Sacramento Welcomes Ruth Reichl with Open Arms (and lots of Martinis)

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Sacramento’s food cognoscenti were out in full force at Grange Restaurant & Bar this past Friday to fête author Ruth Reichl, former restaurant reviewer of the New York Times and, most recently, editor-in-chief of the now-defunct Gourmet magazine. Grange’s ballroom was packed with radiant, martini-sipping, appetizer-nibbling (a note to chef Michael Tuohy: the apps were fabulous) foodies, all straining to glimpse the diminutive Reichl, who drifted confidently around the room surrounded by a clutch of admirers. Included in the evening’s festivities were Darrell Corti, who held court of his own in the crowded ballroom; and food bloggers Amber Stott (www.awakeatthewhisk.com), Garrett McCord (www.vanillagarlic.blogspot.com), and Elise Bauer (www.elise.com/recipes). I also spied Elaine Corn of Capital Public Radio; Jennifer Cliff, publisher of Edible Sacramento; and Sacramento magazine’s Dining Diva Peg Tomlinson.

Reichl, host of the PBS-TV show “Gourmet’s Adventures with Ruth” and author of several award-winning memoirs, was in town for the California Lecture series to speak about her latest book, Garlic and Sapphires and to dish about her long, colorful career as a restaurant reviewer. Her (sold-out) presentation was funny and human, giving attendees an enticing, if brief, snapshot of a very interesting, influential and glitteringly food-centric life.