 2012, 3:17 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:I still search the website using it as a master index. The recipe might be fuzzed over, but I see what month and year the recipe was in the print version. I then grab the copy off the shelf.


    this is exactly what I do, too.
  • Post #9 - January 23rd, 2012, 6:10 pm
    Post #9 - January 23rd, 2012, 6:10 pm Post #9 - January 23rd, 2012, 6:10 pm
    About the tv shows (Cook's Country and America's Test Kitchen), you can't even view the recipes online until you sign up for a membership (it is a free membership, so I guess I'll give them that).

    Personally, when I discovered the separate 'premium content' for their main website, I had no problem cancelling my membership. Too many other options out there.
    best,
    dan
  • Post #10 - January 23rd, 2012, 7:51 pm
    Post #10 - January 23rd, 2012, 7:51 pm Post #10 - January 23rd, 2012, 7:51 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:I dropped both the online and print subscriptions. What I am waiting for: at some point this year they will sell the book bound 2011 issues and half price (or is it free?) on 2010. I will have everything in print once more.

    I'm still buying the issues, partly because it's a joy to read when it comes in the mail. (Then again, I still buy individual comic book issues, when most readers these days "wait for the trades". I also own a Kindle Fire with no books on it; it's a nice living room tablet that'll stay that way while I finish the 1000+ paper books in my house I haven't read yet).

    Regarding the bound books: unless they've improved them, their bindings are awful. We'd bought a few early volumes after we started subscribing, and they're falling apart pretty quickly. They put an annual index in the individual issues, so that helps find things too.

    Regarding the pricing of both print and web: they're an independent publisher, and don't take advertising. I stopped buying Sauveur when I realized the advertising content often had better production value than the articles.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #11 - April 28th, 2012, 3:20 pm
    Post #11 - April 28th, 2012, 3:20 pm Post #11 - April 28th, 2012, 3:20 pm
    Hi- I just ran across a deal on Cook's Illustrated. You can get a six issue subscription for $14.25 through this site.

    http://www.plumdistrict.com/deals/cooks ... pactRadius

    You have to enter the code on the form, to get it for this price. Otherwise it is $19, which is still a good deal.
  • Post #12 - April 28th, 2012, 8:43 pm
    Post #12 - April 28th, 2012, 8:43 pm Post #12 - April 28th, 2012, 8:43 pm
    My wife received a gift subscription and loves it. She never cooks, but has been cooking frequently of late. To me, the mag is priceless:)
  • Post #13 - February 11th, 2014, 12:06 pm
    Post #13 - February 11th, 2014, 12:06 pm Post #13 - February 11th, 2014, 12:06 pm
    Does anybody else hate the new website? I find it a lot harder to browse equipment reviews than before.
    "I've always thought pastrami was the most sensuous of the salted cured meats."
  • Post #14 - February 11th, 2014, 3:20 pm
    Post #14 - February 11th, 2014, 3:20 pm Post #14 - February 11th, 2014, 3:20 pm
    sarcon wrote:
    Cathy2 wrote:I still search the website using it as a master index. The recipe might be fuzzed over, but I see what month and year the recipe was in the print version. I then grab the copy off the shelf.

    this is exactly what I do, too.

    I'm not sure whether it's necessary to have access to the old print editions to do this. If you have a subscription to the Cooks Illustrated website and click on either "Current Issue" or "Recipes," you'll go to a page on which, over on the right side, under the picture of the current issue's cover, there is a button labelled "Browse Back Issues." You can then find an issue by date and see the recipes inside. I've been browsing the back issues recently, and I haven't yet run into any obscured/paywalled recipes.
    "I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."
  • Post #15 - February 12th, 2014, 9:00 am
    Post #15 - February 12th, 2014, 9:00 am Post #15 - February 12th, 2014, 9:00 am
    I'm in love with the iPad version. The only drawback is I don't get a ping to tell me it's available. I've kept the online as well for all of the sites
    and even use the free content on The Feed and their ATK podcast.
    Last edited by pairs4life on November 16th, 2015, 9:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #16 - February 18th, 2014, 4:37 pm
    Post #16 - February 18th, 2014, 4:37 pm Post #16 - February 18th, 2014, 4:37 pm
    Hi,

    I get a weekly e-mail from Cook's or is it America's Test Kitchen with recipes, product evaluations and such. I did not get one last Friday, either they skipped it (which I doubt) or it vanished in internet ether (which I believe happened). If someone still has their Friday, February 14th edit, please e-mail a copy to me. If you don;t have my e-mail, just send a pm.

    Thanks!

