Elegant, rustic and photographed with a dark, shadowy intricacy evocative of the bunkered-down winter months, Gather Journal’s second issue Traces (fall/winter 2013) is a visual feast for the heart, mind and appetite.

Launched in 2012 by Michele Outland and Fiorella Valdesolo, the American-based bi-annual and cooking companion aims to inspire and motivate readers to cook and enjoy each meal as an experience to cherish and remember.

Memory and tradition are two elements Gather has attempted to realise in Traces. The finer visual nuances of dining are examined, as is the personal history of a dish and the way food can recall a moment in time that your memory may have let slip.

The journal is broken down into sections including Amuse Bouche & Cocktails, Starters, Mains, Desserts and in this issue a section dedicated to Smoke & Ash, which features roasted tomatoes collapse under ashed cheese, a guide to smoked fish and smoky bacon and lentils. Food traces can be seen quite literally throughout the journal, while the trace of family is teased out via a traditional Friday roast chicken recipe – the cornerstone of many a family meal. Finally, the scene of a marked tablecloth, strewn with empty plates and lipstick-stained glasses, symbolises the trace of a meal’s success.

On the back pages, each contributor is asked their favourite family holiday food tradition, which makes us think of our own, whether chestnuts from a holiday in New York, roast pork with apple sauce at family birthdays and yum cha on Sunday mornings.

The pages of Gather are sleek and beautifully designed, but each dirty tea towel and squid ink stained plate evoke convey much more than first meets the eye.

Gather Journal Issue 2 is available for $25 from magnation.com and various independent bookstores.