Alibi V.20 No.49 • Dec 8-14, 2011

Mina's Dish

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Going back to basics with Michael Ruhlman


Cleveland journalist Michael Ruhlman has made a career of being a fly on the wall. His nonfiction books have covered subjects from pediatric surgeons to craftsmen boat-builders. But it was his research into the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., that launched him headlong into the seductive world of food.

1999’s The Making of a Chef: Mastering Heat at the Culinary Institute of America was the first of three books about the personal and professional lives of chefs. Since then, his collaborations with Anthony Bourdain, Thomas Keller, Brian Polcyn, Eric Ripert, Michael Symon and others have put him at the forefront of culinary authors.

This fall, Ruhlman amplified the basics with a book on cooking techniques. I’ve paired the new book with one of Ruhlman’s earlier works, which together belong on any cook’s bookshelf.

Ruhlman’s Twenty: 20 Techniques, 100 Recipes, A Cook’s Manifesto

Chronicle Books, hardcover, $40

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