By Larry Levine –
“Save Me the Plums” is Ruth Reichl at her best. The stories she tells of her time as editor-in-chief of the late Gourmet magazine are frank and exciting and will be fascinating for all food lovers. She takes us inside the magazine’s famous test kitchen, delves into the photographic decisions that went into the publication each month, and we accompany her to the lavish parties that marked the food world in New York.
If Reichl’s eighth book isn’t her best, it certainly is among them. The writing style is clear and compelling as she tells of how she decided to accept the job at Gourmet, what unexpected benefits and challenges came with the job, and how it impacted her personal life.
The “plum” in the title refers to the choice assignments sought and handed out to photographers who made the legendary magazine come to life each month.
“Safe Me the Plums” is Reichl’s personal tale of the terms she laid down before accepting the job at Gourmet, how she transformed Gourmet from the magazine of her youth to a vital part of the contemporary food word, and the challenges she faced as a women in charge.
Reichl’s life journey, told in earlier books, is itself remarkable. She was raised in Greenwich Village in New York, moved to hippie-laden Berkeley California after graduating at the University of Michigan and did stints as a food writer, critic, and editor at New West magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Times. Gourmet, she says, was a place she never expected to be.
“Save Me the Plums” is Ruth Reichl taking us from the last halcyon years of the golden age of the print media to the magazine’s death by internet.

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