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #17 - February 18th, 2014, 5:46 pm
    Post #17 - February 18th, 2014, 5:46 pm Post #17 - February 18th, 2014, 5:46 pm
    Done.
    "I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."
  • Post #18 - February 18th, 2014, 6:01 pm
    Post #18 - February 18th, 2014, 6:01 pm Post #18 - February 18th, 2014, 6:01 pm
    Thanks! I really enjoy reading through their suggested recipes.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #19 - October 30th, 2014, 8:56 am
    Post #19 - October 30th, 2014, 8:56 am Post #19 - October 30th, 2014, 8:56 am
    Hi- Discount magazine has a sale on all their magazines through noon today, 10/30. You have to enter in the code FALL10, to receive a 10% discount on any of their magazines. Right now Cook's Illustrated is $24.95 a year there, minus the 10%. Here is a link.

    http://www.discountmags.com/search?xSea ... &x=26&y=15
  • Post #20 - November 16th, 2015, 7:58 pm
    Post #20 - November 16th, 2015, 7:58 pm Post #20 - November 16th, 2015, 7:58 pm
    Hi,

    Chris Kimball is no longer with America's Test Kitchen, Cook's Illustrated, Cook's Country and all per Grub Street.

    Some surprising food-media news: Chris Kimball, the founder of Cook's Illustrated and its TV offshoot America's Test Kitchen, is leaving the company he's helmed for two decades, apparently effective immediately. A shake-up's been in the works for months at publisher Boston Common Press, and today the company admitted that top brass and the bow-tie-wearing consummate recipe perfecter whom the Times dubbed "the most influential home cook in America" had run into some differences. "We made every effort to offer Chris a reasonable contract that reflected his significant contributions to the company," a statement explains, "and are disappointed that we could not reach agreement."


    You know what surprised me? He had a publisher he worked for. I thought this was his own enterprise.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #21 - November 16th, 2015, 10:19 pm
    Post #21 - November 16th, 2015, 10:19 pm Post #21 - November 16th, 2015, 10:19 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Hi,

    Chris Kimball is no longer with America's Test Kitchen, Cook's Illustrated, Cook's Country and all per Grub Street.

    Some surprising food-media news: Chris Kimball, the founder of Cook's Illustrated and its TV offshoot America's Test Kitchen, is leaving the company he's helmed for two decades, apparently effective immediately. A shake-up's been in the works for months at publisher Boston Common Press, and today the company admitted that top brass and the bow-tie-wearing consummate recipe perfecter whom the Times dubbed "the most influential home cook in America" had run into some differences. "We made every effort to offer Chris a reasonable contract that reflected his significant contributions to the company," a statement explains, "and are disappointed that we could not reach agreement."


    You know what surprised me? He had a publisher he worked for. I thought this was his own enterprise.

    Regards,
    i wont miss him- he was boring. and if CI stops claiming every recipe is 'the best' or 'the only way to do it' i'd be very happy.....
  • Post #22 - November 16th, 2015, 10:49 pm
    Post #22 - November 16th, 2015, 10:49 pm Post #22 - November 16th, 2015, 10:49 pm
    Originally, the story was that he was out as publisher or editor or whatever his title was, but would continue to be the face of the TV empire. I guess they didn't want to pay up for that.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #23 - November 16th, 2015, 11:54 pm
    Post #23 - November 16th, 2015, 11:54 pm Post #23 - November 16th, 2015, 11:54 pm
    LA Times: Christopher Kimball out at America's Test Kitchen
    Kimball, who in the 1980s had been a co-founder of Cooks magazine before selling it to Condé Nast, used several former Cooks staff members as his core group in helping to found Cook’s Illustrated. He vowed that the magazine would make its money on circulation alone and rejected any advertising on the grounds that it might appear to affect the magazine’s many reviews of products.


    I was a subscriber to Cook's and was an early subscriber to Cook's Illustrated. I always thought his approach of rejecting advertising was great and relying on subscriptions. An early devotee of having people pay for their content on the internet was smart. Yet I cancelled both my hardcopy and internet subscriptions when I realized I was paying twice for the same content.

    I feel a bit like I am talking from both sides of my brain.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #24 - November 17th, 2015, 1:35 am
    Post #24 - November 17th, 2015, 1:35 am Post #24 - November 17th, 2015, 1:35 am
    I guess this bodes well for my weight loss.

    I found him intriguing and a compelling advocate for home cooks. He understands that turning out good food is a job and in the home setting an important one that should not be outsourced to the pros all of the time. He always reminded folks that almost every delicious morsel they ate could be made successfully, and better, at home. Of great significance, there was a lack of snobbery when sourcing ingredients. It did not matter if you had access to farmers markets and twee gourmet shops ( I count myself lucky) or Walmart you could get the ingredients and make something delicious. And no, I don't want to have a "beer with him".

