When we first heard about CHOW Magazine, we were excited about another food rag hitting the stands. Not that there aren't enough already - between Cook's Illustrated and Saveur, we already have more than enough stove side reading each month thank-you-very-much.
One part food magazine and one part something entirely other (porn? tabloid?), CHOW appeals to the do-it-yourselfers of the kitchen: the cooks who might have a hammer in their arsenal of cooking implements, or the cooks who might make bigger messes than their Bon Appétit or Food and Wine counterparts as they whip up a meal. In other words, it doesn't appeal to mom. We're not sure if that's a good thing.
The current issue features a guide to cooking in college dorm rooms, a great basic recipe for Squash Ravioli, a story about team cooking (think kitchen sports with four to six friends), and piece on reverse engineering a coveted but secret salsa recipe from a hole-in-the-wall Mexican joint in San Francisco's mission district.
CHOW is definitely a breath of fresh air in the stuffy food-magazine world. And if you can stand the raw flash photography and sassy tone of the writing, it might be the magazine for you.