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Garlic And Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl
Garlic And Sapphires is Ruth Reichl's memoir of her 6-year stint as restaurant critic for the New York Times. This made her the most influential restaurant critic in the country and resulted in top restaurants posting her picture for employees and fawning over her when she visited these restaurants. To get around this problem, she created a disguise and false persona so that she could receive the same food and service as regular patrons. Once the restaurants caught on this disguise, she continued to create others ones, eventually including one as her mother. Her reviews were enjoyed, not just for her critique of the food and service, but for their wit and entertainment. She also talks of the odd colleagues and editors, backstabbing, and political struggles that made up her life at the New York Times. Garlic And Sapphires has received positive reviews with the Washington Post saying, "But as a memento of her time at the Times she gives us this wonderful book, which is funny -- at times laugh-out-loud funny -- and smart and wise. Maybe a bit too much food talk, but that isn't what matters, which is Reichl, and she's a gas."