Ruth ReichlS

Formerly the chief food critic for the New York Times, Reichl was the editor-in-chief of Gourmet until the magazine's closure in 2009.

Reichel was born and raised in New York, but attended boarding school in Montreal. From there she went on to The University of Michigan, where she majored in Art History. After graduation she moved to Berkeley, where she briefly lived on a commune and worked as a chef at a local restaurant, the Swallow. Her first foray into food-writing was in 1972, with the publication of a cookbook, Mmmmm: A Feastiary. She continued her food writing as a writer and editor of New West magazine from 1973 to 1977, and later, as the Los Angeles Times' restaurant editor and critic for almost a decade. In 1993, she moved back to her native New York to be food critic at the Times, a job that established her as the most powerful food critic in America. She spent six years at the paper before leaving her many disguises behind to take the top job at Gourmet in 1999. Reichl was at Gourmet for a decade when Condé Nast announced that it was folding the magazine.

Reichl is the author of seven books, including three memoirs and, most recently, 2010's Gourmet Today cookbook, which includes over a thousand recipes. Reichl lives with her son and husband, Michael Singer, in New York City. [Image via AP]