Garlic and Sapphires
The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise
By Ruth Reichl
(Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780143036616, 352pp.)
Publication Date: March 28, 2006
Ruth Reichl’s bestselling memoir of her time as an undercover restaurant critic for The New York Times
Ruth Reichl, world-renowned food critic and former editor in chief of Gourmet magazine, knows a thing or two about food. She also knows that as the most important food critic in the country, you need to be anonymous when reviewing some of the most high-profile establishments in the biggest restaurant town in the worlda charge she took very seriously, taking on the guise of a series of eccentric personalities. In Garlic and Sapphires, Reichl reveals the comic absurdity, artifice, and excellence to be found in the sumptuously appointed stages of the epicurean world and gives usalong with some of her favorite recipes and reviewsher remarkable reflections on how one’s outer appearance can influence one’s inner character, expectations, and appetites, not to mention the quality of service one receives.
As a memento of her time at the Times she gives us this wonderful book, which is funnyat times laugh-out-loud funnyand smart and wise.” Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post
Ruth Reichl is a writer and editor who was the Editor in Chief of Gourmet magazine for ten years until its closing in 2009. Before that she was the restaurant critic of the New York Times, (1993-1999), and both the restaurant critic and food editor of the Los Angeles Times (1984-1993). She has authored the critically acclaimed, bestselling memoirs Tender at the Bone, Comfort Me with Apples, Garlic and Sapphires, and For You Mom, Finally, (originally published as Not Becoming My Mother and Other Things She Taught Me Along the Way). She is the editor of The Modern Library Food Series, which currently includes ten books. Ms. Reichl has been honored with many awards, including six James Beard Awards and with numerous awards from the Association of American Food Journalists. She holds a B.A. and an M.A. in the History of Art from the University of Michigan and lives in New York City with her husband, Michael Singer, a television news producer, and their son.
"This wonderful book is funny—at times laugh-out-loud funny—and smart and wise." —The Washington Post
"Reichl is so gifted . . . the reader remains hungry for more." —USA Today
"Expansive and funny." —Entertainment Weekly