The Voice: Ruth Reichl, Cook, Critic, Editor, Author, Memoirist, Novelist, Television Producer & Twitter Superstar
There is no writer on Earth who has mastered as many media as Ruth Reichl. Not only did she start her career cooking alongside Alice Waters at the seminal farm-to-table restaurant, Chez Panisse, but Reichl parlayed that cooking experience into influential positions as a restaurant critic at both the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times. In New York, she was one of the first critics to recognize excellence in restaurants that didn’t adhere to the white-tablecloth model. Her reviews introduced inclusivity to criticism and celebrated the ethnic restaurants whose press mentions, if they got them, had been historically relegated to the Cheap Eats column. Predictably, Reichl’s memoir of those experiences—Garlic and Sapphires—became a bestseller.
Reichl was editor-in-chief at Gourmet Magazine for 10 years until Conde Nast closed the 68-year-old title, citing declining ad sales. This sent shock waves throughout the both the publishing and food worlds. Not content to retire as the martyred saint of high-class food writing, she persisted and tackled another medium with two food-centric television series for PBS. Reichl appeared as a judge on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters” and, in 2014, banged out her first novel (also a bestseller). Oh, and while all this was happening, Reichl picked up some 950,000 followers on Twitter for her haiku-like meditations about life in the Hudson Valley.
Ruth Reichl | Hudson Valley