Ruth Reichl is the best-selling author of seven books. She was Editor in Chief of Gourmet Magazine from 1999 to 2009. Before that she was the restaurant critic of both The New York Times (1993-1999) and the Los Angeles Times (1984-1993), where she was also named food editor. As co-owner of The Swallow Restaurant from 1974 to 1977, she played a part in the culinary revolution that took place in Berkeley, California. In the years that followed, she served as restaurant critic for New West and California magazines. She has been honored with six James Beard Awards, was named Adweek's Editor of the Year, and was the recipient of the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service and the Matrix Award for Magazines. She holds a B.A. and an M.A. in the History of Art from the University of Michigan and lives in upstate New York with her husband, Michael Singer, a television news producer.
"If you could dream up the perfect cookbook, it might look something like this: easy recipes for days when you"re spent and just want something quick and filling; pull-out-all-the-stops recipes for when you want to spend an entire week working on Saturday night"s meal; instructions for tasks like cleaning mussels and making pastry dough; introductions and mini-essays explaining recipes" origins and the techniques they involve; and an overall panache and intelligence."