I was introduced to Ruth Reichl by Melisabee on The Food Network’s community forums. Some people may think Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise is dated since it takes place before sushi was cool to eat but one of the things I love about the book is getting to visit New York City via the food writer who helped make eating sushi cool. In fact when Ruth moved there, no Asian-inspired cuisine was given any respect. Asian-fusion would have been considered blasphemy! Italian and French food were the height of the foodie world and Ruth helped changed all of that.
She became the most powerful woman in the food world of New York by being The New York Times’ restaurant critic. Her fresh perspective and open mind to different cuisines shocked the unshockable Big Apple. With this power came many challenges and for her, getting recognized was the kiss-of-death when trying to accurately review restaurants. Before she even moved there, the restaurant world knew her face so she had to go undercover, hence the subtitle The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise. How delicious! And, how revealing. Some of her experiences of being treated as just a “normal” human being were heartbreaking to read but throughout the book I continuously applauded her for doing so.
I was very sad to return Ruth’s book to the library. I am a complete convert to her writing and look forward to adding her books to my own personal library. I will not want to let them go.
Throughout the book Ruth shares her own personal recipes with us and can I tell you how happy I was to come across her “Sort-of-Thai Noodles”?! That I even giggled at the name. I just had to try them and they were great! Yes, definitely “sort of” but still, tasted more authentic than most of the recipes I have tried so far.
I love the library. It allows me to test out authors and see if we are compatible for each other before I invest in that person’s stories. Ruth Reichl is a food writer who kept me laughing, entertained and mystified by the magical powers of wigs and costumes. I can not wait for another bite of her foodie writing. Next time it will be all mine.