Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

How would you like to be a well-known restaurant critic who must don a
variety of disguises and adopt different personas in order to give a
fair restaurant review? When Ruth assumed the job as the food critic for
the New York Times she realized that she needed to transform herself
into a variety of characters as most restaurateurs were familiar with
her face from her years as a food critic in California. Reichl
transforms herself into Molly Hollis, a retired high school teacher from
Michigan, and is ignored, mishandled and condescended to by the high
powered staff at Le Cirque. Whenever her identity is discovered, Reichl
creates a new disguise and persona. Happy hysteria follows. Her
previous books, Comfort Me with Apples and the hilarious Tender at the Bone, are not to be missed.

— Julie


Author of Save Me the Plums Ruth Reichl’s iconic, bestselling memoir of her time as an undercover restaurant critic for The New York Times

Ruth Reichl, world-renowned food critic and former editor in chief of Gourmet magazine, knows a thing or two about food. She also knows that as the most important food critic in the country, you need to be anonymous when reviewing some of the most high-profile establishments in the biggest restaurant town in the world—a charge she took very seriously, taking on the guise of a series of eccentric personalities. In Garlic and Sapphires, Reichl reveals the comic absurdity, artifice, and excellence to be found in the sumptuously appointed stages of the epicurean world and gives us—along with some of her favorite recipes and reviews—her remarkable reflections on how one’s outer appearance can influence one’s inner character, expectations, and appetites, not to mention the quality of service one receives.

“[A] wonderful book, which is funny—at times laugh-out-loud funny—and smart and wise.” —Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post

About the Author

Ruth Reichl is the bestselling author of the memoirs Tender at the Bone, Comfort Me with Apples, Garlic and Sapphires, and For You, Mom, Finally; the novel Delicious!; and, most recently, the cookbook My Kitchen Year. She was editor in chief of Gourmet magazine for ten years. Previously she was the restaurant critic for The New York Times and served as the food editor and restaurant critic for the Los Angeles Times. She has been honored with six James Beard Awards for her journalism, magazine feature writing, and criticism. She lives in upstate New York with her husband and two cats.

Praise For…

"This wonderful book is funny—at times laugh-out-loud funny—and smart and wise." —The Washington Post


"Reichl is so gifted . . . the reader remains hungry for more." —USA Today

"Expansive and funny." —Entertainment Weekly

Product Details
ISBN: 9780143036616
ISBN-10: 0143036610
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: March 28th, 2006
Pages: 352
Language: English

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