Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir

Ruth Reichl

Trailblazing food writer and beloved restaurant critic Ruth Reichl took the job (and the risk) of a lifetime when she entered the glamorous, high-stakes world of magazine publishing. Now, for the first time, she chronicles her groundbreaking tenure as editor in chief of Gourmet, during which she spearheaded a revolution in the way we think about food. When Condé Nast offered Ruth Reichl the top position at America's oldest epicurean magazine, she declined. more

MemoirNonfictionFoodAudiobookBiographyCookingBiography MemoirFood WritingFoodieAdult

266 pages, Hardcover
First published Random House

4.1

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30523

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3746

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Ruth Reichl

64 books 2180 followers

Ruth Reichl is the New York Times bestselling author of five memoirs, the novels Delicious! and The Paris Novel, and the cookbook My Kitchen Year. She was editor in chief of Gourmet magazine, and previously served as restaurant critic for The New York Times, as well as food editor and restaurant critic for the Los Angeles Times. She has been honored with six James Beard Awards.

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Diane S ☔
4804 reviews
14252 followers
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I’ve adored Reichl’s food writing in the past, but if I wasn’t a devoted Gourmet magazine reader, would I be interested in reading the book aptly subtitled “My Gourmet Memoir”. The answer: YES. Pure delight from start to finish. (It's also amazing on audio. ). more


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Jenny (Reading Envy)
3876 reviews
3478 followers
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I'm a big foodie, not a baker, but I love to cook. New recipes. Old favorites, comfort food, different ethnic cuisines, I love to experiment with recipes. I've read all of Ruth's books and have enjoyed each and everyone. As the food critic for the New York times, her meal time was not her own. more


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Brandice
970 reviews
0 followers
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If you have followed Ruth Reichl through her memoirs, this takes place between Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise and My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life, telling the story of her experience as the editor for Gourmet Magazine up until its shocking closure. I feel this memoir is for foodies first, but will also be of interest for anyone in publishing or the arts. The people working for Gourmet cultivated an environment of creative exploration and perfection that made the magazine what it is, and I loved reading about each person's contributions and how the magazine reflected the changing culture of food in the United States. There's an entire chapter, for instance, about the publication of "Consider the Lobster" by David Foster Wallace, which I had no idea was first published in Gourmet. In a different voice, I can see how this story could be obnoxious. more


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PorshaJo
485 reviews
686 followers
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This week I read Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl, who among many other roles, was the former editor of Gourmet magazine. In this memoir, she details her time in the position and I couldn’t get enough of it. I love reading about the world of journalism and thought Ruth’s story was really interesting. Naturally, she talks about cooking, along with creativity, photography, advertising, her team, her family, and more. There are also a few recipes included throughout the book. more


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JanB
1194 reviews
3371 followers
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I'm a Ruth Reichl fan. Always have been. I've read a number of her books (loved them), read her blog, watched her on cooking shows. so I knew I had to read this one. I'm a big foodie and will read anything food related so had a feeling this one would fit that bill. more


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Lisa (NY)
1652 reviews
733 followers
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This is a captivating look into how Ruth Reichl transformed Gourmet magazine from a stuffy, stodgy, dying publication into a slick, relevant magazine that had it’s finger on the pulse of food trends and gave readers recipes that were accessible to home cooks everywhere. She was hesitant at first to take the job as editor-in-chief of Gourmet but reconsidered when she thought about how profoundly the magazine impacted her life, starting at age 8 when she saw her first copy of the glossy magazine. Taking the job would also allow her to be home in the evenings with her husband and son instead of eating out every night for her job as restaurant critic for the NYT. This book chronicles her 10 years with the magazine. It’s a memoir of the changing food scene, the trials and tribulations of a corporate job, and a behind-the-scenes look into the world of recipe testing and magazine publishing. more


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Laysee
539 reviews
291 followers
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[4+] Mmmm - a delicious and nutritious memoir. Reichl is an excellent storyteller and I found her ten years at Gourmet magazine riveting. I worked at Conde Nast in the late 1980s (before Ruth) and loved the way she brought the publishing empire's cast of characters to life. . more


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Christopher
240 reviews
296 followers
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‘Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious. ’ - Ruth ReichlI did just that. more


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Julie Ehlers
1114 reviews
1494 followers
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For ten years Ruth Reichl helmed Gourmet magazine, turning the tired and worn publication back into the cultural achievement it once was. However, she initially balked at the idea of taking control. In 1999 she was the restaurant critic for The New York Times— a writer first and last, she certainly had no interest in managing a staff of sixty. But Gourmet was a magazine that sparked her culinary career when she discovered it at eight years old … How could she resist. The next ten years became a whirlwind of learning how to head a magazine, navigating publishing egos, and, above all else, dishing out great food. more


