For those of you who've been staring bleakly at your old dust and demi-glace covered copies of Gourmet, or stalking Ruth Reichl via Twitter, you now have a shiny new website to visit. Gilt Taste officially launched yesterday, with Reichl as the editorial advisor. Gilt Taste is the food spin-off of Gilt Groupe, a luxury discount retailer website (Helmut Lang! Stuff Jon Hamm would wear!), and combines original content with gorgeous art, a glorified shopping cart, and — coming soon — weekly members-only specials.

“Gilt Taste is a radical venture,” Reichl writes in a welcoming note on the site. There are no ads, as the project is supported by the sale of the frillies the site offers. Think Becker Lane Organic Farm spare ribs, D'Artagnan cassoulet recipe kits, Murray's Cheese Persille de Beaujolais, Primizie jumbo white asparagus, Cortez Mullet Company Cortez Bottarga di Muggine, Lady M Gateau Nuage. One could go on.

Joining Reichl is Francis Lam, most recently of Salon, who is the features editor, and Melissa Clark, prolific cookbook writer and lately a New York Times columnist, who is a contributing editor and will be creating many of the site's recipes. For the first week, Reichl and company have a pretty impressive lineup: stories by Hank Shaw, Barry Estabrook, Amanda Cohen, James Nickerson and Clark, and some lovely recipes from the latter. Local blogger extraordinaire Matt Armendariz also tweeted last night that he's a contributor. Tejal Rao is Gilt Taste's restaurant editor.

Earlier this month, reported the New York Post, Gilt Groupe raised $138 million from a handful of high profile investors, including Goldman Sachs. The company is now valued at about $1 billion. Not your usual purveyor of artisanal cheeses, pictures of artichokes and well-considered prose. Recession? What recession.

LA Weekly