Like a hearing child born to deaf parents, I was shaped by my mother's handicap, discovering that food could be a way of making sense of the world...Ruth Reichl is the restaurant critic for the New York Times and recognised as one of the world's leading food writers. This is her memoir of a life determined, enhanced and defined by a passion for ...
Like a hearing child born to deaf parents, I was shaped by my mother's handicap, discovering that food could be a way of making sense of the world...Ruth Reichl is the restaurant critic for the New York Times and recognised as one of the world's leading food writers. This is her memoir of a life determined, enhanced and defined by a passion for food, unforgettable people and the love of tales well told. From her notorious food-poisoning mother (otherwise known as the Queen of Mould), to the gourmand Monsieur du Croix who served Reichl her first souffle, to the Berkeley restaurant of the seventies where every worker was a manager and every manager had an opinion, Reichl's story is heart-wrenching and funny. Ruth Reichl lives in New York with her husband, her son and two cats.
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This memoir concerns the author's early years and
traces her growing interest in food. Her dysfunctional family and personal road to a fulfilling career and marriage are addressed in a mostly amusing way, although there are times when you can't help being horrified by her parents' behavior. The memoir is seeded with recipes which usually contain large amounts of butter and/or cream. While I would never try any, I am sure they are delicious. Altogether this was a fun and easy read.
Jun 28, 2007
food writers delight
Ruth Reichl is a foody's dream writer. She knows her food and gives plenty of recipes, along with a great story. This book is autobiographical, starting with her early years and hippy days, which are hilarious. I think this and "Garlic and Sapphires" are her best books. Her descriptions are mouthwatering and I read it in. like, two days. No wonder she was chosen as the editor of Gourmet Magazine. But she is not so highbrow that you can't totally relate to all she says. I guess that is what makes her great - she is one of us.
Publishers Weekly, 1998-01-01 Reichl discovered early on that since she wasn't "pretty or funny or sexy," she could attract friends with food instead. But that initiative isn't likely to secure her an audience for her chaotic, self-satisfied memoirs, although her restaurant reviews in the New York Times are popular. Reichl's knack for describing food gives one a new appreciation for the pleasures of the table, as when she writes here: "There were eggplants the color of amethysts and plates of sliced salami and bresaola that looked like stacks of rose petals left to dry." But when she is recalling her life, she seems unable to judge what's interesting. Raised in Manhattan and Connecticut by a docile father who was a book designer and a mother who suffered from manic depression, Reichl enjoyed such middle-class perks as a Christmas in Paris when she was 13 and high school in Canada to learn French. But her mother was a blight, whom Reichl disdains to the discomfort of the reader who wonders if she exaggerates. The author studied at the University of Michigan, earned a graduate degree in art history, married a sculptor named Doug, lived in a loft in Manhattan's Bowery and then with friends bought a 17-room "cottage" in Berkeley, Calif., which turned into a commune so self-consciously offbeat that their Thanksgiving feast one year was prepared from throwaways found in a supermarket dumpster. Seasoning her memoir with recipes, Reichl takes us only through the 1970s, which seems like an arbitrary cutoff, and one hopes the years that followed were more engaging than the era recreated here. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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