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Dining In: Updating the Gourmet magazine experience

Reunions of old friends or workmates can be filled with fun and nostalgia.

When the former employees of Gourmet magazine reunite, it will have all of that, plus a national celebrity and great food. And for this reunion, the public is invited.

Last published in 2009, Gourmet has been gone for 10 years, but its former employees have not forgotten those days, or the “Gourmet Institutes” they would hold, filled with events and dinners.

“It was always a lot of fun,” said chef Ian Knauer of The Farm Cooking School in Hopewell Township, N.J., who spent 10 years at Gourmet.

Knauer, along with his cooking school partner Shelley Wiseman and former Gourmet editor and cookbook author Ruth Reichl, will re-create those days and celebrate the legacy of the magazine Sept. 13 to 15 with a Gourmet Weekend in Hopewell.

He said plans for the weekend came together “fairly easily,” and that Reichl quickly accepted.

The weekend will focus on an in-depth exploration of the national foodscape with topics ranging from sustainable food practices to food photography to mastering grilling techniques.

Of course there also will be locally raised, sustainable food. Lunches of wood-fired pizza and pulled pork will be cooked at the farm, and a cocktail party will include local farmers to answer questions.

An opening night dinner and book signing with Reichl already has sold out, but slots are still open for the following two days of workshops and panel discussions. A second book signing will include Reichl and the many other cookbook authors attending the weekend.

In addition to the Gourmet Weekend experience, The Farm Cooking School will offer three five-day culinary immersions this summer. The Foundations of Cooking will be held June 24 to 29 and July 22 to 26; Local Agriculture & East Coast Foodways will be Aug. 12 to 16.

The cooking school staff also will offer week-long intensive culinary camps this summer. Miriam Flores will teach Mexican cooking July 15 to 19, followed by Adult Foundations Bootcamp July 22 to 26 and Farm to Kitchen: East Coast Foodways Bootcamp Aug. 12 to 16.

To register and learn more about all of the events see the website

Meanwhile, fans of Gourmet can enjoy this recipe that was developed by Knauer for the magazine in 2008.

Scallion-Crusted Arctic Char
4 to 6 scallions
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
2 (6-ounce) pieces arctic char

Preheat broiler. Line rack of broiler pan with foil.
Finely chop scallions and stir together with mayonnaise. Pat fillets dry. Place fillets, skin sides down, on broiler pan and season each fillet with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Spread scallion mixture evenly over tops of fillets.
Broil 3 to 4 inches from heat until scallions are slightly charred and fish is just cooked through, about 8 minutes.