Ruth Reichl - pronounced RYE-chil - is an American food writer, co-producer of PBS's Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie, culinary editor for the Modern Library, host of PBS's Gourmet's Adventures With Ruth, and the last editor-in-chief of the now shuttered Gourmet magazine. She has written a trilogy of critically acclaimed, best-selling memoirs: Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table, Comfort Me with Apples: More Adventures at the Table, and Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise and has lately published Not becoming my Mother. Her latest book is Gourmet Today a 1,008 page cookbook containing over 1,000 recipes.
Born to parents Ernst and Miriam, Reichl was raised in Greenwich Village in New York City and spent time at a boarding school in Montreal as a young girl. She attended the University of Michigan, where she met her first husband, the artist Douglas Hollis. She graduated in 1970 with an M.A. in Art History.
She and Hollis moved to Berkeley, California, where her interest in food led to her joining the collectively owned Swallow Restaurant as a chef and co-owner from 1973 to 1977, and where she played an important role in the culinary revolution taking place at the time. Reichl began her food-writing career with Mmmmm: A Feastiary, a cookbook, in 1972. She moved on to become food writer and editor of New West magazine from 1973 to 1977, then to the Los Angeles Times as its restaurant editor from 1984 to 1993 and food editor and critic from 1990 to 1993. She returned to her native New York City in 1993 to become the restaurant critic for The New York Times before leaving to assume the editorship of Gourmet in 1999.