Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir
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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 (The Best New Books of April 2019) 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 (The Must-Read Books of Spring 2019)"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
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    Street Date:
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        • bioText: 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.
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    fullDescription
    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 (The Best New Books of April 2019)

    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 (The Must-Read Books of Spring 2019)
    "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
  • reviews
        • premium: False
        • source: Susan Orlean, New York Times bestselling author of The Library Book
        • content: "Ruth Reichl is the best sort of storyteller--intimate, wise, frank, and completely engaging. Here she beautifully details her ten years running Gourmet, with all the triumphs and tribulations, and it's a brilliant tale. Every page is rich and delicious; the book is such a treat!"
        • premium: True
        • source: Kirkus
        • content:

          March 15, 2019
          The renowned food writer recounts her adventures as editor-in-chief of the noted epicurean magazine Gourmet in its last decade.A native New Yorker, Reichl (My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes that Saved My Life, 2015, etc.) grew up reading the magazine, and food soon became her "own private way of looking at the world." While working as a chef in Berkeley, California, in the 1970s, she began writing about food, at New West and then the Los Angeles Times, before returning to New York to become the formidable restaurant critic for the New York Times. In 1999, at age 51, somewhat fearfully--she lacked magazine experience and faced managing a staff of 60--Reichl took the editorial helm of Gourmet, at six times her Times salary plus perks, with free rein from Condé Nast publisher Si Newhouse to revamp the staid magazine. In this fun, gossipy, and beguiling memoir, Reichl offers revealing glimpses of her parents, both introduced in earlier books, but the focus is on the heady process of "magazine making," which meant turning an old-fashioned book into a modern, edgy monthly. She describes the exhilaration of working with talented, quirky staffers, and she provides vivid snapshots of Condé Nast honchos, including publishers Newhouse (supportive) and Gina Sanders (who "relished" fights) as well as the "large, loud," yet appealing CEO Steve Florio, who regaled her with tales of Newhouse ("You know that Roy Cohn was his closest friend?"). Throughout, the author tells winning stories--of goings-on in the celebrated Condé Nast cafeteria, midnight parties for chefs, zany annual meetings, and providing food to 9/11 firefighters. Her success in introducing provocative articles like David Rakoff's "Some Pig," about Jews and bacon, and David Foster Wallace's classic "Consider the Lobster," on the ethics of eating, taught her that "when something frightens me, it is definitely worth doing." A dream job, it ended in the late-2000s recession, when declining ads forced the closing of the venerable publication.An absolutely delightful reading experience.

          COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

        • premium: True
        • source: Library Journal
        • content:

          Starred review from April 1, 2019

          October 5, 2009, was a dark day for food lovers, when Gourmet magazine suddenly ceased publication. No one was more surprised than editor-in-chief Reichl, who had prevailed over its revitalization. This latest memoir focuses on the author's wild ride after leaving her post as restaurant critic for the New York Times to take on the unexpected challenge of leading Gourmet. Initially hesitant and feeling woefully unprepared, Reichl finds herself in the alternative universe of Condé Nast: luxurious, fashionable, and status-conscious in a way that Berkeley-loving, frizzy-haired Reichl never aimed to be. Yet it's her love of what the magazine had been in her youth and could be again--progressive, thoughtful, and forward-thinking--that drives her. During Reichl's tenure Gourmet published some of the most memorable food essays of the early millennium and broke new ground in design and presentation. She offers sharp observations about the magazine world, but none of this is about blame. VERDICT This look back in time will appeal to Reichl's many fans, foodies, as well as general readers. It's part elegy, part picaresque for a recent history that already feels like another era after the Great Recession and the evolution of digital publishing.--Devon Thomas, Chelsea, MI

          Copyright 2019 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    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 (The Best New Books of April 2019)

    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...
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