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Ruth Reichl
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"You're killing me!" Susan Orlean wrote to BBQ Pitmaster John Markus; she was on the other coast, which meant missing another spectacular dinner at his house. I, on the other hand, was more fortunate. And as the evening approached, things got better. And better still. "The Maysville guys are coming to cook," John wrote a week ago. "Don't bring anything."... Continue reading
Posted 3 hours ago at Ruth Reichl
There’s something perversely satisfying about a pile of decaying shelling beans. They don't look like much - all black freckles, and yellowing skins - but when you pull them apart you find shiny beans the color of pearls. In years past, shelling beans came and went with little fanfare. But this year's different: nearly every farmers market stall is bursting... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Ruth Reichl
A little image from Portland Feast, the fabulous three-day festival where the eating never stops. This was around midnight, and although I couldn't capture it, those pigheads stretched out in a long, strange line. Different chefs did different things - all delicious. Best dish at this particular afterparty? The tripe and pork tacos served up by Brad Farmerie of New... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Ruth Reichl
A secret space, hidden behind a door disguised as a bookcase. Could anything be more appealing? Longbaan literally means, "back of the house," and that's exactly where this restaurant is, hidden behind PaaDee, a restaurant specializing in Thai street food. It's a small, spare space - a few tables , a counter, two chefs working intently, barely looking up. Owner... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Ruth Reichl
“Go to Ox.” I heard that so often while I was in Portland it made me skeptical. It can’t be that great, right? Wrong. This is the most amiable restaurant I’ve been to in quite a while. It’s not just that the food is straight up delicious, the service sweet and the room casually comfortable. Somehow an aura of happiness... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2014 at Ruth Reichl
A single bright orange salmon roe doesn’t amount to much. But when it bursts into the mouth it dissolves into something primal - both sweet and salty - the taste of life itself. But imagine if the roe stayed intact. Imagine that you could barely chew it. Now imagine that chewy rubber married to dates, almond meal, milk and rosewater.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2014 at Ruth Reichl
Paula Wolfert has always been one of my heros. She has the best palate of anyone I've ever met, and her cookbooks are meticulously researched, beautifully written and completely reliable. I've been cooking from her books since I first discovered Couscous and other Good Food from Morocco in 1973. But now she's doing something even more admirable: going public about... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2014 at Ruth Reichl
Guinea Hen Full disclosure: this was a gift. I ordered some steaks from DeBragga, and when I opened the box I found this guinea as well. It didn't look like much - a scrawny bird, feet still on, very long wings, its deep red flesh glowing through the skin. I threw it into the refrigerator thinking, "I'll deal with you... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2014 at Ruth Reichl
Hand Harvested Salt Am I crazy? Maybe. This salt cost $12 for 4 ounces. But I love the way it looks skittering across the top of a fried egg - or just about anything else - and I love the way it feels in my hand. I love the taste too - like a mouthfull of arid ocean. Jacobsen salt... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2014 at Ruth Reichl
Two Interesting New Zealand Discoveries Why isn't anyone in America making a product like this? What we have here is wasabi powder, made of dried and colored horseradish, which passes for the more expensive (and difficult to grow) wasabi. Purewasabi, produced by a former policeman (hence the name), is real wasabi root, grated and mixed with a bit of lemon... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2014 at Ruth Reichl
Otahuna Lodge, just outside Christchurch, in New Zealand. The grand Victorian, built in 1895 by Sir Heaton Rhodes, has been beautifully preserved (and is now owned by two American men). Every room is gorgeous. I came upstairs, after a long, luxurious dinner, to find the curtains drawn, the sheets turned down, and a fire blazing merrily in my room (this... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2014 at Ruth Reichl
Christchurch is heartbreaking and inspiring, in equal measure. New Zealand's second largest city is still recovering from the devastating earthquake of 2011. Huge swaths of the city have disappeared leaving gaping hulks of vanished buildings standing on every street like ghosts from the past. You walk the streets, haunted by the rubble of tumbled buildings. And yet there is a... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2014 at Ruth Reichl
