Wednesday, September 30

Harvard Book Store Presents (Past Events)Special Events Archive

Ruth Reichl

Sold Out – There will not be a standby line for this event.

Ruth Reichl discusses My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life

in conversation with John “Doc” Willoughby

This event includes a book signing.

Sold Out – There will not be a standby line for this event. Unable to attend? Order the book(s) or pre-order a signed copy from Harvard Book Store. No Brattle Passes.

hbs-reichl-bookHarvard Book Store and Alden & Harlow welcome longtime food editor and restaurant critic RUTH REICHL and James Beard award-winner JOHN “DOC” WILLOUGHBY for a discussion of Reichl’s first cookbook in over forty years, My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life. John was Executive Editor of Gourmet magazine for nine years during Ruth Reichl’s tenure at the magazine.

In the fall of 2009, the food world was rocked when Gourmet magazine was abruptly shuttered by its parent company. No one was more stunned by this unexpected turn of events than its beloved editor in chief, Ruth Reichl, who suddenly faced an uncertain professional future. As she struggled to process what had seemed unthinkable, Reichl turned to the one place that had always provided sanctuary. “I did what I always do when I’m confused, lonely, or frightened,” she writes. “I disappeared into the kitchen.”

My Kitchen Year follows the change of seasons—and Reichl’s emotions—as she slowly heals through the simple pleasures of cooking. While working 24/7, Reichl would “throw quick meals together” for her family and friends. Now she has the time to rediscover what cooking meant to her. Imagine kale, leaves dark and inviting, sautéed with chiles and garlic; summer peaches baked into a simple cobbler; fresh oysters chilling in a box of snow; plump chickens and earthy mushrooms, fricasseed with cream. Over the course of this challenging year, each dish Reichl prepares becomes a kind of stepping stone to finding joy again in ordinary things.

The 136 recipes collected here represent a life’s passion for food: a blistering ma po tofu that shakes Reichl out of the blues; a decadent grilled cheese sandwich that accompanies a rare sighting in the woods around her home; a rhubarb sundae that signals the arrival of spring. Here, too, is Reichl’s enlivening dialogue with her Twitter followers, who become her culinary supporters and lively confidants.

Part cookbook, part memoir, part paean to the household gods, My Kitchen Year may be Ruth Reichl’s most stirring book yet—one that reveals a refreshingly vulnerable side of the world’s most famous food editor as she shares treasured recipes to be returned to again and again and again.

Event Co-Sponsor(s)

Co-sponsored by Alden & Harlow, joining us in providing delicious nibbles for those in attendance.


John 'Doc' WilloughbyJohn (Doc) Willoughby was Executive Editor of Gourmet magazine for nine years during Ruth Reichl’s tenure at the magazine. Today he is Editorial Director for Magazines at Boston Common Press, publisher of Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country. He also co-authored a monthly column in the New York Times Dining section for seven years, and for two years wrote their “Power Ingredients” column. John has taught graduate-level courses in food writing at Boston University and the Radcliffe Seminars at Harvard College and together with Chris Schlesinger has written nine cookbooks, including the award-winning Thrill of the Grill and How to Cook Meat.

Ruth ReichlRuth Reichl is the bestselling author of the memoirs Tender at the Bone and Comfort Me with Apples and the novel Delicious! She was editor in chief of Gourmetmagazine for ten years. She lives in New York City with her husband, son, and two cats.

Photo Credit: Fiona Aboud