Save Me the Plums
My Gourmet Memoir
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Trailblazing food writer and beloved restaurant critic Ruth Reichl took the job (and the risk) of a lifetime when she entered the high-stakes world of magazine publishing. Now, for the first time, she chronicles her groundbreaking tenure as editor in chief of Gourmet.
“A must for any food lover . . . Reichl is a warm, intimate writer. She peels back the curtain to a glamorous time of magazine-making. You’ll tear through this memoir.”—Refinery29
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Real Simple • Good Housekeeping • Town & Country
When Condé Nast offered Ruth Reichl the top position at America’s oldest epicurean magazine, she declined. She was a writer, not a manager, and had no inclination to be anyone’s boss. Yet Reichl had been reading Gourmet since she was eight; it had inspired her career. How could she say no?
This is the story of a former Berkeley hippie entering the corporate world and worrying about losing her soul. It is the story of the moment restaurants became an important part of popular culture, a time when the rise of the farm-to-table movement changed, forever, the way we eat. Readers will meet legendary chefs like David Chang and Eric Ripert, idiosyncratic writers like David Foster Wallace, and a colorful group of editors and art directors who, under Reichl’s leadership, transformed stately Gourmet into a cutting-edge publication. This was the golden age of print media—the last spendthrift gasp before the Internet turned the magazine world upside down.
Complete with recipes, Save Me the Plums is a personal journey of a woman coming to terms with being in charge and making a mark, following a passion and holding on to her dreams—even when she ends up in a place she never expected to be.
Praise for Save Me the Plums
“Poignant and hilarious . . . simply delicious . . . Each serving of magazine folklore is worth savoring. In fact, Reichl’s story is juicier than a Peter Luger porterhouse. Dig in.”—The New York Times Book Review
“In this smart, touching, and dishy memoir . . . Ruth Reichl recalls her years at the helm of Gourmet magazine with clear eyes, a sense of humor, and some very appealing recipes.”—Town & Country
“If you haven’t picked up food writing queen Ruth Reichl’s new book, Save Me the Plums, I highly recommend you fix that problem. . . . Reichl is in top form and ready to dish, with every chapter seeming like a dedicated behind-the-scenes documentary on its own.”—Soleil Ho, San Francisco Chronicle
In this endearing memoir, James Beard Award winning food writer Reichl (Tender at the Bone) tells the story of her 10-year stint (1999 2009) as editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine. Reichl made it her mission to return a stuffy Gourmet to the artistic and culinary glory she remembered from her childhood, taking it online and replacing high-brow guides to hosting with boundary-pushing cultural expos s and stories on street food. Recipes mark turning points in her story, like the Jeweled Chocolate Cake that won her credibility in the test kitchen ("the dark, dense, near-bitterness of the cake collided with the crackling sweetness of the praline" topping); the Thanksgiving Turkey Chili that she and her staff delivered to firefighters in the aftermath of 9/11; and Spicy Chinese Noodles the midnight dish she often prepared for her son. Gourmet magazine readers will relish the behind-the-scenes peek at the workings of the magazine: Reichl details her decision to run "the edgiest article" in Gourmet's history, David Foster Wallace's controversial piece on the ethics of boiling lobsters alive, and shares anecdotes about such writers as the late L.A. food critic Jonathan Gold and novelist Ann Patchett. Reichl's revealing memoir is a deeply personal look at a food world on the brink of change.
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Save me the plums
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Save me the plums