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Garlic And Sapphires [Kindle Edition]

Ruth Reichl
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Book Description

Garlic and Sapphires is Ruth Reichl's riotous account of the many disguises she employs to dine undetected when she takes on the much coveted and highly prestigious job of New York Times restaurant critic.


Reichl knows that to be a good critic she has to be anonymous - but her picture is posted in every four-star, low-star kitchen in town and so she embarks on an extraordinary - and hilarious - undercover game of disguise - keeping even her husband and son in the dark. There is her stint as Molly, a frumpy blonde in an off-beige Armani suit that Ruth takes on when reviewing Le Cirque resulting in a double review of the restaurant: first she ate there as Molly; and then as she was coddled and pampered on her visit there as Ruth, New York Times food critic. Then there is the eccentric, mysterious red head on whom her husband - both disconcertingly and reassuringly - develops a terrible crush. She becomes Brenda the earth mother, Chloe the seductress and even Miriam her own (deceased) mother.


What is even more remarkable about Reichl's spy games is that as she takes on these various guises, she finds herself changed not just physically, but also in character revealing how one's outer appearance can very much influence one's inner character, expectations, and appetites.



Product Description

Review

"If this was just an account of life as a restaurant critic, it would be interesting enough. But Ruth Reichl somehow makes this an investigation into personality. In order not to be recognized when on the job as The New York Times' restaurant reviewer, she adopts a number of disguises and notes the effect this has on her own character and behavior. Oh, and the food: when she writes about what she's eating, I just salivate" (Nigella Lawson Stylist Magazine)

"Riotously, effortlessly entertaining - Ruth Reichl is witty, fair-minded, brave and a wonderful writer" (New York Times)

"Fast, funny, always near the knuckle - the best kind of food writing - it makes you hungry" (Elisabeth Luard)

"A pleasure from start to finish" (Guardian)

"Reading Ruth Reichl on food is almost as good as eating it" (Washington Post)

Book Description

In the bestselling tradition of Nigel Slater and Anthony Bourdain, comes the sumptuous and riotous account of undercover food critic Ruth Reichl

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 830 KB
  • Print Length: 364 pages
  • Publisher: Cornerstone Digital (31 Mar. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00B5TBI60
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #91,033 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Nicola F (Nic) TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I am in awe of Ruth Reichl's talents at making food spring to life purely through the written word alone. The woman is a genius!

This book focuses on Ruth's move from Los Angeles to New York to take up the much revered post as food critic for the New York Times. But the restaurants know she's on her way however and Ruth is determined to be prepared. Ruth is quite unlike the reviewers who have preceeded her- she doesn't believe in praising up only 'posh' eateries for rich people, much to the horror of her editors, and is quite happy praising up a fairly non-descript Japanese eaterie. And for another thing she is determined to experience the meals not just from a "critics" point of view and with all the fancy service and fawning that comes with it, but from a different perspective. Consequently, Ruth goes incognito- and as her various characters are born, Ruth comes to see how people look on the outside can not only affect their personalities, but also their tastebuds.

This book alternately had me drooling over the depictions of the food, laughing at the hilarious antics of the various guises of Ruth and wanting to reach for my apron to go and start cooking up some of the delectable sounding recipes included in each chapter. I ate up every single word (pun intended). Reichl's love of food and eating shines through in every page- I honestly don't know how she can eat what she does and not weigh fifty stone- lucky woman!! She really did have one of the best jobs in the world- but as a reader you are alternatively envious and sympathetic as she realises that being a food critic isn't always all its cracked up to be.

A fascinating, moving account of the restaurant business and food in New York that makes me want to hop on a plane to go back there to eat in some of the places written about. I can't wait to devour more of Reichl's books. She may just be be my new hero.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious! 11 May 2007
By Sarah Durston TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
When Ruth Reichl arrives in New York from Los Angeles, the restaurants are expecting her! She is told by a woman on the plane that there is a photo of her by the till in every restaurant she is likely to review. A plan is needed! So Reichl develops a series of disguises so that she can eat incognito.

(She then eats at the same restaurant with no disguise and notes the different way she is treated!)

I loved every minute I spent reading this book. Reichl obviously adores food and this is really apparent. She writes about food in a way that is totally lacking in pomposity (other food critics could take a note from her book.)

