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Pure genius- a must read for foodies. Be prepared to drool!!!
on 5 July 2010
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.