Garlic and sapphires of course.
Reichl's 2006 memoir "Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise" is the theme of her lecture tonight, part of the California Lectures series, so it was only fitting to carry the theme into the dishes served, said Michael Tuohy, chef at Grange Restaurant.
"There will be lots of garlic for sure, and Sapphire martinis," he said.
The menu will include a dizzying array of delectable dishes, from local lamb tartare with shallots, herbs and white truffle oil to lemongrass panna cotta with fresh grapefuit.
"Just the fact that it's Ruth Reichl means it's gotta be good," Tuohy said.
Does Tuohy find it nerve-wracking to cook for Reichl, former New York Times restaurant critic and the last editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine?
"Not yet," he said in a phone interview Thursday afternoon. "I'm too busy and tired to be nervous."
Excitement has set in, however.
"When I heard she was coming to Sacramento, I thought 'We have to do this,'" he said of the reception. "She's a luminary in the food industry. I read every one of her reviews when she was at The New York Times. It's a big honor and I'm thrilled she's coming."
Tonight's reception menu includes:
Local lamb tartare with shallots, herbs and white truffle oil
Wild Alaskan salmon tartare
Pasta salad with fregula and sundried tomatoes
Dungenous crab salad
Local pork ragu on polenta
Housemade chorizo on chick pea puree
Marinated spring vegetable salad
Chilled green garlic soup
Meyer lemon and star thistle honey parfait
Strawberry rhubarb shortcake
Lemongrass panna cotta with fresh grapefruit