My last dinner in Auckland was at the tranquil Cocoro: a lovely, langorous meal that was utterly Japanese in its restrained simplicity. It began with these two oysters: one a Bluff oyster, too delicious to serve with anything more than a bit of salt and lemon. The other a Kaipara topped with a subtle yuzu foam. Next came a little... Continue reading
Posted Aug 30, 2014 at Ruth Reichl
This is such a beautiful city, perched on the water, the air fresh, green volcanos everywhere you look. Some lucky people take the ferry in from Waiheke Island, commuting in to work with orcas frisking around the boat, leaping, diving. Others live in wonderful Victorian homes, perched on hills, views of water on all sides. Life here seems casual, easy.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2014 at Ruth Reichl
The day before I left for Australia, I found a beautiful purple daikon radish at the farmer’s market. I didn’t have time to eat it before I left. So I did the obvious thing: made it into pickles. For the first few hours, the radish’s incredible purple tie-die color lasted. But eventually it gave way to the pickling liquid, and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2014 at Ruth Reichl
Melbourne is food obsessed. To walk down the streets of this city is to encounter lines of people waiting - for coffee, for ice cream, to get into all the hot restaurants that take no reservations. Chinatown is packed with people, and if you want to eat well, just get into the longest line you see. It will be good,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2014 at Ruth Reichl
My first taste of Melbourne: a plate of oysters at the counter at Cumulus. Brinier than any American oyster, crisper too, each one like a little gulp of the ocean. Hello! Cumulus is a lovely introduction to the food of this city. Casual and friendly, it takes its food (and its wine) very seriously. The waitress will hunker down with... Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2014 at Ruth Reichl
Sea urchin guacamole? I was skeptical. How is it possible for the delicate flavor of sea urchin to survive the onslaught of heat? How could the soft pillowy texture not disappear into all that avocado mush? But that's what's so great about David Waltuck: he knows what he's doing. One taste of this and you say, "How come I never... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2014 at Ruth Reichl
The weather was glorious. The food was fantastic. The chefs were happy - well, everybody was. A group of American and Canadian chefs gathered yesterday in a field in the Hudson River Valley( just outside of Hudson, New York), to grill food, share ideas and raise money for the FarmOn! Foundation. These multi-chef events are often disappointing. This one was... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2014 at Ruth Reichl
There's no beating a gently-cooked egg. You’ll certainly get a silkier curd with slow cooking, but the real boon is flavor: like the difference between an egg from your own chicken and an egg from an assembly line, slow cooked eggs just taste better. They’re more deeply themselves. Alice B. Toklas cooked her eggs in a double boiler, using lots... Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2014 at Ruth Reichl
I took these milkweed pictures yesterday; my entire driveway is lined with milkweed plants. The photographs are mine; the information comes from, which no longer seems to be available online. Flowers and Fruit In midsummer the unopened flower buds can be gathered. They look like miniature heads of broccoli but are softer. Dice up a small handful of these... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2014 at Ruth Reichl
Roaming around a used book sale this weekend, I came upon this irresistible tome: First printed in 1986, the edition I have is from 1999; it's the 28th printing! It's filled with all manner of wonderful information, like how to make Grit Wurst out of a hog's head, cream-fry a squirrel, and roast an antelope. There must be a dozen... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2014 at Ruth Reichl
I really love the taste of aged beef. I recently ordered dry-aged ground beef from the wholesale butcher, DeBragga (they sell meat to the likes of Daniel Boulud, Jean-Georges and Tom Colicchio), and it made the most wonderful burgers. They had that deeply complex, funky flavor you only get when beef is beautifully aged. The problem: Dry-aging beef is extremely... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2014 at Ruth Reichl
I'm always looking for great hot sauces, but this one..... is really wonderful. It's becoming so popular that the hand-made sauce is increasingly hard to find in stores. Fortunately, you can order Piri Piri sauce directly from the maker. Piri is the swahili word for pepper, in this case, an African bird's eye chili. Aged in old whisky barrels, Piri... Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2014 at Ruth Reichl
Reading old magazines is so endlessly fascinating, I can't help passing some of this on. These nuggets (some truly appalling), are from the first six issues of Gourmet. In some cases the articles speak to how openminded Americans were when it came to what they considered edible back in the forties. They were happily devouring offal and foraged foods -... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2014 at Ruth Reichl