Billie Breslin has traveled far from her home in California to take a job at Delicious!, New York’s most iconic food magazine. Away from her family, particularly her older sister, Genie, Billie feels like a fish out of water—until she is welcomed by the magazine’s colorful staff. She is also seduced by the vibrant downtown food scene, especially by Fontanari’s, the famous Italian food shop where she works on weekends. Then Delicious! is abruptly shut down, but Billie agrees to stay on in the empty office, maintaining the hotline for reader complaints in order to pay her bills.

To Billie’s surprise, the lonely job becomes the portal to a miraculous discovery. In a hidden room in the magazine’s library, Billie finds a cache of letters written during World War II by Lulu Swan, a plucky twelve-year-old, to the legendary chef James Beard... MORE

Get Ruth’s Words in your inbox. Sign up for the e-newsletter here.

Things I Love: A Tiny Bowl

I love the color of this little bowl, which is just large enough to cradle in the palm of my hand. Small but mighty, it's one of the most useful objects in my kitchen, and I find myself reaching for it again and again. The bowl, from Davistudio, is the perfect place to plunk the soy sauce when we're eating...

Read more | 0 comments

The Savory Side of Rhubarb

Slightly Spicy Rhubarb Compote “$15 worth of rhubarb?” I asked the cashier at Fairway. “Really?” “Well,” she replied, “it’s $6.99 a pound.” They had glowed at me, the long, thick ruby red stalks, in the gloom of the store. I’d gathered as many as I could hold. I couldn’t help myself. I kept thinking how delicious rhubarb would be with...

Read more | 0 comments

A Dream of Sushi

One of the great joys of working at Conde Nast was that Sushi Zen was just a block away. And, of course, that I had an expense account and could afford to go there. Although this wonderful restaurant flies beneath the radar, I think it's one of the truly great sushi bars of New York. Once Chef Suzuki gets to...

Read more | 0 comments