Gayle King recalls a meeting she attended not too long ago where, in the course of his presentation, a co-worker mentioned a restaurant that served "truffle oil french fries." From that moment, he had Gayle's rapt attention. Although the meeting had nothing to do with food, she raised her hand with a question.

"Is there really a restaurant that makes truffle oil french fries?" she asked with wonder and awe. Gayle, who is the editor-at-large of O, The Oprah Magazine and the host of her own show on XM Radio, is a food lover—not a cook, as she is quick to point out. She can make pancakes and scrambled eggs with cheese and crispy bacon on the side, but that about sums up her abilities in the kitchen. "My two kids won't have fond food memories from their childhoods," she says. They will remember, however, that their mother absolutely, unequivocally adores food and eating.

When she took her son to college recently, she noticed an entry on the hotel's room service menu for peach bread pudding. Yum! She was instantly tantalized. Later in the evening, while buying dorm room supplies at Target, she realized she would not get back to the hotel before the kitchen closed. She placed a hurried phone call to the front desk with a request. Could the pudding be waiting in her room for her? It was, and it was sublime.

Gayle may not cook, but she is a fan of tasteful presentation and pleasing surroundings when she eats. She loves fine dining in elegant restaurants as much as she appreciates a juicy cheeseburger in the right joint. When she talks to a friend who has attended a gala she missed, her first questions are not about the guest list or the fashion but the menu. She admits that when she's a guest at a large buffet party, it's hard for her not to be the first in line for the food.

"I have an impressionable palate," she explains. "A well-worded menu or beautifully presented dish excites me. I get a great deal of pleasure just thinking about food."
Excerpted from O, The Oprah Magazine Cookbook. Copyright © 2008 Hearst Communications, Inc. Published by Hyperion. All Rights Reserved. Available wherever books are sold and online via


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