Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Delicious!: A Novel by Ruth Reichl

Delicious! is the first novel by Ruth Reichl who was a restaurant critic for the New York Times, Editor in Chief of Gourmet magazine, and author of four memoirs.

The heroine, Billie Breslin starts a job in New York City as an assistant to the editor of Delicious!, a food magazine. (similar to Gourmet magazine) The magazine folds and Billie stays on in the historic mansion to answer calls on a hotline that fields complaints and recipe inquiries. Billie finds the long-locked culinary research library and eventually uncovers a hidden bookshelf that holds a treasure trove of old letters written by Lulu, a 12 year-old girl, to the famous chef, James Beard during World War II. Billie hunts down Lulu, falls in love with a foodie/architect, and endears herself to a cast of quirky characters. The book opens with a sensuous description of Gingerbread and as a bonus, the recipe is included in the back of the book.

There were a few details in the book that bothered me, but it did not deter me from enjoying Delicious! I looked forward to reading the wartime letters from Lulu and loved the tantalizing descriptions of food and the artisanal food markets of New York City. I can't get the gingerbread out of my head and will probably try the recipe to see if it is as delectable as described! I recommend this book for all who like to read about cooking and eating with a touch of mystery and a sprinkle of romance. Delicious! would be a perfect beach or vacation read.

For more from Ruth Reichl, you might enjoy Tender At The BoneComfort Me With Apples, and Garlic and Sapphires.

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