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Growing up old school: morose, perhaps, but wasn't our epitaph supposed to be etched, and our stone placed in the print graveyard by now?

Running down a list of "defunct American magazines," many bygone titles, among them Gourmet and Food Arts, may you rest in peace, we pause to contemplate our mortality. [Please pinch us, we're still here.] When we recently spent an afternoon with friend, Franz Mitterer, the Austrian chef who founded Art Culinaire in 1986, he told us, "What did I know about publishing? Nothing. I was a chef. " Yet he bravely launched a new, obscure, hardcover food magazine out of passion for the profession and to validate its integrity.

Art Culinaire's debut 30 years ago in 1986, coincides with a bewitching and pivotal culinary bookmark: when many innovative and exhilarating chefs pioneered the contemporary restaurant experience. In 1985, while Art Culinaire composed its first issue, Jean-Georges Vongerichten took the helm at The Drake in Boston. That same year, Alfred Portale took over the kitchen at Gotham Bar & Grill, Drew Nieporent and emerging chef David Bouley turned heads at Montrachet, and Danny Meyer opened Union Square Cafe. Our inaugural issue rolled off the press in 1986 when stalwart Le Bernardin and Thomas Keller's Rakel opened in Manhattan, when Michel Richard's Citrus opened on Melrose, and when Norman Van Aken branded his style of culinary fusion, "New World cuisine." Well into our first year of publishing in 1987, Charlie Trotter's opened in Chicago as did Mark Miller's Coyote Cafe in Santa Fe. Charlie Palmer, who ran the kitchen at the River Cafe on the untamed Brooklyn waterfront from 1983 to 1987, left to open Aureole, and meanwhile, in London, Marco Pierre White opened Flarveys and won his first Michelin star. All hell broke loose.

Art Culinaire grew up with these chefs who shaped our perceptions. For 30 years and counting, we have freeze-framed their dishes and stories, locking them in time. And indeed, their contributions to Art Culinaire stand the test of time.

Within this realm of legends, humbling moments often find us, particularly when we hear what Art Culinaire has meant to a subscriber or featured chef. When we first proposed to Jean-Georges Vongerichten the idea for the current issue on reinventing his dishes from Issue 1, we were stunned to learn that he recalled each one--from 30 years ago. Chef Kyle Connaughton describes what for him was a game-changing feature on kaiseki that ran in Art Culinaire Issue 8. When we visited his home in Flealdsburg, there was the issue, prominently displayed on his coffee table. Catching up with Daniel Plumm, who we first met in Issue 73 at San Francisco's Campton Place, now feels like a visit with an old friend, one who we're sincerely happy for, who eagerly shares his latest chapter. We still get nervous when meeting those we deeply admire. That said, we were thrilled to have spent long overdue time with Dan Barber for an important feature on WastED.

We hope the visionary leadership, manifest energy, and personal styles of the chefs in all of the Art Culinaire issues have taught, inspired, and continue to open new doors for you.

The easy-on-the-eyes dishes in this, 30th year's celebratory issue from cover chef Martin Benn of Sepia in Sydney, Australia, exemplify true passion and commitment we've strived to honor. Benn tells us he signs his own cookbook with this enlightening phrase: "Never lose the magic." We take that sentiment to heart and hope these printed pages hint at that intangible.

Carol M Newman, Editor in Chief, Co-Publisher
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Title Annotation:MISE EN PLACE
Author:Newman, Carol M.
Publication:Art Culinaire
Date:Sep 22, 2016
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