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Diane
1081 reviews
2954 followers
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It's always a pleasure to read a new memoir from an author whose memoirs you've enjoyed in the past—it's like catching up with an old friend. I particularly enjoyed Save Me the Plums because, in addition to the usual draws of a Reichl memoir (the writing and the recipes), this one was about her time as editor of Gourmet magazine. I love any kind of publishing story, really, and in this case it was so fascinating to go behind the scenes of a glamorous magazine, as many Conde Nast publications were at the time. Ruth Reichl was the perfect tour guide, because the entire magazine scene was completely new to her when she started, so she explained all the things a reader might most want to know. Most memoirs are about the author's personal life; what's so unique about Save Me the Plums is that it's about work. more


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Dana
206 reviews
0 followers
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This is another delightful memoir from food writer Ruth Reichl. "Save Me the Plums" focuses on her years as the editor in chief of Gourmet magazine. This is the third book I've read of Ruth's, and she is a charming storyteller. I enjoyed these stories of her magazine years, and also learned more about the business of Conde Nast. The book also includes a few recipes that relate to events in her life. more


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Jacqie
1709 reviews
92 followers
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I am not huge fan of cooking, although I love to bake and read about food, so when my foodie buddy, PorshaJo, suggested Save Me the Plums for our next foodie read, I was excited to finally be jumping on the Ruth Reichl wagon. I have been wanting to read her books forever. Save Me the Plums is a memoir of Reichl’s ten years with Gourmet magazine - from transforming the magazine to one that appealed to the average cook, with easily accessible recipes - to its final demise. We had a great discussion as we read the book, learning about the inner sanctum of Condé Nast (lots of name dropping that most will be familiar with), the making of a magazine, inside a testing kitchen and several of her favorite recipes. Our favorites, and ones we plan to make soon, include Cheddar Scallion Biscuits and Jeweled Chocolate cake. more


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Genevieve Padalecki
4 reviews
1277 followers
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Thanks to Netgalley for providing a copy of this book for review. It's Ruth Reichl's Gourmet memoir. I've been so curious about her thoughts on Gourmet, what it was like to run the magazine, and what it was like when it closed. The book began with Ruth receiving an offer from Conde Nast. She takes quite a bit of time at the start of the book to show that working for Conde Nast was a totally different world to her ( and to most of us, I'd guess). more


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Kasa Cotugno
2465 reviews
515 followers
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I really, really love a good memoir and this one takes the plum (haha. ). My biggest regret when I started this book is that I didn’t know Ruth Reichl earlier. If I had, I would have eaten up all the beautifully written and boundary-pushing Gourmet articles. If you’re already a fan of Ruth’s, then you know she’s a force and an insane talent. more


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Kristin Hackett (Merrily Kristin)
216 reviews
3691 followers
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Based on her wonderful memoirs, Ruth Reichl has deservedly garnered a large, affectionate following. Her generous sharing of her moments with her family have provided much enjoyment, and here she is finally able to tell about her years at Gourmet Magazine and her experiences with its mercurial publishing house, Conde Nast. It was definitely a dream of a job. I remember seeing her when she was on a book tour in 2009 for one of her memoirs, during which she enthused about the magazine and the role she had with it, how it gave her the opportunity of a lifetime, not realizing that within a few months the magazine would fold, just before presentation of their eagerly awaited Christmas issue. We learn of how she was lured away from her job as food critic for The New York Times to be Editor in Chief of a magazine she had loved since childhood, finding herself in spacious, luxurious digs facing out on Broadway, with all the perks someone can only dream of. more


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Tammy
987 reviews
231 followers
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4. 5 starsI picked this book up on a whim and I'm surprised to say that it'll definitely be on my favorite books of 2020 list. Save Me the Plums is a memoir by Ruth Reichl, New York Times food critic turned editor in chief of Gourmet magazine at Conde Nast. This book is a love letter to food, New York City and to magazine journalism. It's the perfect combination of so many of my interests and the rise and fall of Gourmet proved to be a wild ride. more


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Jeanette
3512 reviews
686 followers
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“When you attain my age you will understand one of life’s great secrets: Luxury is best appreciated in small portions. When it becomes routine it loses its allure. ” As told to Ruth in Paris5 ☆ I’m totally fangirling. I truly enjoyed reading Ruth Reichl’s memoir (which read like a novel) of her years as the very last editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine. Reading Gourmet magazines beginning at the young age of 8 is what inspired Ruth to cook and later become a food critic & writer. more


