I did a solo Baseball Today podcast today, featuring Joe Sheehan talking free agency with me (including a diversion on the way teams view the catching position) and Michael Ruhlman talking food.
Michael’s newest book is Ruhlman’s Twenty: 20 Techniques 100 Recipes A Cook’s Manifesto, an absolute must-own (I say that having owned it for inside of 24 hours). It’s a cookbook, but it’s more like an instruction manual for your kitchen, emphasizing fundamental techniques that will make everyone a better cook.
His previous cookbook, which also gets at fundamentals, was the indispensable Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking, which I reviewed early last year.
Michael first entered the world of food writing not as a cookbook author, but as a writer of food stories, especially those around chefs and chef culture, including The Soul of a Chef: The Journey Toward Perfection (reviewed here) and The Making of a Chef: Mastering Heat at the Culinary Institute of America, the latter of which is the book Michael mentioned on the show that had him shadowing students at the Culinary Institute of America and eventually cooking alongside them.
And, of course, Michael has co-authored several cookbooks with uberchef Thomas Keller, including the cookbook for Keller’s flagship restaurant, The French Laundry Cookbook. I’ve never seen this book myself, although there are several recipes from it in the back of Soul of a Chef that look amazing and intimidating all at once.
Finally, I recommend Michael’s blog for frequent recipes and ramblings on cooking, restaurants, and how we think about food.