    Upon hearing the news a friend actually wondered out loud to another friend, " I wonder how Ava will deal with this". I will miss his exacting nature of assisting home cooks put out accessible food that one could enjoy and be proud of. I don't know that anyone else is actually interested in doing that.

    Who else actually cares about basic pancakes, scrambled eggs, white sandwich bread, and potato salad, amongst a host of other every day foods? I find all of those simple foods not the least bit boring. I appreciate the handholding I got to make awesome lean breads, pizza dough, and croissants!

    I fear his departure will hasten the demise of that approach.

    I will also miss the podcasts.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #25 - November 17th, 2015, 10:24 am
    Post #25 - November 17th, 2015, 10:24 am Post #25 - November 17th, 2015, 10:24 am
    Hi,

    I am more in 'wait-and-see' mode on what happens next. The support team is still there who know the rituals on how stuff gets done. People who worked for him considered him a hard taskmaster, which is believable. Perfectionists will do it again and again until it is right, which we see in his body of work.

    In the article, it mentioned the publisher had a CEO installed over Chris just a few months ago. Chris is at an age where thoughts of retirement or slowing down the schedule creep into people's thoughts. This could be the publisher's wish to offer organizational stability or perhaps a succession plan.

    His minority status on the board, is it possible he lost some shares in his divorce? People lose important assets in divorce sometimes.

    Cook's Country's oversized footprint I never liked. When I get back issues to read, there is a lot of regional American food outlined rarely heard beyond their region. I had fairly recently learned about South Dakota milk can dinners, when they replicated one on Cook's Country. South Dakota's bbq is cooked over dried corn cobs, which was simulated on Cook's Country. They knew there was not likely a source of dried corn cobs, so they offered some work arounds.

    It was hinted Chris may begin his own publication, because his wife does (or did) work for the publisher. Again, how well they hid the publisher. An article which once touched on their relationship identified her as an employee.

    Again, I am definitely in wait-and-see mode on how things may or may not change.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #26 - November 17th, 2015, 12:42 pm
    Post #26 - November 17th, 2015, 12:42 pm Post #26 - November 17th, 2015, 12:42 pm
    Boston Globe: Kimball to leave ‘America’s Test Kitchen’ after contract dispute

    Kimball is one of four individual owners who hold stakes in the company, including his cofounder, investor Eliot Wadsworth.

    Other partners in ATK’s holding company, Boston Common Press, are George P. Denny III and John D. Halpern, former Bain & Co. consulting executives. Kimball’s ex-wife also is an investor, among other family members.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #27 - November 17th, 2015, 4:50 pm
    Post #27 - November 17th, 2015, 4:50 pm Post #27 - November 17th, 2015, 4:50 pm
    I can't see CI and ATK surviving with out Kimball. I think they are making a big mistake. It sounds like the guy that is taking over has no cooking experience. I wonder who got the home in Vermont in the divorce settlement? It sounds like he will at least be hosting the shows through 2016. ATK is one of my favorite cooking shows, because it gives me lots of information that I can use, and they explain why they are doing something a particular way. I am going to be sorry to see him go. Thanks, Nancy
  • Post #28 - November 17th, 2015, 5:28 pm
    Post #28 - November 17th, 2015, 5:28 pm Post #28 - November 17th, 2015, 5:28 pm
    Hi,

    2016 ATK episodes are already in the can, so he will continue on.

    Jack Bishop, who pops up for the side-by-side food tastings, is now their lead creative guy.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #29 - November 18th, 2015, 9:16 am
    Post #29 - November 18th, 2015, 9:16 am Post #29 - November 18th, 2015, 9:16 am
    I prefer Serious Eats vs. Cook's Illustrated. I gave up on CI about 10 years ago. Although SE was just bought by someone and has revamped the website. I do like Kenji's book The Food Lab.
    Last edited by Bruce on November 18th, 2015, 9:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!
  • Post #30 - November 18th, 2015, 10:43 am
    Post #30 - November 18th, 2015, 10:43 am Post #30 - November 18th, 2015, 10:43 am
    Bishop is great. His cookbook is great. I still don't have any inkling that any of them have that exacting nature and desire to build better "baked beans". And goodness knows as much as I adore Alt-Lopez he definitely does not appear to be moved by accessible/everyday food and ingredients to the point of perfection. Even I looked the other way when I saw the veg. Ramen and Wellington recipes.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening

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