Garlic and Sapphires, The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise.
Ruth Reichl, former lead food critic for the New York Times, wrote a third book in her series of memoirs. Garlic and Sapphires takes the reader from her move back home to New York City through the full five year term of her employment at the Times.
In order maintain anonymity in her work, she wore elaborate costumes to create new personas. These characters explored New York City and sampled food from restaurants great and small.
Ruth Reichl spent a great deal of time in this book discussing her more hotly disputed reviews and how she came to those decisions, despite political maneuvering and hate mail. What really endeared me to her writing was the depth of character development of the supporting characters.
Her husband, her friends, the memories of her mother and her darling son all helped turn what could have been a dry series of restaurant reviews into a fabulously engaging story.
I confess, as a parent, the high points for me were the anecdotes about her son. But there’s something in there for everybody. THIS BOOK MADE ME HUNGRY! It didn’t help that Garlic and Sapphires took place in New York City, where I often go. I found myself fantasizing about following Ruth Reichl’s recommendations and sampling all of her favorite dishes.
Bernadette Dunne excels at creating the voices for Reichl’s alter egos.