05/18/2011 12:21 pm ET | Updated Jul 18, 2011

Ruth Reichl-Led Gilt Taste Launches

Today, Gilt Groupe officially launched their newest project: Gilt Taste, "offering artisanal hard-to-find foods" as well as food magazine-style features.

Gilt Taste has assembled a group of seasoned food professionals, including editorial advisor Ruth Reichl, the former editor-in-chief of now-defunct Gourmet magazine, and features editor Francis Lam (also formerly of Gourmet). Lam will be working with a team of food writers including James Beard award winner Barry Estabrook (see his piece on fracking), Hank Shaw, of the blog Hunter Angler Gardener Cook and Le Bernardin pastry chef Michael Laiskonis.

Reichl explains Gilt Taste's mission in her welcome letter:

Gilt Taste is a radical venture. On one hand it's a showcase for the artisanal products that talented bakers, butchers, candy and cheese-makers are now crafting all over the country. It's a place to meet a new generation of farmers, the men and women who are tilling the land in sustainable ways, saving seeds and raising happy animals. It is a celebration of food, mostly American.

One of the major facets of Gilt Taste, like other Gilt verticals, is the market, in which customers can purchase anything from Hama Hama oysters to fiddlehead ferns.

The site is still in beta, and will be rolling out other features. In the meantime, one can become more familiar with the brand through the article "Six Things We'll Never Sell" (hint: don't expect to be able to purchase ice or biscuit mix). Melissa Clark shares recipes including spiced porcini mushroom salt and Dirt Candy chef Amanda Cohen gives advice for how to use broccoli stalks.

Leena Rao on TechCrunch writes, "the prices are high, and it’s unclear if I’m getting a discount on these foods." Rao may have a point, but with photography that beautiful, we can't help but click away.

Not to be outdone, Twitter mash-up personality Ruth Bourdain has created an alternate version of the site, Guilt Taste, in which customers can "buy" the endangered Ortolan bird or Chilean sea bass ("unsustainable, yet unctuous").