Sunday, January 18, 2009

Garlic and Sapphires (Well-Seasoned Reader #1 of 3)

Ruth Reichl was, for a time, the most influential food critic in the United States. She worked for the New York Times, visiting restaurants and starring them as she saw fit. However, part of being a food critic is being anonymous - the theory being that restaurants provide better food and service for food critics than for the average diner. Ruth, far from being unrecognizable, decides to visit restaurants in disguise at least once for each review. As she takes on different personas, she explores different parts of her own personality. A very interesting look at a person's life and career. Throughout the book, Ruth intersperses recipes and copies of the reviews she wrote.

I don't think there is a single item of food Ruth wrote about that I would be interested in eating. I am quite a coward when it comes to food. Her descriptions of tastes and textures were fabulous. It was a lovely little bit of irony reading about her six course meal costing hundreds of dollars and featuring things I have never even heard of while eating Mac and Cheese at the kitchen table with my kids. I read one of Reichl's previous books, Comfort Me With Apples which was more about her personal life than her career but it was quite good. A fun first book for my Well-Seasoned Reader Challenge.


bethany said...

I have been wanting to read this! A friend recommended it to me a while back, i love the cover on it.

PS congrats on getting picked up by a distributer that is AWESOME, and certainly well deserved.

Melissa said...

I adore this book. (Thought it was much, much better than Comfort me with Apples.) So glad you liked it too. (I liked the irony in your review between mac and cheese and Reichl's descriptions, too...)

marianne said...

Tender at the Bone was my fav of her bks