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On My Mag Shelf

Denise_opener
  • “Most of these issues of Bon Appetit are from when Anna Wintour took over as artistic director of the Conde Nast group in 2013, resulting in a change in the photography and style of the magazine.”

  • “My favourite column in Bon Appetit is on the last page, called “Back of the Napkin”. It’s a low maintenance column that showcases a little sketch or a snapshot of what the interviewee is eating or drinking. I love it when I see people’s handwriting and drawings, especially in this digital age.”

  • "I started hoarding magazines after I got into print, because I could appreciate the process; I could see why they went with certain columns or font types. The Internet is a whole new beast. I love working in print and miss it a lot.”

  • “My room is shoebox-sized, so I don’t have an actual magazine shelf, just piles and boxes that I shove things into. Every book that comes through these doors I either 1) keep 2) give away or 3) recycle.”

  • “I usually keep first and last issues, or when there is something particularly memorable within. Sometimes, there doesn’t have to be a reason at all, other than that you just know your future self is going to hate you for letting go of it.”

  • “I don’t have magazine subscriptions, I pick and choose particular issues. The only title I buy blindly is Lucky Peach.

    It's the antithesis of every food magazine out there – everything you’re not supposed to do, they do it. A lot of food mags before that were inspirational and sentimental, but Lucky Peach is madcap and radical. Of course, the quality is there too. I love the sense of fun and humour; it has a very strong voice. It’s a magazine that has the unique perspective of a chef, which gives it a strong advantage, especially when it comes to things like the Cooks and Chefs issue. They have stories you’d never see elsewhere. It was a gamechanger.

    Actually, can you help me do a shout-out? Whoever has my copy of issue 1, I’d like it back, please.”

  • "Fergus Henderson is my favourite chef.

    On the left is one of his columns in Gourmet Traveller. I interviewed him once and when I read what he writes, I can hear him, like he was during the interview. He writes like a writer. He’s very sincere, both when it comes to cooking and as a person.

    On the right is my favourite issue of Port, which was guest-edited by Fergus Henderson. Thanks to him, big names like Ferran Adria came on board this issue as well.”

  • "Saveur does some of the best food features around. I like that they dedicate page space to food culture, instead of trendy brunches.”

  • “My first issue of Fool was its third – my boyfriend went to bookshops in Australia, New York and Milan before finally finding it in Paris. The photography is cinematic; and the food photography, clean and modern. While they are stronger in photos than text, they have a knack for uncovering obscure stories that are worth telling, like the one in issue four about how organised crime has affected the Italian diet.”

  • "These issues of Slow, the food magazine published by the Slow Food Movement from 1998 to 2007, were given to me by a friend whose late father was part of the Singapore chapter. He thought I'd really like it, and it's a collection I treasure."

The first time we met Denise was at one of our pop-ups: she bought a copy of Fool issue 4, then regaled us with the tale of how she’d sent her boyfriend hunting for a copy of issue 3 across 3 continents. How could we not become friends after that?

As the online editor of Singapore Tatler Dining, it’s a given that Denise knows her food. Despite her repeated claims of not having a “massive collection”, the selection of titles she has chosen to hold onto perfectly showcase her twin loves – food and words. Having been part of the features team of magazines like Appetite and Food & Travel before taking on the digital frontier, she has a soft spot for brilliant food writing and, like every good food and magazine snob, doesn’t discriminate – be it Conde Nast-owned titles or cult indie ones, as long as it’s got a distinct point of view (no trendy brunches, please!), you can bet it’ll make her “keep” pile for sure.