Saveur is a gourmet, food, wine, and travel magazine that specializes in essays about various world cuisines. Its slogan — Savor a World of Authentic Cuisine — signals the publication’s focus on enduring culinary traditions, as opposed to ephemeral food trends. Celebrated for its distinctive, naturalistic style of food photography and vivid writing, Saveur has been notable for placing food in its cultural context, and the magazine’s popularity has coincided with a growing interest among American readers in the stories behind the way the world eats. The publication was co-founded by Dorothy Kalins, Michael Grossman, Christopher Hirsheimer, and Colman Andrews, who was also the editor-in-chief from 1996 to 2001. It was started by Meigher Communications in 1994. World Publications bought Saveur and Garden Design in 2000. World Publications was renamed Bonnier Corporation in 2007. A popular feature is the "Saveur 100", an annual list of "favorite restaurants, food, drink, people, places and things".
Saveur was created by Dorothy Kalins, then editor-in-chief of Metropolitan Home magazine. Kalins launched the new food magazine with the help of Christopher Hirsheimer (who produced food stories for Metropolitan Home) and Colman Andrews (who wrote a column for that magazine). Kalins served as Saveur’s founding editor-in-chief, with Michael Grossman as creative director, Andrews as executive editor, and Hirsheimer as food editor. Saveur was originally published six times a year by Meigher Communications, a now-defunct publishing company founded by Chris Meigher, a former Time Inc. executive. Saveur has always been based in New York City.
Saveur’s first issue hit the stands in the summer of 1994 with a 13-page cover story about the famed moles of Oaxaca, Mexico, complete with photos from the region’s food markets and home kitchens, and a step-by-step visual guide to making chicken and mole-filled tamales. That inaugural issue also included a piece about a mail-order source for freshly milled flour from Kansas, a piece on beer made by Trappist monks in Belgium, and a behind-the-scenes look at a pizza trade show in Las Vegas. “Do you see the world food first?” Kalins wrote in her first First column, the magazine’s letter from the editor. “We think it’s time for a new kind of food magazine—one that reconnects us with the ingredients, the process, the true satisfaction of food. We think it’s time to stop and smell the rosemary.”
Kalins departed Saveur in 2000 after the magazine was purchased by World Publications, a special interest magazine company based in Winter Park, Florida. Andrews served as in editor-in-chief until 2006; he departed shortly after Bonnier, the Swedish media company, purchased a minority stake in World Publications.
James Oseland, a regular Saveur writer who was brought on by Andrews as executive editor, became editor-in-chief in 2006. Oseland, whose first cookbook, Cradle of Flavor: Home Cooking from the Spice Islands of Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia, was published in 2006, built a new editorial team. While hewing to the magazine’s original mission, the new editors welcomed a growing readership with special feature packages and single-topic issues—from The World of Butter (March 2008) to The Glories of Greece (August 2010)—each of which tackled a single theme in depth. These themed packages and issues included not only recipes and techniques, but also multiple narratives, providing diverse perspectives on each topic of focus. Celebrated essayists, novelists, comedians, and other storytellers have turned to the subject of food in the pages of Saveur: In the magazine’s October 2010 25 Great Meals issue, Rita Mae Brown wrote of a meal she shared with her grandfather’s hunting dogs; Dean Koontz, about sharing sandwiches with his uncle; Marc Maron, about cooking Thanksgiving dinner for his calorie-conscious mother.
Saveur’s circulation of 325,000 reflects a loyal reader base of subscribers and Saveur.com draws nearly 2 million unique visitors monthly.
Awards and honors
Since its inception, Saveur have been awarded a total of 23 James Beard Journalism Awards. The magazine has been a finalist for American Society awards 19 times, and has taken home seven wins, most recently for Best Single Topic Issue: “Mexico Issue” (Aug/Sep, 2012).