is recognized as one of the most influential voices in the food world, with accolades as a bestselling author, revered food critic and even judge on Bravo's Top Chef Masters
. Known to most as a writer and editor, Ruth steered Gourmet
magazine as editor-in-chief for ten years until its closing. As a culinary trailblazer, Ruth speaks about everything food, from her start as chef and later as restaurant critic, to the changing landscape of food writing, the current trends in cuisine and issues of food policy.
Now Ruth is breaking new barriers in documentary features, teaming with director Laura Gabbert to produce and headline the film Food and Country,
which premiered at Sundance Film Festival in January 2023. The work stems from Ruth's connections and insights into the fate of small farmers, ranchers and chefs as they wrestle with the immediate and systemic challenges behind an ever-more consolidating food industry.
Filmed during the COVID pandemic, the film transcends the health crisis, laying bare the conflict between cut-rate food producers vs. local purveyors striving to stay independent. Through her eyes, we learn about the humanity and struggle behind the food we eat while food innovators risk it all to survive. Ruth also sees a silver lining to the effects of this time, reshaping service and business expectations set by restaurant owners and chefs.
Before her time at Gourmet, Ruth held court as one of the top restaurant critics in America while at The New York Times from 1993 to 1999, influencing food commentary during the early days of the foodie explosion. Previously she defined industry writing at the Los Angeles Times as both restaurant critic and food editor from 1984 to 1993. Recipient of six James Beard Awards, Ruth's work transcends all platforms with top honors for best-selling books, magazine feature writing, restaurant critique and multimedia food journalism.
In addition to TV judge stints on seasons three and four on Bravo's Top Chef Masters, Ruth hosted Eating Out Loud on The Food Network, covering her culinary exploits in New York, San Francisco and Miami. Her PBS series Gourmet's Adventures with Ruth highlighted the best cooking schools on five continents in the company of famous friends, including actress Dianne Wiest and Chef Dean Fearing.
An integral player in America's culinary revolution early in her career as chef and co-owner of The Swallow Restaurant, she authored several bestselling memoirs, including Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table and Comfort Me with Apples, telling tales of her starter days as a food writer. Her cookbook My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes that Saved My Life, was named the best cookbook of 2015 and one of the best books of the year by Amazon.
Born and raised in New York City, Ruth moved to Berkeley, California, in the early 1970s. Currently an editor-at-large for Random House, her latest bestseller and Amazon Spotlight Pick Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir chronicled her groundbreaking tenure as editor-in-chief at the influential food and cooking magazine.
Books will be available for purchase at the event. Drinks and light refreshments will also be available for purchase at the venue.
Saturday, January 27
Albert and Janet Schultz Cultural Arts Hall (Bldg F)
Free parking is available through the entrance on Fabain Way
Contact: Michelle Shabtai | [email protected]