Really decent magazines are hard to find. Really decent food magazines are like gold dust. Most of them are cookie cutter replicas of one another, either trying to cater for everyone; from the new cooks, to the adventurous, or way too hipster and ‘artisan’ to be enjoyable to read.
I stumbled upon a tweet about TOAST magazine last week; set up by the people behind Eat Drink Toast; an event company and creative platform which celebrates the stories behind food & drink. Basically, a bunch of kindred spirits after my own heart.
On a mission to change the way people think about food, and determined to do something different, in 2012 they founded TOAST Festival, a two-day event featuring 40 speakers across 15 events, as well as a pop up shop, bespoke coffee bar and art exhibition. Since the festival, they’ve held events all over London: from debates on the future of meat and the role of women in the food industry, to dinners showcasing British produce, brunches, wine talks and dessert parties. The last one was in June, Made in London, a talk on the return of craft in London and an exploration of the Slow Living movement.
Now, comes TOAST the magazine, an annual publication celebrating food and ideas. I bought a copy, and the Editor’s letter is a perfect summary of what they’re trying to do.
Sent to me with a handwritten address label, I’m happy I was able to contribute by buying a first edition. It’s obviously a labour of love, and while at £15.00 it’s not a throwaway read, the editorial is well curated, well written and beautifully presented.
From Quo Vadis head chef Jeremy Lee’s love-letter to Soho, Meera Sodha’s witty diary of working in Gymkhana’s kitchen and Jojo Tulloh’s ‘culinary fan fiction’ based on the detective Jules Maigret; this is a rich, foodie-lovers dream of magazine. I urge you to buy a copy.