Ruth Reichl, world-renowned food critic and editor in chief of Gourmet magazine, knows a thing or two about food. She also knows that as the most important food critic in the country, you need to be anonymous when reviewing some of the most high-profile establishments in the biggest restaurant town in the world--a charge she took very seriously, taking on the guise of a series of eccentric personalities. In Garlic and Sapphires, Reichl reveals the comic absurdity, artifice, and excellence to be found in the sumptuously appointed stages of the epicurean world and gives us--along with some of her favorite recipes and reviews--her remarkable reflections on how one's outer appearance can influence one's inner character, expectations, and appetites, not to mention the quality of service one receives.
I loved reading this book. It was fun. It was interesting. I laughed. I cried. I learned more than I expected. It's three stars because I'm a harsh critic and I don't know that I will ever pick it up for a reread...4 or better for multiple readings is a rule with me. Too many books and not enough time for me to read them all limits my ability to go back. I especially loved Ruth's disguises and her insight into both sides of the restaurant culture.