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10 Game Changing Female Chefs

Jacky Hayward | Chef's Blade

Ruth Reichl


While no longer a chef, Ruth Reichl began her career that way. She was chef and co-owner of the collectively owned Swallow Restaurant in Berkeley, CA from 1973 to 1977. She played an important role in the California Food movement in Berkeley along with fellow female chef superstar Alice Waters.

Reichl’s love of food eventually lead her not only to cook but also to write about food for the LA Times, where she was restaurant editor; the New York Times, where she was the restaurant critic; and, most recently Gourmet, where she was Editor-in-Chief until 2009. While she’s no longer a restaurant chef, Reichl’s ability to make or break a restaurant with words stems from her real knowledge of the kitchen. She has also been the recipient of four James Beard Awards, all related to her work in food media.



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