As a child, Ruth Reichl discovered her love for food and for writing about food as she pored over a treasure trove of old Gourmet magazines. After years as a food writer, most notably for the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times, she became the editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine, the opportunity of a lifetime.
Reichl’s lack of magazine experience put her on a sharp learning curve, but she settled successfully into the world of Condé Nast luxury magazines. Better yet, she could sometimes be home for dinner with her husband and son.
The change of position came with a massive lifestyle change. High-powered people living high-powered lives in high-powered wardrobes threw her more Bohemian style into sharp contrast. The expectations and accompanying expense accounts pushed her to lean into the affluence, to become accustomed to luxuries she had never even thought of in previous jobs.
As she traces her time with the magazine, which had its ups and downs, she comes to examine the ways wealth and influence have affected her. In the process, she learns more about who she is—with or without the trappings of success. And while she does not hint at a religious life, she gives food for thought for all of us as we consider the very spiritual question of what defines us.
This book, rich in description of the editorial world, fine food, and travel, is a fun read for both publishing nerds and foodies. Even the least of the cooks (like me) will be inspired to try something new and beautiful. (Random House)