Garlic and Sapphires: The secret life of a food critic by Ruth Reichl

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  • Aushak

    • Jviney on April 21, 2022

      These were really delicious and so much more than the sum of their parts. I doubled the dish for a book club discussion of A Thousand Splendid Suns, loved that each component could be made the day before and assembled at the last minute. The yogurt, meat sauce, and dumplings worked together well and received rave reviews. I would not have expected a scallion green dumpling to have such depth.

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Reviews about this book

  • Amateur Gourmet

    That skill-set–to turn one’s ordinary dinner into a story for the ages–reminds us that food writing shouldn’t just be for a niche audience, it should be entertaining for everyone.

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 009948997X
  • ISBN 13 9780099489979
  • Published Mar 01 2007
  • Format Paperback
  • Page Count 352
  • Language English
  • Countries United Kingdom
  • Publisher Arrow Books Ltd.

Publishers Text

"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.

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