Fans of food writer Ruth Reichl are licking their chops in anticipation of "Delicious! A Novel" (Random House, $27, 374 pages), the first work in that genre by the author of three best-selling memoirs, including "Tender at the Bone" and "Comfort Me with Apples." The New York-based writer, a former chef and restaurateur in Berkeley in the '70s, went on to achieve fame and many awards as a restaurant critic in Los Angeles and New York and was editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine for a decade.
A look at the plot summary of Reichl's new novel confirms that she is writing whereof she knows. It's about a young woman who leaves her home in California for a job at a prestigious, cutting-edge New York food magazine (by the name of "Delicious!"). In the magazine's library, she discovers a cache of 50-year-old letters written by an Ohio girl to famed chef James Beard. A delicious mystery ensues.
Reichl is literally all over the Bay Area this week promoting her book, beginning with a tea at Towne Center Books in Pleasanton (555 Main St.) at noon on May 19. At 5:30 that afternoon, she will be featured on a City Arts and Lectures program at the Nourse Theater, 275 Hayes St. in San Francisco. On May 20 at 12:15 p.m., she is the honored guest at a Literary Luncheon at Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd. in Corte Madera; then it's down the pike to Palo Alto for a 7 p.m. Commonwealth Club talk at 3921 Fabian Way. Book Passage is co-sponsoring her luncheon appearance at Spinster Sisters in Santa Rosa (401 S. A St.) at noon on May 21, and she heads back to San Francisco for a 6:30 p.m. talk and book signing at Omnivore bookstore, 3885a Cesar Chavez Place. Events at Towne Center and Omnivore are free; for ticket prices, call 415-927-0960 for Book Passage and Spinster Sisters, 415-392-4400 for City Arts and visit www.commonwealthclub.org for Palo Alto.
-- Sue Gilmore, Staff