RIP Fine Cooking Magazine

Gone, but not forgotten.

I was the last Test Kitchen Director and Senior Food Editor at Fine Cooking Magazine until the publication was sold on June 1, 2020. I remember the day vividly. Three months into the pandemic, we were all working from home when we received word of the closure mid-morning. Pens down. Stop whatever you’re doing and pack everything up. We had only a week to return (masked) to the office and clear out. Though sudden, the shutdown of Fine Cooking Magazine was not a complete surprise to the staff since the publisher had been trying to rid itself of the publication for years.

Fine Cooking was an amazing, reliable resource for so many people because every recipe was tested and cross-tested multiple times, to assure that it would work for any cook at any level. Here’s a clip from a promotional video created for advertisers in which I clearly describe the magazine’s true mission as a teaching publication:

Sadly, last week, the Fine Cooking website at www.finecooking.com — the last connection, resource, and lifeline for loyal subscribers, with its vast archive of information — drew its final breath. The old web domain was pointed to another publication, and 25 years of incredible, invaluable content, and subscriber recipe “boxes” were gone. Just like that.

You can see the outpouring of emotion from subscribers and other members of the Fine Cooking Community group on Facebook, which launched after the magazine was sold in 2020. Loyal subscribers, alumni, and fans simply cannot let go of their beloved magazine. Reading comments from the group members, I agree wholeheartedly.

Working at Fine Cooking was not always easy. That said, I got to work at what I thought (and still think) was the most incredible culinary publication since Gourmet Magazine. So, I’m going to periodically post recipes (mine and others), along with anecdotes and memories, as an ongoing homage to Fine Cooking Magazine, and a reminder to myself that nothing lasts forever.

Since the weather is just beginning to cool down, I thought it would be great to start with something irresistibly warming and delicious. I developed a recipe called “Chocolate Stout Chili,” which was published in the February/March 2018 edition. Click the link above, or the page image below to open a PDF of the recipe in a new tab.


Click to open as PDF in a new tab.

Let me know if you try the recipe, or if you have any fond memories of this issue in particular. I’m always open to comments and conversation!

Since the Fine Cooking website was shut down, you can email me@chefdianaandrews.com for the recipe. Also, consider joining the Fine Cooking Community group on Facebook!

—Chef Diana

Giving credit where credit is due:
Food Styling by Ronne Day
Photography by Scott Philips

32 thoughts on “RIP Fine Cooking Magazine

  1. Diana, thanks for this post and your efforts to remind people about this outstanding magazine. I had every issue from Volume 1 and recently donated them to a cooking program run by our county food bank. Not just recipes, Fine Cooking made readers better cooks by explaining concepts and techniques and suggesting ways to make dishes your own with the ingredients you have on hand. You can be proud of what you did there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fine Cooking was an excellent magazine, a reference manual, a cooking school, and a thriving community. They hosted a forum, Cookstalk, where professional and home cooks shared results from the magazines recipes, learning techniques, and sharing their lives. Thank you for continuing to carry the torch.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was on the digital team that built the original FineCooking.com and I remember working with the editorial team to migrate all of the magazine recipes to the website, shoot their first test kitchen videos, and create a massive ingredient database of articles and information culled from decades worth of magazines. To think that’s all gone in a poof is so sad! RIP Fine Cooking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Had no idea … every Thanksgiving I’d go to the link for the wild mushroom soup recipe …. And just went to find recipe POOF it’s gone 😞

      Appreciate your beautiful reflection.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you Diana. What a shame that the Fine Cooking website was disabled. Fine Cooking was my “go to” resource. I told everyone the magazine stating Fine Cooking can make anyone a good cook.

    I’m glad to have the magazines and an archive USB.

    Why did the publisher abandoned loyal subscribers. What a shame

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Nikko, Thanks so much for praising the magazine. I miss it very much. I guess the publisher had their reasons, and I wish I had an answer, but I don’t. I agree…what a shame.

      Like

    2. Nikko, I only have indexes from 1994 to 2014. Do you have indexes from the last years? Does anyone have a compiled index with the years put together?
      thanks,
      Susan

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Bob, Fine Cooking was a great publication! Go to FB and join the Fine Cooking Community Group. There, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for. Thanks for your comment!

      Like

  5. I subscribed years ago, but got tired of storing/recycling magazines, so I stopped. Last night I was cleaning out my bookshelf and found a few of these I had saved and am SO glad I did! I had not heard publication ended until I checked my bookmarks to see if I had the recipes I use. How very sad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kelly, The original print publication officially ended in June 2020, and the website was discontinued just a few months ago. I agree, all very sad. If you’re interested in finding archival Fine Cooking recipes, I suggest joining the Fine Cooking Community group on Facebook. See you there! Diana

      Like

    1. Hi Sally, The original print publication of Fine Cooking Magazine officially shut down in June 2020. The website was discontinued just a few months back. If you’re interested in finding archival Fine Cooking recipes, I suggest joining the Fine Cooking Community group on Facebook. Thanks so much for reading, Diana

      Like

  6. add me to the chorus- thanks for all the years- I’ve every magazine, but no index or way to search for recipes-there are a number of favorites that I can’t find now without a very long search issue by issue! it was bad enough when Gourmet went under.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Tom, I totally get it! I think I’ll always miss Fine Cooking and, of course, Gourmet. Another sad situation. If you’re interested in finding archival Fine Cooking recipes, I suggest joining the Fine Cooking Community group on Facebook. Thanks so much for reading, Diana

      Like

  7. How sad such great info and recipes all just disappeared. I have spent the past half hour going through back issues looking for a recipe after clicking a bookmark I had and getting the dreaded 404 error message. I realized something was amiss and now know what it was. Back to the floor and my pile of FC magazines. Woe is me.

    Like

      1. Thanks. I saw there was a Facebook group but I don’t have a Facebook account. I’ll have my kids look. I’m the meantime, I’ll keep going through my magazines. So many things I have bookmarked. It’s actually kinda fun to go through and recall recipes and what I wanted then for. So many good ones.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s moments like this time of year that I really miss Fine Cooking Magazine! It was my tried and true resource for fabulous recipes. I am mourning the loss of it, as there is not another publication like it. I will check out the Facebook group. Thanks for mentioning it!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Can the online site be resurrected? Who controls the rights to the all of the Fine Cooking recipes that were on the site? I am aware that you can still purchase CDs with multiple years of recipes on eBay, but having a searchable database is/was unbeatable. I too have many years of FC, and thought the magazine was so good that I gifted subscriptions to my daughters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ron, Fine Cooking is now owned by Dotdash/Meredith. The link is now pointed toward Food & Wine. Not sure if you’re a member of the Fine Cooking Community group on Facebook, but you should check it out since they’ve developed their own recipe database. And yes, the magazine was wonderful…I miss being in the test kitchens practically every day.

      Like

  10. I am sadden by the closed of fine Cooking. I learned about the closing from my daughter yesterday. She asked me to make apple crisp for Thanksgiving. I asked her to go to finecooking.com. She searched and said it no longer existed. I woke up this morning and started searching and came across your article.

    What a loss, I’ve used fine Cooking for year. I’m glad I still have my magazines dating as far back as 2010 and a few annual books.

    Liked by 1 person

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