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.
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.
Save Me the Plums sweeps the reader up in the intoxicating splendor of Gourmet in its glory days, when the smart set was in it for the food, the friendship, and the big new ideas. This is the rare case of an amazing writer living an amazing life, with a book that’s the party I never wanted to end.”—Ann Patchett, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Commonwealth
“Save Me the Plums is Reichl’s account of those halcyon times at Condé Nast before the ax fell. . . . It’s a study in magazine-making, earnest ambition, disappointment, and reinvention. It’s also supremely readable. . . . She’s gathering up the reader in her pocket and taking them along for the ride.”—The Boston Globe
“A lively, sweet-and-sour memoir . . . a fun-to-read romp through a time when glossy monthly magazines reigned supreme and when top editors ruled the magazines with royal privilege.”—New York Post
“Reichl dishes up an enthralling account of the intrigue, obsession, and glamour that made Gourmet an institution. Save Me the Plums is a delectable behind-the-scenes journey through the food world and its rise to celebrity status.”—Bianca Bosker, New York Times bestselling author of Cork Dork
“No one writes about food like Ruth Reichl. She also happens to be a mesmerizing storyteller. I consider this book essential nourishment.”—Nigella Lawson
“Endearing . . . Gourmet magazine readers will relish the behind-the-scenes peek at the workings of the magazine. . . . Reichl’s revealing memoir is a deeply personal look at a food world on the brink of change.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Fun . . . beguiling . . . an absolutely delightful reading experience.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Readers of her past memoirs will recognize Reichl’s lighthearted but dedicated approach to her work [and] her big-hearted approach to the dinner table. . . . New readers will be equally delighted by Reichl’s account of an influential magazine, its final days and the many moments that illustrate the ways food can bring people together.”—BookPage (starred review)