Famous People We Actually Care About

Recently some friends told us about a dinner they ate, with a famous person, that they didn’t realize was famous. Rochelle and I were deeply envious.

The other night we were eating dinner with some friends we hadn’t seen in a while, including one couple where the husband’s family lives in New York. They told a story about how they had gone to Tabla, a well-regarded NYC restaurant, with a couple they described as a documentary producer Damani had worked with in Germany, and “the producer’s wife.”

Apparently the chef kept sending dishes that weren’t on the menu, and without them being ordered. When Rochelle asked why, Sunita said something about how maybe the wife was kind of an editor for some food magazine.

Rochelle knows most of the food editors, and so she asked who it was. “Um, I think her name was Ruth…?”

“Ruth? Ruth Reichl?” Rochelle asked.

“Yes, I think that was her. Yes, that was her name.”

“You had dinner in New York City with Ruth Reichl?!?!?” I asked, astounded. Rochelle and I could not believe what we were hearing, and yes, they did have dinner with Ruth Reichl.

Who is Ruth Reichl? Only the editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine, and the former food critic for the New York Times, and the author of two outstanding food biographies.

There are more famous people in food — Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, Alton Brown are personal favs — but not many. And there’s probably no one you’d rather go to dinner with in New York City.