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Jenna
372 reviews
345 followers
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Ok, I tried this one to shake up the memoir reads. It started out fairly interesting within her leaving her food critic jobs for an unexpected Gourmet editor position. She seems to be perfect. Especially within her own evaluations. Or if not, very close. more


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Deanna
953 reviews
58 followers
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This was a fascinating food memoir by someone I've never heard of about a magazine I've never read and I still was hooked. Definitely recommend the audio. more


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Julie Durnell
1060 reviews
179 followers
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I’ve never been disappointed in a Reichel memoir. This one flew by. Even though I knew what was coming at the end I enjoyed the ride. I love her writing and story telling and the things she pays attention to. I don’t know in what decade I will forgive the publishers for killing Gourmet, or stop wondering idly and futilely if it isn’t finally time for it to come back again. more


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Thomas
215 reviews
124 followers
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Great memoir of behind the scenes at Gourmet magazine. I so enjoy Ruth Reichl's food writing. more


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Candie
349 reviews
133 followers
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Just the right amount of gossip and good food. Perfect vacation read. more


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Alex Givant
283 reviews
36 followers
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This book was recommended to me and I wasn't so sure reading the description but overall I actually really enjoyed it. Personally I feel like it was more of an entertainment read for me because I'm not sure much of the content will stay with me, but that is solely because I don't particularly follow much in the food industry. The writing style is very good. The writer really knows how to write in a way to draw you in and keep you reading. I blew through this book super fast. more


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Kate Holmes
53 reviews
0 followers
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I like her previous book (Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise), but this one is even better. I tell her story from becoming chief editor of "Gourmet" magazine (until it get closed in 2009). Very interesting insights on live of editor of food magazine targeted to rich audience. more


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HBalikov
1852 reviews
737 followers
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A wonderful read that made me realize I have the palate of a Victorian era child laborer who has only ever eaten gruel her whole life. Have I really ever tasted the true delights of life. Have I. . more


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Lisa Leone-campbell
540 reviews
48 followers
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"I studied the recipe. I had everything I needed: apples, eggs, lemon, sugar. There’s something soothing about peeling apples, about the way they come whispering out of their skins. Slicing them is another pleasure, and I listened for the juicy crunch of the knife sliding through the flesh. I cut into a lemon, treasuring the scent of the aromatic oils as they flew into the air. more


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Robin
1472 reviews
35 followers
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Ruth Reichl was a top food critic when she decided to take a job as the editor-in-chief at Gourmet Magazine, the culinary food magazine of its time. But in her new memoir we see she is so much more than the 10 year editor of Gourmet who sadly was their last as they shockingly closed in 2009. When she was just 8 years old, coming from humble beginnings with a mother who was bipolar and spent hours and days and months in deep depression, and a father who not only adored Ruth, but adored his wife none the less, she read her first issue of Gourmet Magazine and she was hooked. It was then she made the decision to pursue something in the food industry, so when offered the job at the magazine she was frightened, honored and excited. Feeling as if everyday would be her last, Reichl went on to change the magazine's direction into the popular bibliophile it became under her tenure. more


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Katy O.
2473 reviews
715 followers
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My love affair with Ruth Reichl's memoirs began with "Tender At the Bone" which chronicled her tumultuous childhood with her mentally ill mother. The second book that continued her career in the food world was "Comfort Me With Apples and for some reason, I found this book a little flat, but then she wrote "Garlic and Sapphires" and I was entranced. Her stories about being a food critic for the NY Times and how she had to constantly disguise herself was fascinating, and even though I will most likely never get the chance to eat many of the foods she critiqued, the descriptions were out of this world. Then I wasn't very impressed with "My Kitchen Year" about how cooking saved her life after she lost her job as Gourmet magazine's editor. So I was a little apprehensive about reading this next memoir but it turned out to an engaging look at her life as Gourmet magazine's editor. more


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Ryan
528 reviews
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LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE. more


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I never read Gourmet magazine. I have never really read many magazines. I assumed it was just a stuffy, snobby food magazine with recipes that were too difficult to make. I remember hearing about the cancellation of Gourmet, but I didn’t know what it meant. Now, years later, I’m listening to the memoir of Ruth Reichl about her ten years as editor-in-chief of the magazine, while it’s favored sister publication, Bon Appétit, implodes. more


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