where the writers are

Michael Ruhlman's Books

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Nov.01.2007
Americans are on a roll in the kitchen -- we've never been better or smarter about cooking. But how does a beginning cook become good, a good cook great? Modeled on Strunk and White's The Elements of Style, The Elements of Cooking is an opinionated volume by Michael Ruhlman -- the award-winning and bestselling author of The Making of a Chef and coauthor of The French Laundry...
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May.01.2007
The book is an attempt to get my arms around the expanding nature of the chef in America and what it means to be one today. The chef in the age of celebrity, the chef in the midst of a restaurant-as-theater bonanza, the chef in the middle of an American food revolution. Chefs today can do amazing things—from cooking great food to helping farmers raise it to improving school lunches...
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Feb.01.2006
When my wife and I bought a century old house in a suburb of my beloved city, I knew I had to write about it. The experience of purchasing a home place, among the most common events in an adult's life, felt more cataclysmic than, well, buying a house ought to feel. Second to childbirth on the seismic charts of human emotion. Suspicious of any prolonged navel-gazing, I didn't intend...
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Nov.01.2005
I conceived this book, and asked my friend, chef Brian Polcyn, to join me, in order to explore a great culinary specialty, one devoted to preservation but which remains meaningful in this age of refrigeration and freezing because food made using its techniques--fresh, smoked, and dried sausages, hams, cured salmon, pork rilletes, duck confit--tastes so good. I didn't know enough...
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Apr.01.2003
I've always been fascinated by people who are intensely engaged in their work--teachers, chefs, boat builders, primarily craftsmen, people who work with their hands. When a friend told me about a surgeon at a hospital not far from my house who operated on babies' hearts every day and was world-renowned for the skill with which he did the work, I was attentive but uninspired. There...
Wooden Boats
Sep.01.2002
Wooden Boats is an intimate chronicle of the life of, and lives within, a wooden boat yard, a yard that builds only traditional wooden boats. The initial impulse for the story was the construction of Rebecca, a 60-foot modern pleasure schooner, and Elisa Lee, a 32-foot workboat-style yacht. But what quickly takes over as the main focus is the lives of the boat builders and the...
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Jul.01.2001
When I finished the manuscript of the Making of a Chef, I couldn't stop cooking or thinking about cooking and the work of the professional chef. There was so much more to know. Learning to cook, then writing a book with the same urgency and speed of a kitchen crew slammed on Saturday night, left me famished for real work and real kitchens, not the ideal world of teaching kitchens....
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Oct.01.1999
The Making of a Chef is a dramatic narrative of an actual culinary education as it's taught at the most prominent cooking school in the United States, the Culinary Institute of America. The story begins in a class called Skill Development, where students learn to make stocks, to hold a knife, to cut an onion, to make soups and sauces, and to perform basic cooking preparations--how...
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Oct.01.1999
This is a monster of a celebrity-chef coffee table cookbook that defies everything one thinks of when we think of such objects. First, it's been a terrific commercial success--generating a second, third and fourth printings in its first six months. It's been a critical success and has earned some of most respected culinary awards in the business. It's a coffee table book that's...
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Sep.01.1997
"In Boys Themselves," wrote Beth Gutcheon in the New York Times Book Review, "his first book, he follows a diverse handful of students and a couple of standout teachers as a novelist would, to establish major characters, and the crises and themes of the year develop like plot lines." I wrote this book, an intimate narrative of a year at an all-boy school outside...