The book explores not only a series of gorgeous meals, and a few not so gorgeous ones! But also the whole experience of eating in wonderful restaurants, and the differnce disguises and company make to the experience.

Cannot recommend this highly enough.....delicious!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Food Reviews 10 Nov. 2011
Format:Paperback
Very interesting book and well worth a read if you are at all interested in food. The book begins with Ruth on a plane to research her new life as a food critic on the East Coast. She soon discovers that all the top restaurants are on the look out for her and as such has to create a series of elaborate disguises. She describes how she feels able to take on completely different personas whilst wearing the disguises and the results of how she is treated while dressed as an old person, or as a poor looking person, do not paint the high end restaurant scene in New York in a very favourable light to say the least.

I had never heard of her before but I applaud what she did during her time at the paper to expose the two faced restaurants and to promote restaurants who offer better food than their more well-heeled competitors. In the end she quits to spend more time eating with her family, which left me wondering why she didn't eat out with them. Surely restaurant critics are harder to spot in family groups than when they are on their own. Anyway, good book, glad I bought it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious! 10 July 2006
By Sarah Durston TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
When Ruth Reichl arrives in New York from Los Angeles, the restaurants are expecting her! She is told by a woman on the plane that there is a photo of her by the till in every restaurant she is likely to review. A plan is needed! So Reichl develops a series of disguises so that she can eat incognito.

(She then eats at the same restaurant with no disguise and notes the different way she is treated!)

I loved every minute I spent reading this book. Reichl obviously adores food and this is really apparent. She writes about food in a way that is totally lacking in pomposity (other food critics could take a note from her book.)

The book explores not only a series of gorgeous meals, and a few not so gorgeous ones! But also the whole experience of eating in wonderful restaurants, and the differnce disguises and company make to the experience.

Cannot recommend this highly enough.....delicious!
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Was this review helpful to you?
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yummy Funny 26 Jun. 2006
Format:Hardcover
I thoroughly enjoyed this book; Ruth's account of her life as the restaurant critic at the New York times is unmissable. Her take on food goes without saying; as a former chef and the editor of Gourmet magazine you would expect nothing less; it is all the other threads of the story which make this such a good read. The characters she invents in order to review various establishments are fascinating and really give an insight into different aspects of Ruth's own character, the descriptions of her colleagues and family are insightful and true while her memories of her firends battle with cancer are touching without being oversentimental or soppy. Altogehter a great book, def. one for the bookshelf.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
It was interesting to learn to how restaurant reviews are obtained!
Published 19 days ago by Bookworm
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Liked the book - good one for foodies and also amusing
Published 5 months ago by Philippa Young
5.0 out of 5 stars I was disappointed when it came to an end
My sort of book - all about food! Real life with recipes thrown in and so well written. I was disappointed when it came to an end.
Published 5 months ago by Reader Ruthie
3.0 out of 5 stars A book for food lovers.
I am hovering between a three and a four for this book as it was enjoyable and different but it did not inspire me to want to read more books by this author. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Frenchie
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm addicted to Ruth Reichl
I have read it all, in the right order ;-) and keep on buying more. SHe writes interesting stuff, in a fluent and intriguing way, talks about food and you would like to taste it... Read more
Published 24 months ago by francesca
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow progeress
I thought thnis would be a great book for someone interesting in food and eating out, alas I found it slow and repetative there are no clues as to where the book is going and if... Read more
Published on 19 April 2013 by J. Howard
4.0 out of 5 stars I want her life
Good insight into the life of a food critic including how well they are treated when recognised so is that a fair review of a restaurant?
Published on 4 April 2013 by Leila Ferguson
5.0 out of 5 stars Elegant and engaging
I was intrigued by this book right from the outset: a restaurant critic (can you imagine a nicer job? Read more
Published on 30 April 2012 by Keen Reader
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable but the autobiography is odd
Three stars is mean; three and a half would be fair. I enjoyed reading this book and I'd recommend it, but I know I'll never pick it up again. Read more
Published on 7 Feb. 2012 by WillDavies
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly moving.
I had high hopes for this book and I was looking forward to delving into the New York restaurant scene. I was not disappointed. Read more
Published on 25 Feb. 2011 by Greekfoodie
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