Sitting in the surgical waiting room at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital (long story, but all is well now) I had finally moved from scrolling through Facebook to leafing through magazines when a decent–sized bookshelf caught my eye and the name on one cover grabbed my attention: Ruth Reichl.
Ruth Reichl is the author of My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life, a cookbook published in September 2015. She was Editor in Chief of Gourmet Magazine from 1999 to 2009. Before that she was the restaurant critic of both The New York Times (1993-1999) and the Los Angeles Times (1984-1993), where she was also named food editor. As co-owner of The Swallow Restaurant from 1974 to 1977, she played a part in the culinary revolution that took place in Berkeley, California. In the years that followed, she served as restaurant critic for New West and California magazines. (read more here)
The book that I picked up, Tender at the Bone, was originally published in 1998 but nothing in this memoir is dated. I think that Reichl’s early childhood through young adult shows that she was predestined for a career writing, reviewing and studying food.
Tender at the Bone, Growing Up At The Table
- The characters that Reichl shares with her readers are both wildly interesting and endearing. I found them three-dimensional and could easily picture whom I would cast if the book were made into a film. From the mother that could inflict food poisoning as routine to the home cooks and chefs that would later shape Reichl’s life. They were a colorful bunch. Or at least the way that Reichl sees them made them colorful.
- After each chapter Reichl shares a recipe from that section of her life. So not only did I find her characters three dimensional, they were paired with scents and flavors I could also imagine.
- I was amazed at her path, and the many zig zags she took, and yet not amazed when she landed squarely in a business she was so perfectly equipped for.
- Reichel’s writing is, without a doubt, talented. Each chapter, and the people you meet as Reichl meets them, will make you smile and ponder a little.
- So, what did I do when I was finished with the book? I ordered her wine book (well, she is credited as the editor and writing the intro and that’s good enough for me) : History in a Glass – Sixty Years of Wine Writing from Gourmet.
Eve Bushman has been reading, writing, taking coursework and tasting wine for over 20 years. She has obtained a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, has been the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and recently served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits that may be answered in a future column. You can also seek her marketing advice via Eve@EveBushmanConsulting.com