I recently discovered GFF. I sincerely think it’s the most beautiful magazine with the most stunning images of food I […]
I recently discovered GFF. I sincerely think it’s the most beautiful magazine with the most stunning images of food I have ever seen. I’m not kidding. Go take a look. You will be blown away. I want to make everything! And for me, that is truly saying something because I would like to have someone else cook for me for the rest of my life. The editor of GFF, Erika Lenkert, is a friend of a friend. Because of that, she offered my readers a discount. How could I write about the magazine and not interview her? I couldn’t! So, my dear readers, I have a wonderful interview with the editor of a genuinely droolworthy magazine and a great discount: 25% off all back issues with code spring25 and 30% off subscriptions with code spring16. Codes are valid for hardcopy and digital subscriptions. Enjoy and if you do whip up one of the GFF recipes, please take a pic or let me know or send me a piece! That would be so cool!
ID:Please tell us a little about yourself and your journey that brought you to GFF.
EL: I grew up in San Francisco with a single jazz-singer, food-loving mom who regularly took me to cooking classes and restaurants and ignited my passion for great food. But I always knew I was going to be a writer, and kept daily journals from the time I was 10 to 25 years old. By my early 20s, I combined both passions and kicked off my career by writing the Frommer’s Guide to San Francisco. That was more than 20 years ago. Since then, there have been hundreds of magazine articles, a few dozen books, ecommerce, TV host roles, and even a job with Star Trek. My career path isn’t linear because I always take the opportunity that seems like the most fun. When that’s the only requisite, curveballs are inevitable.
ID:What was your first job in high school?
EL:Cold-calling people to see if they wanted life insurance.
ID. Did you go to college? Did you major in journalism ? If not, what did you study?
EL:I started at UC Santa Barbara and graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in English Literature. I thought about going into nutrition but bailed when I learned there was a calculus requirement. ;-/
ID: What inspired you to go into Independent publishing?
EL: Nothing logical! It’s a lot of fun and very gratifying, but it’s hardly a get-rich-quick scheme! I’d been working mostly in digital media for several years and wanted to create something of substance that could help people and would satisfy my creative desires.
ID: What advice would you give to someone who would like to start their own magazine?
EL: Get financial backing, have a smart and doable plan for generating revenue, and make sure you have a lot of help. It’s way more work than you think.
ID: A career highlight?
EL: As a freelance lifestyle and travel writer, I’ve had a lot of fun and outrageous experiences, including ringing in the year 2000 at Leonardo di Caprio’s New Year’s Eve party, sabering Champagne in Champagne, announcing female mudwrestling, and riding a horse among zebra, elephants, and giraffes in Kenya. But what makes me the proudest is something much simpler—receiving letters from readers about how much our magazine is helping their lives. Those are the real career highlights.**sabering” is using a sword to take the top off a Champagne bottle **
ID: What’s your guilty pleasure?
EL: I don’t associate guilt with food. It ruins the fun. BUT, the answer is French fries.
ID: If you could do any other “job” besides publishing GFF, what would it be?
EL: I would work in hospice. I’ve seen no greater gift or privilege than helping a person and their loved ones gently move through death.
ID: Describe yourself in 5 words.
EL: Loyal, fearless, playful, honest, petite.
ID: What do you like to do when you’re not working?
EL: Travel, lounge around the house, run or do yoga, and spend time with friends and my epic daughter.
ID: Please tell us a random talent that we would be surprised to know about Erika!
EL: I can name that tune in one note.
Thank you so much for your time, Erika! Such a delight getting to know a little bit about you!
Images courtesy of GFF