**UPDATE: We've made gift card "inserts" for those of you who want to buy Middlewest as a gift. Check the updates for details. Thanks!**
WHAT IS MIDDLEWEST?
Middlewest is a semiannual food and recipe magazine. But it doesn't look quite like other magazines. The pages are unbound, and it's printed on thick cardstock; each page acts as its own recipe card. So you can think of Middlewest as a cooking magazine, or you can think of it as a set of recipe cards. Either way, the look and feel of Middlewest is progressive, new and, in our opinion, gorgeous.
The first issue of Middlewest (due February 2013) consists of winter and spring recipes from Middlewest Kitchen, our test kitchen in Chicago. But we plan to hand future issues over to interesting chefs. (And should we ever come across an Italian nonna, Jewish bubbe or Mexican abuela who is an amazing cook, you better believe we'll produce an issue of her recipes, too.)
WHO IS MIDDLEWEST?
Middlewest is produced by a team of experienced magazine folks. By day, half of us work at Time Out Chicago; Middlewest is our side project. Between our editor and photographer, our work has appeared in almost every major food magazine (Bon Appetit, Gourmet, Food Network Magazine, Cooking Light), and last year our designers had a major museum exhibition. We won't bore you with more details here, but you can find mini-bios near the bottom of this page.
WHAT ARE THE RECIPES LIKE?
The recipes from Middlewest Kitchen are designed to be accessible but interesting. Some of them have a slight Mediterranean/Middle Eastern bent to them; several are vegetarian. Also, we really like breakfast, brunch, cocktails and dessert. We'll post recipe notes and photos on our Facebook page.
WHY IS MIDDLEWEST UNBOUND?
Good question! Middlewest is an attempt at something different. We're rethinking the idea of what forms a magazine can take.
Also, it's a practical thing: Recipe cards are easier to cook from than magazines (or your phone), and unlike most magazines, Middlewest's pages are built to exist in your kitchen for many years.
Finally, it's an aesthetic thing, and a material thing. We like the way it looks; we like the way it feels to hold it.
IS THERE A BOX FOR THE RECIPE CARDS?
Not yet. At this time, producing a box we can be proud of is cost prohibitive. But we're planning a box for the future (say, for the 2013 holidays?). In the meantime, the recipe cards will arrive in a handsome resealable envelope, printed with a design by our designers, Sonnenzimmer. (Please note: Our pages are bigger than most recipe cards; they may not fit in the box you might currently have for recipes.)
HOW WILL YOU SPEND THIS MONEY?
The money we're raising on Kickstarter will go to start-up costs. Our biggest costs are design and printing, but there are several smaller costs: Branding, websites, postage and packaging expenses. The $18 reward level is our best estimation of our first issue's retail cost, plus shipping.
NO, REALLY, WHO IS MIDDLEWEST?
Fine, we'll tell you!
David Tamarkin (Editor)
David is the food editor at Time Out Chicago and a contributor to several other magazines. His articles and recipes have appeared in Bon Appetit, Gourmet (RIP), Wine & Spirits, Food Network Magazine, Every Day With Rachael Ray, The Guardian, Time Out New York and several other publications.
Erica Gannett (Photography)
Erica is an associate photo editor at Time Out Chicago and a prolific photographer for other magazines. Her work has appeared in Cooking Light, Conde Nast Traveler, Cara (the in-flight magazine of Aer Lingus), and others. She has traveled the world as an in-demand photographer for events such as Mashable's Social Media Summits, Davos World Economic Forum and SXSW with IRL Productions.
Sonnenzimmer is a design house based in Chicago and run by Nick Butcher and Nadine Nakanishi. If a band is worth its salt, Sonnenzimmer has made its show poster. Sonnenzimmer has also designed for the Newberry Library, the Poetry Foundation and many, many more. Their progressive ideas and stunning visuals earned them an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in July 2011. Sonnenzimmer designed our logo, and will be designing our issues. We are thrilled that they are working with us.
Christina Stradone (Video)
Christina is a Chicago-based videographer who has worked for Vosges Haut-Chocolat, Whipped The Blog, Snow & Graham, The College Sport Scarf, Schubas/Lincoln Hall, Bike-a-Bee and many more. She shot and edited the video above.
Risks and challenges
Middlewest has been in motion since May 2012, so our content is in great shape. However, we can't start designing the magazine until we've reached our goal, and though we expect everything to move smoothly, we may incur delays. That would suck, since the recipes in our first issue are designed to be cooked in late winter through the spring. That said, the timeliness of the content is a key motivator that will keep us on schedule.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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