Ruth Reichl

Ruth began writing about food in 1972, when she published Mmmmm: A Feastiary. She moved to Berkeley, California in 1973, and became co-owner and cook at The Swallow Restaurant.  In 1978 she became restaurant critic for New West and California magazines, and went on to be the restaurant critic and food editor of the Los Angeles Times. From 1993-1999 she served as restaurant critic for The New York Times. In 1999 she moved to Gourmet Magazine, where she was Editor in Chief for ten years.

She has authored five memoirs, Tender at the Bone, Comfort Me with Apples, Garlic and Sapphires, For You, Mom, Finally and Save Me the Plums, which was published in 2019. Her novel, Delicious! was published in 2014, and her cookbook, My Kitchen Year, 136 Recipes that Saved My Life in 2015. She edited Best American Food Writing 2018, and The Modern Library Food Series, which currently includes ten books. She was Executive Producer and host of the public television series, Adventures with Ruth and a judge on Top Chef Masters. She is the recipient of six James Beard Awards.

Her most recent projects are The Paris Novel, which will be published by Random House in April, and a documentary, Food and Country, with Laura Gabbert (City of Gold), which premiered at Sundance in January and will be distributed in the spring.



A New York Times bestselling author, Ruth Reichl has lived a foodie fairytale life, going from restaurant critic at the country’s top newspapers to editor of Gourmet magazine. In all her writing, from books to articles, Reichl creates delicious concoctions of words, memories, and places. We are thrilled that Reichl will bring that magic to the SVWC 2024 stage.


Photo credit Shannon Greer