Most people crave food and also love reading and learning about it. The Saveur magazine website (www.saveur.com), which is aimed at diners, travelers, and chefs, appeals to sophisticates.
The savvy site provides recipes, travel articles, cooking techniques, and a bevy of articles on wine and beer. It attracts those folks known as “foodies”--people who are serious about food, think about what they eat, and delight in dining in or dining out.
Saveur the magazine targets readers who “experience the world food first.” The website supports the magazine, and it accentuates “heritage, tradition, home cooking, and real food.” Contributing editors include world-class chefs Rick Bayless and Madhur Jaffrey, butcher Stanley Lobel, writers Francine Prose, Michael and Jane Stern, and Nancy Harmon Jenkins. Readers keep pace with the most innovative food trends and the latest culinary concoctions.
The website is organized around five major themes: Recipes, Techniques, Travel, Kitchen, Wine & Drink. Viewers obtain instant access to recipes for chicken, Mexican food, oyster stew, gumbo dinner—you name it. Readers can instantly find some of its most popular recipes, including Spice Island Pastry, Roasted Garlic Chicken, Fish Curry with Potatoes, and Tropical Yellow Rice. It breaks down meals into ingredients, cuisine, courses, and occasions—such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve.
In addition, it includes a myriad of videos, photos, clips of articles from the magazine, and also offers sweepstakes and promotions. The magazine’s editor-in-chief, James Oseland, has been gaining notoriety from his TV appearances as a judge on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters.
Travelers, especially, are drawn to Saveur.com. Vacationing in the US, Caribbean, Europe, or Central America? The site offers culinary tips to dining in any of these regions. For example, Betsy Andrews’ “Essential Caribbean” explores why jerk chicken is the signature dish in Jamaica and describes many Jamaican specialties including johnnycakes, salt-cod fritters, and fried breadfruit. Andrews also penned “Great Markets in the Caribbean.” Other features cover the food of Cuba, cuisine in Haiti, and Christmas dining in Puerto Rico.
Vacationing in New York? Saveur targets the city’s best cheeseburger at Little Owl’s, a stylish eatery in the West Village, profiles the delights of the Essex Street Market, and recommends traveling to Brooklyn to dig into roast beef sandwiches at the venerable Roll-n-Roaster. Saveur scours the city’s boroughs to identify dim sum eateries in Flushing and authentic Mexican cuisine in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
Besides appealing to world travelers, Saveur.com attracts readers who delight in preparing home-cooked meals. Frying, grilling, baking, preserving, mastering knife skills, and storing ingredients are all described and links are provided to explore each topic.
Designing the kitchen is another area that Saveur specializes in, offering tips on how to construct a kitchen and choose pottery and linen.
Baking tips include how to frost a cake, bake a pizza pie in your kitchen oven, and prepare saffron buns.
Upscale and sophisticated, Saveur never talks down to its readers. But it’s clearly aimed at an affluent audience, not the working class or lower-middle class. One article on buying dinner plates begins, “Male peacocks flaunt their feathers as a sign of courtship, and this illustrious display of affection is captured whimsically in Anthropologie's Peacock dinner plates.”
Those who crave the taste of alcohol--wine, beer, and whiskey--will also be satisfied on this site. The explorations into rye, absinthe, tequila, margaritas, smoky single-malt whiskies, and recipes for three-ingredient cocktails are useful reads.
Many of the Saveur videos offer instructional and how-to tips. For example, viewers can discover the best way to carve a turkey, prepare a turkey roulade, or cook perfect tempura by listening to editor Coleman Andrews’ tips.
In addition, enthusiasts who read Saveur can sign up for their daily newsletter, filled with foodie updates.
In a tough magazine environment, Saveur is trying to boost revenue. There are plenty of opportunities on the site to take Saveur-sponsored classes in local cooking schools or buy kitchen tools, towels, books, and gift guides. Saveur.com offers an affluent foodi everything he or she could desire.
Gary M. Stern is a freelance writer based in New York City.