Ruth Reichl

Ruth Reichl - my kitchen year
Ruth Reichl has been one of the most influential voices in food for the past four decades. A true culinary chameleon – and a lifelong Le Creuset fan – Ruth spent years in the kitchen as a professional chef before becoming a widely read and respected restaurant critic for the Los Angeles Times and New York Times, eventually helming the legendary Gourmet magazine. After its unexpected shuttering in 2009, Ruth returned to the kitchen to seek comfort, the result of which inspired her latest cookbook, My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life. Her recipes are at once modern and timeless, embodying authentic, seasonal cooking at its best.


Q: What's the first piece of Le Creuset you ever owned? What color was it?
A: I moved into a co-op apartment in my sophomore year of college because I was tired of dorm food and wanted to cook. The first piece of equipment I bought was a bright orange Le Creuset casserole in a thrift store; it was missing its handle. Almost 50 years later, I still have it.
Q: What's the most interesting thing you've cooked in it?
A: Trippa alla Romana with tomatoes and mint.
Q: Any other go-to dishes to make in Le Creuset?
A: Pork shoulder, slowly cooked in onions and cider, until the meat has absorbed all the flavor of the apples and onions and melted into tenderness.
Q: What season do you most look forward to cooking?
A: Late summer/early fall. It's the cook's season, when all the bounty of the earth comes leaping from the ground.
Q: What's your favorite thing to slow-cook in the fall?
A: Anything with pork.
Q: What kitchen tool could you not live without?
A: A really sharp knife.
Q: What's the best cooking advice you ever received?
A: "Relax. It's just a meal."
Q: What brings you the most joy in the kitchen?
A: Peeling peaches. I'm always knocked out by the sunset colors hiding right beneath the peel.
Q: Guilty pleasure snacks?
A: Onion rings. I never pass one up.
Q: Favorite French classic: boeuf bourguignon or coq au vin?
A: Difficult choice. If you can get a real rooster, coq au vin. But when was the last time you saw a rooster? So I guess I'll go for the beef – humanely raised without hormones.
Q: Last meal on earth?
A: Caviar with blinis. A well-aged porterhouse steak bone. A baked potato with sweet cultured butter. Just-picked sliced tomatoes with good olive oil and red wine vinegar. Crusty bread and aged Gouda cheese. One perfect peach.
Ruth Reichl's book cover



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