Reichl, Ruth. Save Me The Plums. Penguin Random House 2019. NF;6/19.
I didn’t enjoy this memoir as much as Reichl’s Garlic and Sapphires, in which as the new New York Times restaurant critic she famously presented herself to a fancy self-important restaurant first as the critic, and then disguised as a dowdy elderly lady. She is of course treated accordingly and outs the restaurant publicly for its hypocrisy.
Here she’s moved up in the world, appointed as chief of Gourmet Magazine, an iconic food periodical owned by Condé Nast. She makes wonderful changes and the magazine improves and is if anything more successful, but this being the electronic age with its well-known impact on publishing her bosses decide to close the magazine. Although Ms. Reichl describes a fabulous farewell party, it’s a sad and somewhat anticlimactic ending.
The writing is engaging, we are left in no doubt about the author’s status in the culinary world, but this story doesn’t have the thrilling cachet of some of her other work. 7.2/7.6.