Ruth Reichl is a writer and editor who was the Editor in Chief of Gourmet Magazine for ten years until its closing in 2009. Before that she was the restaurant critic of the The New York Times, (1993-1999), and both the restaurant critic and food editor of the Los Angeles Times (1984-1993). As 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.
Ms. Reichl began writing about food in 1972, when she published Mmmmm: A Feastiary. Since then, she has authored the critically acclaimed, best-selling memoirs Tender at the Bone, Comfort Me with Apples, Garlic and Sapphires, and For You Mom, Finally, (originally published as Not Becoming My Mother and Other Things She Taught Me Along the Way). She is the editor of The Modern Library Food Series, which currently includes ten books. She has also written the introductions to Nancy Silverton's Breads from the La Brea Bakery: Recipes for the Connoisseur (1996) and The Measure of Her Powers: An M.F.K. Fisher Reader (2000), and the foreword for Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art, by Shizuo Tsuji (2007). She is featured on the cover of Dining Out: Secrets from America's Leading Critics, Chefs and Restaurants, by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page (1998). She is the editor of Endless Feasts: Sixty Years of Writing from Gourmet; Remembrance of Things Paris: Sixty Years of Writing from Gourmet; The Gourmet Cookbook, released September 2004; History in a Glass: Sixty Years of Wine Writing from Gourmet, 2006 and Gourmet Today, 2009. Her lecture "Why Food Matters," delivered in October 2005, was published in The Tanner Lectures on Human Values, Volume 27, in 2006. In March 2007, she delivered the J. Edward Farnum Lecture at Princeton University. Ms. Reichl is the host and executive producer of Gourmet's Adventures with Ruth and Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie on public television. She is also the executive producer of Garlic and Sapphires, a Fox 2000 film based on her memoirs and to be produced by Cary Brokaw's Avenue Pictures.
Ms. Reichl hosted Eating Out Loud, three specials on Food Network, covering New York (2002), San Francisco (2003), and Miami (2003). She is a regular host with Leonard Lopate for a live monthly food show on WNYC radio in New York.
Ms. Reichl has been honored with 6 James Beard Awards (one for magazine feature writing and one for multimedia food journalism in 2009; two for restaurant criticism, in 1996 and 1998; one for journalism, in 1994; and Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America, 1984) and with numerous awards from the Association of American Food Journalists. In 2007, she was named Adweek's Editor of the Year. She received the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism, presented by the Missouri School of Journalism, in October 2007. Ms. Reichl received the 2008 Matrix Award for Magazines from New York Women in Communications, Inc., in April 2008. She is also the recipient of the YWCA's Elizabeth Cutter Morrow Award. She holds a B.A. and an M.A. in the History of Art from the University of Michigan and lives in New York City with her husband, Michael Singer, a television news producer, and their son.
Photo by Marcqui Akins