Garlic and Sapphire by Ruth Reichl
This book was absolutely eye-opening and an extremely fun book to read, especially for food nuts!
It told the experiences of the author, Ruth Reichl, when she was the restaurant critic for New York Times.
I would have never guessed that multiple disguises, with different personalities would be involved in writing about restaurants!
The author wrote in details of her encounters with people around her, the services and attitudes she received as these alter egos.
All the work to make sure she had a full spectrum and clear understanding of each restaurant she was writing about — and what a contrast to the tweeting and instantaneity of today’s society!
Ruth went to each restaurant at least 5 times before she wrote a review, and made sure she was not recognized in some of those visits — inevitably the New York Times critic would be treated far superior with better table and services, bigger and fresher portions of food and larger berries on desserts.
It was fascinating to read about those encounters when she dressed up as an old lady, or someone who did not seem to be rich, or a blonde.
It gave me to jolt of a reminder that how quickly we tended to judge people in general — is it right or is it wrong? something to ponder on.
Personally as a food blogger writing about my restaurant experiences, this was a bible.
Particularly the inclusion of the actual reviews that Ruth wrote.
They opened my eyes to how descriptive writing could be; and to experience as if I was sitting in the restaurant having that exact same meal the author was writing about.
The power of descriptive writing — something I am slowly learning — and does not come natural to me especially all my experience are in technical scientific reporting.
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