Meet Kathy Richardier, Editor of City Palate Magazine in Calgary. Now moving into it's 22nd year, this bi-monthly publication celebrates Calgary's food culture and is written for people who are passionately interested in good food and drink. We sat down with Kathy to learn more about how "The New Yorker of Food Magazines" came to be.
How long have you been editor of City Palate?
I gave birth to CP in 1993 (21 years ago, moving into year 22!), and publish it with my partner, Gail Norton. I’m also the official editor.
What do you love most about your job?
The magazine is fun to put together – a combo job of good ads and good editorial that has people reading us. In other words, putting a super good product on the street. We’re a small group who put the magazine together, and we all love it and work hard for it and that’s what I love most – the crew that makes this a great magazine!
Who are your readers?
People who are interested in and love good food and drink and want to keep abreast of what’s going on on the city’s culinary scene, including the people who make the culinary scene happen, like the farmers, producers and chefs. Also people who like to read great travel stories that have a food focus.
Why do they love City Palate?
Because when we started so long ago, we thought of ourselves are The New Yorker of food magazines – reading that you could sink your teeth into. People still like that, whether in paper format or online. Also, we’re local, local, local, and instead of the glossy food covers that most food mags have, we have original art covers from local and Canadian artists. And people find a lot of information about where to find stuff, and they like that.
What kinds of topics does the magazine cover?
Each issue has a theme...
Jan/Feb - Great “Cheap” Eats (about where to find really good food for not so much dough)
Mar/Apr - The Travel Issue
May/June - The Wine Issue
July/August - Summer in the City Palate
Sept/Oct - The Harvest Issue
Nov Dec - The Entertaining Issue
We focus much of the editorial in each issue on the theme, but not all. Readers always need a bit of a break from a theme in each issue, so we mix things up.
Anything really cool or unique about the magazine that people should know about?
We and lots of readers really like the original art covers – that sets us apart, for sure. People actually talk about them, and artists apply to have us use their work. Also, we have a great event every June called Pig & Pinot, where our chefs create delish pig nibbles from locally raised animals that’s paired with the pinot wines. People really like that. And this year we’re launching a dinner series called "The Chef and The Farmer" where we pair a local producer with a chef and a wine store or winery for a fun evening.
What is the foodie community like in Calgary?
Funnily, 25 or so years ago, there wasn’t one, but it has exploded into something really exciting and ever evolving. Garnering international notice, even. Lots of people here from other parts of the world, mostly due to the oil and gas biz (tanking at the moment, but we’ll get through it!), who wanted the good goods, and now we have it in spades.
Do you agree with this statement: “Great knives are the foundation for any kitchen"?
Oh, yeah! You can’t cook without great knives, but you have to keep them sharp or you’ll do damage to yourself, and your food won’t be cut properly. Cooks need knives of all sizes, not necessarily lots of them, but the ones that will do the jobs cooks need to do. Knives that feel right in the hand, too.
What do you think of WÜSTHOF knives?
I know WÜSTHOF has a great reputation, but honestly I can't say if I've ever used them. I currently happen to have Japanese knifes, just because I can get them at Gail's store - The Cookbook Co. However, I was just looking at one of your City Palate ads and I see the knife advertised is one that has the indentations in the blade so that food doesn’t stick while you’re cutting – now THAT makes a lot of sense. Ok, you've got me now. I'm going to get myself one of those knives and love using it!