When Ruth Reichl left her job as the restaurant critic at The New York Times to become editor-in-chief at the legendary Gourmet magazine, it was a little like suddenly discovering she was a long-lost princess. Suddenly she had a driver, a clothing allowance, and a decorator for her new office.
But she arrived with mission: to make the venerable magazine less stuffy and more relevant. There were forces within and without the magazine that were arrayed against her, and others that were ready to join her cause. And so began an incredible ten-year-run packed with larger-than-life figures, corporate backbiting, some truly glorious meals, the chance to publish exciting new writers and to draw in authors from outside the food world. It was fun and glorious. Until suddenly it wasn't.
Reichl's account of the months leading up to the end of Gourmet are poignant but clear-sighted, vividly rendered with crisp details and bracing honesty. Save Me the Plums is a rich, rewarding read, with sparks of magic and poetry along with flashes of blood and steel.