March 17, 2009

Garlic and Sapphires, by Ruth Reichl

I was very surprised by how much I liked this book. I have several Ruth Reichl books on my library list, meaning at one time I read a recommendation of them, but for some reason I never felt like actually requesting them. Finally, lacking other books to read, I chose this one at random, but I still hesitated to start. I have no idea why I thought I wouldn't enjoy it. It was so readable! 

Ruth Reichl, now the editor-in-chief of Gourmet, used to be the restaurant reviewer for The New York Times. There was a veritable price on her head, because as soon as a restaurant she went into recognized her, they gave her treatment fit for a queen: the best table, the best service, the best food possible. To find out how normal people experienced these restaurants, she concocted intricate disguises, and personalities to go along with them. 

She has lots of good stories to tell about these times, from an irritating charity dinner with the most annoying "food warrior" on earth, to a madcap food tour romp through Brooklyn with Serious Eats writer Ed Levine. There's also some tasty-looking recipes, which I intend to make when I can eat meat again. I'll be requesting the rest of her books soon. 

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