Lee Enterprises, Inc. has launched a new food-focused digital magazine called Feast and Field, which explores farming, food production, culinary history, and cooking. Found at feastandfield.net, the product is the latest expansion of Feast Magazine, which launched in 2010 and delivers the best of the culinary scene in Missouri with a focus on St. Louis and Kansas City, as well as Eastern Kansas and Southern Illinois. Feast and Field launched nationwide and across all of Lee Enterprises markets in March. Each of the company’s publications have a digital Feast and Field section.
“Americans are not that familiar with food production…so that’s what I wanted to do with Feast and Field is to go deeper into the story of our food and the way that it knits together communities,” said Catherine Neville, executive editor of Feast and Field and publisher of Feast Magazine.
The early conversations for Feast and Field occurred among Neville—who has been telling the story of food for more than 20 years—Donna Bischoff, vice president of key accounts and branded content, and Ian Caso, St. Louis Post-Dispatch publisher. As those conversations expanded, Ray Farris, operating vice president and vice president of advertising, played a key role in deciding this initiative was a beneficial move for the company, Neville explained.
At a time when the news industry’s troubles have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Lee Enterprises wanted to create “something that had integrity and something that would that last,” Neville said, stressing the significance of making this sort of investment during a difficult time.
“The team at Lee realized Feast has built an audience, built a brand, (and that it has) been very successful,” she said.
Recipes are published online weekly, and Feast and Field does a dive deep on a selected subject weekly as well, with the goal of producing six or seven pieces on the subject. For example, the first deep dive discussed the Lost Lake Farm in Iowa, which produces low temp artisan cheeses. Another of the publication’s early subjects focused on a grapefruit farm in Texas, which was nearly decimated following the freeze in February, showcasing that Feast and Field will highlight more than feel-good stories.
In addition to Neville and Bischoff, the publication’s team includes Dana Fouchia, content director; Heather Gray, creative director; Lauren Quick, social media and digital strategist; and Rosanne Toroian, copy editor and staff writer. Additionally, Feast and Field is adamant about working with local freelancers to portray local voices in order to make their stories feel more authentic.
Food is a serious topic, Neville explained. The environment is deeply impacted by what is happening in farming, and it is essential for consumers to consider what food they choose to purchase.
“The pandemic has shown us how fragile our local and regional economy is—and food is a big part of that,” Neville said.