Food and Wine, one of the most respected food magazines in the country is moving from New York to Birmingham.
This is big news for Birmingham. How big?
Forbes Magazine had the following reaction to today’s news:
“Some people have a picture in their heads of the glamorous life of big food magazines. They’re all based in sparkling offices in Manhattan, where stylists and testers toil in gleaming kitchens to perfect recipes for readers.
Well, set that vision aside. Food & Wine is moving to Birmingham, Alabama, and the move reflects how the South now rules American dining, both eating out and home cooking.” ~ Excerpt from ‘Food & Wine’ Magazine’s Big Move Is More Proof That The South Now Rules American Dining
Local fine food advocates were not surprised by today’s announcement.
“Birmingham has become a true food city, with not just award-winning chefs and great restaurants, but a growing community of outstanding food writers, photographers and stylists. It’s a vibrant city and culture that loves food – and wine,” said Leigh Sloss-Corra, Executive Director of The Market at Pepper Place (formerly Executive Producer of Time Inc. Video) to Bham Now.
In 2015, TIME Inc. opened a multi-million dollar “food studio” in the Birmingham area that helped pave the way for the move. The state of the art facility has 28 test kitchens, two demo kitchens, 13 photography studios, two video studios, an outdoor kitchen and a private dining room.
“The tremendous opportunity and potential of its Food Studios, the scale of its audiences, its social footprint and the incredibly talented staff are what drew me to Time Inc. Collectively, we can harness our powerful assets on every platform to serve our audience from all food entry points—whether in video, healthy food ideas, chef insights or just dinner tonight,” stated Stacey Rivera, who is being elevated to Digital Director, Food, Time Inc.
In today’s New York Times article announcing the move former New York Times restaurant critic Ruth Reichl, described how the move makes sense.
From the Times:
“Ms. Reichl said the Birmingham complex will put Food & Wine on the cutting edge of what’s happening digitally in food publishing.”
Forbes Magazine summed it up best.
“Twenty years ago, the idea of moving to Birmingham might have struck horror among food industry figures. But so much has changed during that time, both in Birmingham itself and the dining world.
Birmingham has risen to rival Nashville, New Orleans and Atlanta as one of the South’s strongest food cities. It’s home to the restaurants owned by Chris Hastings, who helms Hot & Hot Fish Club and Ovenbird, and Frank Stitt, a beloved leader of the Southern food world best known for Highlands Bar and Grill.”
And folks in Birmingham are excited Food and Wine will be calling Alabama home.
“When I was working at Time Inc., whose offices are just down the road in Homewood, I was blown away every day by the quality of creative talent there, and the superstars they brought into town on a regular basis. Food & Wine will do great here.
Maybe we’ll throw them a big “Welcome to Birmingham” party at the Market at Pepper Place as soon as they are settled.” concluded Sloss-Corra.