Thursday, April 08, 2010

Recommended food reading

Yesterday, Christina Katz solicited Memoir Recommendations from Folks on Facebook and Twitter. I thought I'd share my Passover reading gems, in the form of a book and a blog. Both are about my favorite topic, food. (Somewhere in the background, an anthropomorphic travel avatar is whining, "I thought I was your favorite topic!")

Former Gourmet editor Ruth Reichl wrote Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise about her tenure as food critic for the New York Times. Like other similar books I've reviewed, it has a personal tone that was very engaging and it has recipes interspersed throughout the book. I was floored to hear her review chefs I've seen on Top Chef and get her take on how nastily she was treated when she was in disguise. I've never had the opportunity to dine at truly glitzy restaurants, though Ari and I had lovely times at Le Marais in NYC and El Gaucho in Jerusalem. As I recall, the experience of feeling taken care of is the best part. ("The chef sends an amuse bouche? How thoughtful of him! How did he know my mouth was in desperate need of some amusement?) I'm all for anonymous reviewers - I would not wish to dine anywhere that thought they could boost their restaurant's credibility by treating half the guests as second-class citizens.

Shortly before Passover, my sister recommended Elisha's Double Portion blog. I went to school with Elisha briefly in 2001 so I'm not surprised she came up with an idea for a blog that's so creative, I wish I had thought of it. Elisha blogs weekly about food and the weekly Torah portion, finding foods that match the content of the Torah portion. (I can't wait to see what she does with leprosy next week.) It's not a quick read because her weekly posts are long and full of recipes and photos.

In case you were wondering what I've been reading while I was supposed to be doing something productive, these ladies are it.

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