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Delicious!

Cover of Delicious!

Delicious!

A Novel
In her bestselling memoirs Ruth Reichl has long illuminated the theme of how food defines us, and never more so than in her dazzling fiction debut about sisters, family ties, and a young woman who must...
In her bestselling memoirs Ruth Reichl has long illuminated the theme of how food defines us, and never more so than in her dazzling fiction debut about sisters, family ties, and a young woman who must...
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Description-
  • In her bestselling memoirs Ruth Reichl has long illuminated the theme of how food defines us, and never more so than in her dazzling fiction debut about sisters, family ties, and a young woman who must finally let go of guilt and grief to embrace her own true gifts.
    Billie Breslin has travelled far from her California home to take a job at Delicious, the most iconic food magazine in New York and, thus, the world. When the publication is suddenly shut down, the colourful staff, who have become an extended family for Billie, must pick up their lives and move on. Not Billie, though. She is offered a new job: staying behind in the magazine's deserted downtown mansion offices to uphold the "Delicious Guarantee"--a public relations hotline for complaints and recipe inquiries--until further notice. What she doesn't know is that this boring, lonely job will be the portal to a life-changing discovery.
    Delicious! carries the reader to the colourful world of downtown New York restaurateurs and artisanal purveyors. And from the lively food shop in Little Italy where Billie works on weekends to a hidden room in the magazine's library where she discovers the letters of Lulu Swan, a plucky twelve-year-old, who wrote to the legendary chef James Beard during World War II. Lulu's letters lead Billie to a deeper understanding of history (and the history of food), but most important, Lulu's courage in the face of loss inspires Billie to come to terms with her own issues--the panic attacks that occur every time she even thinks about cooking, the truth about the big sister she adored, and her ability to open her heart to love.


    From the Hardcover edition.

 
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Excerpts-
  • From the book

    Eleven Years Later

    When Jake Newberry asked me to cook for him, I froze.

    "Something wrong?" He swept a strand of silver hair out of his eyes and gave me his famous cool blue stare.

    "I'm not applying for a position in the test kitchen." I tried to keep the disappointment from my voice; the job had sounded so perfect. "I thought you were looking for a new executive assistant."

    "I am." Then he added, "Didn't anybody tell you I ask every candidate to cook for me?"

    How had I missed that?

    Jake reached down and patted the big yellow dog at his feet; the dog wriggled with pleasure, and I found that oddly reassuring. "Look, Billie." Jake offered an encouraging smile. "You seem like a good fit for Delicious! You worked on The Daily Cal. It sounds like you know your way around a kitchen. And you're even willing to leave school to take the job. I like that; it shows how much you want it."

    I'd spent hours working on an explanation for dropping out; it had never crossed my mind that he'd consider it a plus. "You've said all the right things." He looked down at the pile of manuscripts on his desk, and when he looked up again, his smile was crooked. "You Googled me, right?"

    "Would you want an assistant who didn't?"

    "Good answer. But that just proves my point. I don't find interviews all that revealing."

    Every article I'd read about Jake mentioned that he was a non-corporate guy, which was one of the reasons I'd applied for the job. Working at Delicious! sounded like joining a club, entering a little world of its own, and that's exactly what I wanted. Needed. I'd spent hours preparing for this interview, studying Jake, chasing down every detail. Now it appeared that hadn't been enough.

    "What's wrong with interviews?" I was playing for time. I really didn't want to cook.

    "Isn't it obvious?" He was truly great-looking; the photographs captured his all-American looks, but they didn't catch the humorous way his lips turned up or the watchful intelligence in his eyes. "You tell me you love the book, but, then, you're hardly going to say you hate it."

    He'd lost me. Book? I had no idea what he was talking about.

    "Ha! Another piece of the puzzle slides into place. You don't know much about magazines, do you? In this business, magazines are always called 'books.' I don't know why. What I do know is that every writer who comes for an interview is madly in love with this book. Then I ask what they're reading, and they serve up the usual suspects: The New Yorker, and the most challenging bestseller on the current list."

    He pointed an ebony letter opener at me. "I have to admit, throwing Brillat-Savarin into the mix was a clever move on your part; nobody's ever come up with that before."

    Not all that clever: It hadn't taken much to find out he'd written his college honors thesis on the great French gastronome.

    Jake was studying me, and I couldn't help wondering if he'd be easier on me if I were one of the pretty girls, or at least a bit more stylish. Aunt Melba had insisted that I buy a black skirt and a white shirt, but I hadn't bothered trying them on and the skirt was a little too short; now I tugged at it, trying to edge it closer to my knees. But it turned out Jake wasn't concerned with the way I looked. "I'm trying to figure out if you knew I'd ask what you had for dinner last night."

    It had been a lucky guess, but if I were the editor of a food magazine, that's a question I'd be asking. So I Googled around and discovered that Jake had a passion for Japanese food. Then I found some obscure new place in the East Village specializing in Kitakata ramen and went in for a big...

About the Author-
  • Ruth Reichl is the bestselling author of Tender at the Bone and Comfort Me with Apples. She was editor in chief of Gourmet magazine for ten years. She lives in New York City with her husband, son, and two cats.

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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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