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Ruth Reichl's New Cookbook: 'My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life'

An exclusive first look.

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The Random House Publishing Group

Noted memoirist, James Beard Award-winning restaurant critic, former Gourmet magazine editor in chief, and recent novelist Ruth Reichl will publish a cookbook later this year. Titled My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life, the book — published by Random House — chronicles the period in Reichl's life just after Gourmet magazine folded at the end of 2009.

It marked a turning point in the world of food media, but no one was more taken aback than Reichl herself. She writes of dealing with the shock, "I did what I always do when I'm confused, lonely, or frightened. I disappeared into the kitchen." These are the 136 recipes that helped Reichl heal after that turbulent time when she didn't know what she would do next. They sound like recipes a food writer would turn to in a moment of uncertainty: Kale with chiles and garlic; peach cobbler; chicken and mushroom fricassee; grilled cheese; and "a blistering ma po tofu that shakes Reichl out of the blues."

It's Reichl's first cookbook in over 40 years. She's perhaps best known for her memoirs Tender at the Bone and Comfort Me With Apples. Reached by email, Reichl says of the cover:

I love the spontaneous nature of this cover, which seems just right for the most intimate book I've ever written. This is the story of how I survived the death of Gourmet by exploring new recipes and resurrecting old ones. We decided to shoot the book as honestly as I wrote it: no tricks, no props, no lights, no food stylists. I cooked, photographer MIkkel Vang took the picture — and then we sat down and ate.

My Kitchen Year may now be pre-ordered on For more information, see the book's page on The title will ship and land on shelves this year on September 29.