Ruth Reichl visits George Brown to promote new cookbook

Renowned chef and writer says she wants people to stop being afraid of cooking

Image of Ruth Reichl in her book cover that has text "My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life"

Ruth Reichl on her book cover “My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life”

Renowned food writer and chef Ruth Reichl made her second visit to George Brown’s St. James campus to promote her latest recipe book, My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life.

Reichl’s talk was part of the Up Close & Personal series of events organized by The Chef’s House. Guests greeted Reichl with loud applause as she took the stage and Chef John Higgins got the conversation underway.

“It’s not just a George Brown,” said Higgins. “It brings everybody from the community together and you can see a variety of young, old, middle-aged people here and it’s good that she comes back to Toronto to interact with the students.”

Having embraced social media to connect with fellow food enthusiasts, Reichl was passionate in endorsing Twitter as a means of “marking moments in life.” She also expressed envy at the younger generation of people who can avoid isolation in the kitchen through the ability to “tweet right into a conversation.”

After the interactive talk, guests enjoyed tastings of Samuel Adams Beer and wine courtesy of Stratus Vineyards, with Hors d’oeuvres made by the students of the culinary management program, as Reichl signed books and posed for pictures with fans.

“Reichl is a very important figure in the culinary world,” said Alma Garcia, a first-year culinary management student volunteering at the event. “We’re representing the college, and it’s important to show that we’re interested in everything that’s going on about food.”

“I really wanted people to stop being afraid of cooking,” said Reichl when asked what the inspiration was in the use of the recipes in My Kitchen Year. “My basic goal in life is to get people back in the kitchen, and I feel like we’ve terrified people into thinking that if they can’t cook at a chef’s level, they shouldn’t cook at all.”

My Kitchen Year was published on Sept. 29. and is available online and in-store at a book retailers.

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Ruth Reichl visits George Brown to promote new cookbook