Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl


I began reading this on the plane on the way to Phoenix on Christmas
day and hardly noticed the time. I read few restaurant reviews and
probably never read one from the New York Times where she was the
critic for some years. I certainly did not expect a laugh-out-loud
book. Because she was well-known and restaurants are keen to treat the
Times critic to a great meal, she adopted disguises so she would be
treated as an ordinary diner — she wrote reviews to sell newspapers,
not restaurants. She found that the personas that she adopted give her
insights into herself that were not always welcome. The recipes
scattered throughout the book are do-able and look delicious. The food
descriptions were lovely, fun, and only occasionally over the top (fish
poached in goose fat created a sensation that was “dizzying and
exciting, as if you were flying and swimming at the same time.”)

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