Ruth Reichl penning book from her Twitter feed and 'Gourmet' exposé

Sunday 14 August 2011 00:00

Food writer Ruth Reichl will be penning a book based on her voluminous Twitter feed in addition to a sexy food memoir chronicling her life in a culinary world she says was part Sex and the City and part Gossip Girl.

In an interview with Israeli publication last week, Reichl, former food critic for The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times and editor-in-chief of the now defunct Gourmet magazine, said she's working on three different writing projects that vary in scope: one will be historical look at food during the Second World War; another a personal memoir; and the last a memoir-slash-exposé that promises to unveil the world of luxury during her 10-year reign at the Condé Nast publication Gourmet.

It's a period she describes as "Ruthie in Wonderland," she told, where she was given free reign with the magazine.

"...working at Condé Nast was like a whole new world to me. It was this world of luxury and possibility I just didn't know existed, kind of the world of Sex and the City and Gossip Girl."

Meanwhile, during the year she lost her job, Reichl took to Twitter to broadcast what she ate every day, a catalogue that will serve as the basis for another book that will consist of a tweet at the top of the page, the back story of what happened that day, and an accompanying recipe.

Reichl is a popular Twitter personality for her Haiku-like tweets that are part running meteorological commentaries, part recipe ideas.

For example, here's a typical Reichl-ism from her Twitter feed August 5: "Foggy. Gray. Cool. Ripe tomatoes, sliced. Bright basil, shimmer of salt. Heaped onto thickly buttered bread. Color in the kitchen."

Not everyone, however, is a fan. Last week, for instance, a Reichl hater started a thread on foodie forum ChowHound entitled Ruth Reichl: Stop her before she tweets again.

As an example, the poster cites the following tweet: "The scent of peaches fills the kitchen. Stunned, I stand at the sink, juice dripping down my arms, biting into the fragrant flesh."

It was the perfect ammunition needed for her Twitter avatar Ruth Bourdain, a spoof Twitter persona that mashes up Reichl's tweets with those of Anthony Bourdain, the irreverent, profanely funny host of travel show No Reservations.

Ruth Bourdain's re-interpretation of the tweet? "I smell peaches. Turned on, I stand at the sink, juice dripping down my arms, biting into the flesh. Wow. I guess I'm into rough fruit sex."

A third book is also in the works, only instead of being autobiographical, this one is to be a novel that alternates between the Second World War and today, she said.

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