Friday, September 30, 2011

Profile: Ruth Reichl, writer and foodie

Former editor in chief of Gourmet Magazine for ten years, Ruth Reichl is one of my very favorite food celebs. She was the restaurant critic of the The New York Times, (1993-1999),  restaurant critic and food editor of the Los Angeles Times (1984-1993) and co-owner and cook of the collective restaurant The Swallow from 1974 to 1977. She played a part in the culinary revolution that took place in Berkeley, California.

She is the author of the best-selling memoirs Tender at the Bone, Comfort Me with Apples, and Garlic and Sapphires, and Not Becoming My Mother and Other Things She Taught Me Along the Way.

She is executive producer of the two-time James Beard Award-winning Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie, which airs on public television across the country, and the editor of the Modern Library Food Series. Before coming to Gourmet, she was the restaurant critic for the New York Times, receiving six James Beard Awards for her work. She lectures frequently on food and culture.

I have two of her memoirs, Tender At The Bone and Comfort Me With Apples. Both were wonderful. She is an accomplished writer and both memoirs are filled with charming and interesting anecdotes about her life and her family. I found the following interview online where she talks about the future of media and artisans as new stars on a really interesting site called Eater

Her resume goes on and on and she continues to be in the forefront of the food community. She lives in New York City with her husband, Michael Singer, a television news producer, and their son.

Here's a recipe from her very first book, a cookbook titled A Feastiary, 2004

Orange Oatmeal Cake


1/2 cups orange juice

1 cup oatmeal, uncooked

1 stick butter

1/2 cup molasses or brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 3/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon grated orange rind

1 cup chopped walnuts, if you want


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bring orange juice to a boil, pour over oats and set aside. Cream butter with sugar. Add molasses. Stir in eggs and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients, then add to butter alternately with oats. Add orange rind and nuts. Bake in large greased baking pan (13 by 9 inches) for 40 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes, then spread with the following topping.


1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 stick butter

1 tablespoon orange juice

grated rind of one orange

1 cup dried sweetened coconut

1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

Mix first 4 ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring. Add coconut and nuts, spread on cake and put under broiler for one minute.

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