In this delightful sequel to her bestseller Tender at the Bone, the beloved food writer Ruth Reichl returns with more tales full of love, life, humour and marvellous meals. Ruth Reichl's pursuit of good food and good company leads her to New York and China, France and Los Angeles. She cooks and dines with world-famous chefs and the three star aristocracy of French cuisine, and her accounts of these meetings range from the madcap to the sublime. Reichl lovingly recreates all her marvellous meals in such succulent detail that readers will yearn from truffles in Provence and shrimp in Beijing. Throughout it all, Reichl is unafraid, even eager, to poke holes in the pretensions of food critics, making each and every course a hilarious and instructive occasion for novices and experts alike. She shares some of her first recipes so readers can make the Dry-Fried Shrimp she first tasted in China, or the Dacquoise served at the end of a magical visit to a Paris bistro. Reichl also shares the intimacies of her personal life in a style so honest and warm that readers will feel they are enjoying a cosy dining-table conversation with a friend. In Comfort Me With Apples, Reichl again demonstrates her inimitable ability to combine food writing, humour and memoir into an art form.
In this follow-up to the excellent memoir Tender at the Bone, Reichl (editor-in-chief at Gourmet) displays a sure hand, an open heart and a highly developed palate. As one might expect of a celebrated food writer, Reichl maps her past with delicacies: her introduction to a Dacquoise by a lover on a trip to Paris; the Dry-Fried Shrimp she learned to make on a trip to China, every moment of which was shared with her adventurous father, ill back home, in letters; the Apricot Pie she made for her first husband as their bittersweet marriage slowly crumbled; the Big Chocolate Cake she made for the man who would become her second, on his birthday. Recipes are included, but the text is far from fluffy food writing. Never shying from difficult subjects, Reichl grapples masterfully with the difficulty of ending her first marriage to a man she still loved, but from whom she had grown distant. Perhaps the most beautifully written passages here are those describing Reichl and her second husband's adoption and then loss of a baby whose biological mother handed over her daughter, then recanted before the adoption was final. This is no rueful read, however. Reichl is funny when describing how the members of her Berkeley commune reacted to the news that she was going to become a restaurant reviewer ("You're going to spend your life telling spoiled, rich people where to eat too much obscene food?"), and funnier still when pointing out the pompousness of fellow food insiders. Like a good meal, this has a bit of everything, and all its parts work together to satisfy. (on sale Apr. 10)