Renowned food critic/editor, bestselling author to speak on campus

September 26, 2011

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Renowned food columnist/editor and best-selling author Ruth Reichl will speak Oct. 18 as part of the Purdue University Libraries Distinguished Lecture Series.

Reichl's talk, "Eating Our Words," will be at 7 p.m. in Stewart Center's Fowler Hall and is free and open to the public. After her talk, Von's Book Shop of West Lafayette will have a book sale, and she will sign copies of her books.

Reichl, who is currently editor-at-large at Random House and serving as a judge on Bravo network's "Top Chef Masters," is a six-time recipient of the James Beard Award. The awards are presented to chefs; food and beverage professionals; broadcast media, journalists and authors working on food; and restaurant architects and designers.

Reichl is the author of several bestselling memoirs, including "Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise" and "Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table." She is the former editor-in-chief at Gourmet magazine and has served as food editor for the Los Angeles Times and as restaurant critic for the New York Times. She has been a key voice in the culinary field, guiding readers on how to cook and what and where to eat.

Her lecture will take a look at food writing during different times and places in the world in an attempt to discover what the changing language of food can tell us about ourselves. She says, "As our attitudes about food have been in constant flux, we can look at the past to understand why we are living in such a food-focused present."

The Purdue Libraries Distinguished Lecture Series, made possible by major funding from the estate of Anna M. Akeley, began in 2005 to bring people with notable creative and intellectual achievements to speak at the university. In addition to Purdue Libraries, this year's sponsors include the Office of the Provost and the College of Health and Human Sciences. Richard D. Mattes, Distinguished Professor of Nutrition Science, will introduce Reichl.

Writer: Jim Bush, 765-494-2077,

Source: Kate Kester, Marketing Associate, Purdue Libraries, 765-496-9610,

Note to Journalists: Ruth Reichl will have a media availability on Oct. 18 before the lecture. Journalists can contact Kate Kester at 765-496-9610,, to set up interview times