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Taste publishes readers' issue, Cesar's Way SA edition to launch

Woolworth's Taste magazine debuts its first bumper readers' issue today, Wednesday, 26 October 2011, showcasing favourite recipes, wines, restaurants and tips submitted by its readers and Canine Zone has tied up the exclusive publishing rights to Cesar's Way SA edition, launching in February 2012.
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South African summer favourites

Editor, Sumien Brink, wanted to do something fresh and different in Taste that would more directly involve its readers and came up with the idea of a Reader's Issue where readers would provide all the input needed to produce an issue. November, as the days are warmer and bright summer produce is beginning to appear on shelves, seemed the perfect time to give the readers centre stage.

"We've seen overseas magazines do readers' issues before, but not within the same kind of time constraints that we did. It truly was a race against the clock to compile, cook, style and photograph this issue. We created the whole issue, which normally would have been spread over two months, in three weeks," she comments.

To attract entries, the publishing team used all its outlets over a two-week period - the magazine, online newsletter and Facebook - to let its readers know about the special issue. In addition, it sent out a special mailer to the newsletter database and Woolworths gave it exposure on its Facebook page and Twitter.

Summer recipes

In line with the seasonal focus, the request was for all-time best summer dessert, fruit and vegetable recipes. It also requested favourite quick meals, cookery books, restaurants, chefs and gadgets and best speedy, affordable midweek recipes.

It received over 300 entries, which had to be tested and put through a tough elimination process to choose the ones that tasted and looked the best. It ended up with 28 reader recipes that stood up to any of the recipes generated by the magazine.

"As we worked our way through the process, food editors Abigail Donnelly and Phillipa Chefitz, as well as the rest of the team, really rose to the occasion and we are pleased with the final outcome," continues Brink.

"The cover was also chosen by our readers and features a colourful Mozzarella and Roast Red Pepper Salad contributed by reader Monique Labat from Durban. We asked our readers on the Taste website and via social media which of two beautifully shot covers they preferred.

"I think that most of all, readers will respond to the profiles and snippets from our featured readers. Especially interesting is the profile of reader Michelle Koblischke, a former advertising executive who ditched her career for the love of food. She was the only one of our contributing readers who cooked all her own food for her Taste shoot and she did a marvellous job.

Reader's survey results in diabetic friendly recipes

A Taste Readers' Survey was run online and from over 2000 respondents, the publishers learned that not only are readers enjoying and using the magazine, but also that the vast majority are finding the recipes achievable and affordable. Readers are made up of those who are looking for the simplest of recipes to those who are up to the more advanced kitchen challenges and everything in between.

Readers want more recipes, especially those that can be prepared in 30 minutes and do not cost a fortune and there were an overwhelming number of requests for diabetic-friendly foods. In answer to that, the assistant food editor, Hannah Lewry, has come up with some sweet sugar-free treats in the November issue to coincide with World Diabetes Day on 14 November.

The magazine plans to produce a regular Summer and Winter Readers' issues and integrate more reader input in every issue from now on, as well as on the website.

To download the free online booklet of readers' best-ever Taste summer recipes, got to www.Tastemag.co.za.

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US dog master magazine comes to SA

Cesar Millan, a Mexican-American self-taught professional trainer, widely known for his television series The Dog Whisperer, produces a bi-monthly magazine titled Cesar's Way with an estimated 240 000 readers. His first three books, including Cesar's Way, all became New York Times best sellers; cumulatively selling two million copies in the US. These are available in 14 other countries.

Launching in February 2012, Cesar's Way SA will consist of editorial from the US edition, along with local content comprising of rescue success stories, 'home-finders' pages dedicated to dogs in shelters and local advertising.

Editorial includes
  • Letters to Cesar with his answers and solutions
  • Photo galleries of canine categories, including breeds, service and shelter dogs looking for forever homes
  • Canine world news, products and trends
  • In-depth teaching from Cesar on owner and dog training
  • Health care
  • Breed information
  • Cesar's family and their dogs
  • Real stories of owners and the dogs that changed their lives
  • Interviews and profiles of celebrities and their dogs
  • Advice from veterinarians, nutritionists and other canine experts
  • Product guide
  • Local product and service advertising
With Canine Zone's over 20 years of publishing experience and its team's love of dogs, the company expects the magazine to be successful in South Africa.
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Read more: Taste, food magazine