Ruth Reichl Talks About Her Old Pal, Darrell Corti


You can count former Gourmet magazine editor Ruth Reichl as one of Darrell Corti’s many fans. Reichl met the Sacramento grocer and wine expert back in the late ’70s, when she was working as the restaurant reviewer for New West magazine. One night, her editor, Colman Andrews, brought her to Sacramento for dinner at Corti’s home. “I don’t understand why everyone in America doesn’t know who Darrell is,” Reichl recently told me in a phone conversation. “He is one of the single most knowledgeable people in America on food and wine. Back then (in the 1970s and ’80s), if you wanted a great piece of Parmigiano and you lived on the West Coast, you got Darrell to send it to you. He was so much ahead of everybody else.” In her fascinating food memoir Comfort Me With Apples, Reichl describes that night in Sacramento, including a friendly phone disagreement that she overheard between Corti and his pal Biba Caggiano. Incidentally, Reichl will be in town Friday for a reception at Grange, followed by a lecture at the Crest Theatre. The lecture is sold out, but you can still get tickets to the reception. For information, call (916) 737-1300 or e-mail