media and technology

the lowdown

Boys kee

food and drink, discovers Jonathan Trew, as he chats to the innovator behind a new glossy that offers sex and food on a plate.

clear soup is more important

in life than a clear

conscience.’ reckoned Saki quite reasonably. David Lancaster, the editor of EatSoup, a new, men’s lifestyle/eating magazine, would be inclined to agree. Taking on board the idea that the way to a man’s heart is through his belly. Lancaster is captaining the latest [PC launch which is aimed at men who are interested in drinking. eating and travel. Or as Lancaster would have it: ‘lt’s a magazine for people who would rather spend £100 on a meal cooked by Marco Pierre White than on a new and exciting lawnmower.’

Cookery and wine books already outsell any other non-fiction books, and food magazines such as The Sainsburyis Magazine or BBC Good Food are aimed squarely at a female readership. EatSoup hopes to take a slice of this lucrative market as well as expanding the market by targeting a male audience. Pre-launch research indicates that your typical Mr EatSoup is 25—40 years old. single or co-habiting and is unlikely to have any children. In advertising terms this translates as a punter whose pockets are bulging with surplus cash that can’t wait to leap into the tills of the nation’s restaurants, bars, off- licences and specialist food shops. All of which is good news for [PC

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equality there lingers a vague incongruity about the notion of a man/cookery/kitchen voluntary interface. Real men don‘t eat quiche and they certainly don‘t worry about the difference between a shallot and an onion. Lancaster aims to overcome this by pitching at the loaded reader who has grown up. ‘He’ll be over 25 and the chances are that you’ll find him in the pub. the restaurant or the kitchen,‘ says Lancaster. 'He drinks quite a bit. eats quite a bit, enjoys them all and doesn’t feel too guilty about it.‘

The first issue neatly straddles the divide between the laddish and the epicurean by carrying articles on cannibalism alongside the beer, wine and whisky guides. Add in a feature about crossing America on Route 66. searching for the perfect hamburger and the concept of a male-orientated food magazine begins to define itself. The recipes and cookery hints assume a reasonable amount of enthusiasm. if not culinary skill. from their

readers. ‘There is very much an accent on the idea that if you find the right ingredients then you don’t have to muck about with them too much.’ explains Lancaster blokishly. ‘We‘re going for the good. solid but simple dishes.’

Unlike women’s food magazines the emphasis will not so much he on putting meals on a table but on enjoying the repast flavours rather than sustenance. Not that this means that EatSoup will smack of the gourmand or the self-indulgent dilettante. ‘In our guides we’ve got good roadside caffs as well as three or four star Michelin restaurants.’ explains Lancaster. ‘The idea of the magazine is to be quite democratic about all that sort of stuff. A good egg and chips can be as rewarding as an excellent lobster prepared in a top restaurant.’

EatSoup is published on Wed 11 at an introductory price of £1 rising to £2.50 thereafter.

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88 The List 6-19 Sept I996