September 17, 2011
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Ruhlman’s Twenty

by Michael Ruhlman

Ruhlman's Twenty: 20 Techniques, 100 Recipes, A Cook's Manifesto arrived yesterday. I stayed up late last night, browsing through Ruhlman’s essential techniques (which range from Thinking to Dough to Acid). I’m already cooking from this book (a Carolina barbecue, seared and then smoked on the grill and then basted in sweet vinegar sauce for many house). Nice writing, beautiful photography, pleasant anecdotes. I’ve not found the polemic manifesto I’d anticipated, the call to join Ruhlman on the barricades. Perhaps I’ll find it tonight.

I’ll write more later, but it’s a good book and you want your own copy.

There’s an odd elegiac tone to some parts of this book, which often returns to Ratio and Charcuterie and, especially, to The Making of a Chef. Ruhlman tweeted cryptically that this would be his last book. I hope that’s because he’s got new ideas – a television series, or opening a place of his own. But if the cause is malady or malaise, best wishes for better times.