Garlic and Sapphires (Ruth Reichl)

Ruth Reichl‘s memoir of her time as Restaurant Critic for the New York Times, during which time she found she had to disguise herself as one of a variety of alter-egos in order to avoid being recognised and thus given the favorable treatment due to a person of power. But this turns out to be a parable of the interconnectection between restaurant-going and role-playing, upon which the book meditates. The writing is not just scrumptiously evocative, but makes you want to pay closer attention to the food you put in your mouth — whether or not it has been created by a celebrity chef. And the spirit of the book is defiantly populist, furiously battling for the ordinary any- and every-bodies of this world against the supercilious and self-satisfied arrogant hauteur of the food world — even when it manifests in the writer herself.


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