Cherry Bombe #6
What’s not to love about a culinary magazine for women that’s named after a Runaways song, but with an added ‘-e’ on the end to make the title look more like the word ‘food-ie’?
If Cherry Bombe were a dish, its recipe would be deceptively complex. Take 1/3 cup of The Gentlewoman and mix with a 1/3 cup of Lucky Peach. Add a dash of an indie fashion glossy like Twin, Wonderland or Oyster (whichever you have in your cupboard) and the tiniest sprinkling of Vanity Fair and TV Guide. Cook on high heat for the length of The Runaways’ 1976 debut single (Joan Jett’s 1984 version of the song will also do).
The New York-based magazine was started in 2013 as a deliberate riposte to the male-orientated restaurant and foodie world. Netflix’s restaurant documentary Chef’s Table recently featured an episode on LA restaurant n/naka’s Niki Nakayama, which dwelled on how hard the chef has had to work to get to where she is now because of sexism in the industry. Anyone who appreciated this episode and who took pleasure in the documentary’s beautiful food styling and framing will enjoy the magazine’s striking simplicity, its female perspective and the elegant layout and photography.
I’m comparing the magazine to the TV show because chef celebrities that you might seen on television feature a lot in Cherry Bombe: cover stars in the past have been chefs like Kristen Kish – best known for winning Season 10 of US Top Chef – as well as MasterChef judge and pastry maker Christina Tosi. Unlike a title like Lunch Lady – which we featured as our magazine of the week a month ago and which centres around food from a mother’s perspective – Cherry Bombe is a lot more celebrity focused.
Issue six’s cover stars are also TV personalities; a smiling Lena Dunham and Girl’s producer Jenni Konner grace the front. In the issue, Lena discusses what she keeps stocked in her fridge and her favourite cookbooks (above). Elsewhere, Nigella Lawson shares recipes from her new book (also above), and there are interviews with American chef Alice Waters and writer Ruth Reichl (below).
This Monday, we spoke with Filmme Fatales editor Brodie Lancaster about her women-centred film magazine – which was a definite riposte to the male-dominated film industry. Magazines are the format that writers and journalist select in order to address and right the balance of gender inequality across a multiplicity of industries. As last week’s EDO event on the classic late-sixties Nova magazine also demonstrated (you can hear the audio here), this has been the case for a long time.
Now is hopefully a turning point though. With a title like Cherry Bombe – which you can imagine on the shelves of independent bookstores but also resting on chairs in hair dressing salons because it’s one of those titles, like Cereal, that has the capacity to bridge the space between mainstream and independent – these points of view and other voices will perhaps start to mix in with celebrity culture and media that’s consumed on a mass scale.