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Ruhlman's Twenty: 20 Techniques 100 Recipes A Cook's Manifesto Hardcover


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Ruhlman's Twenty: 20 Techniques 100 Recipes A Cook's Manifesto + Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking + Egg: A Culinary Exploration of the World's Most Versatile Ingredient
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (September 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811876438
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811876438
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 8.1 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,849 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A naturally curious and intelligent cook, Michael has amassed a vast amount of culinary knowledge through his many years being around and writing about food. In his newest book Ruhlman's Twenty he has distilled everything down to the most essential 20 techniques that will help build solid skills and a positive outlook in the kitchen. It is a great resource."
-Thomas Keller, chef/owner of The French Laundry

James Beard Foundation 2012 Book Awards winner, General Cooking category

International Association of Culinary Professionals' 2012 Cookbook Awards winner, Food and Beverage Reference/Technical category

"There is something smart, useful and important to learn from each remarkable chapter of Ruhlman's Twenty. Whether you've cooked all your life or you've just come into the kitchen, you're bound to be changed by this book."
-Dorie Greenspan, author of Around My French Table

"I'm not sure if Michael Ruhlman is a great writer who cooks or a great cook who writes, but either way he always manages to make my favorite thing: good sense. With Ruhlman's Twenty he makes sense of just about anything and everything that can happen in a kitchen by boiling it all down to twenty elemental concepts, stunningly presented in concise and useful clarity."
-Alton Brown, host of Good Eats and author of I'm Just Here for the Food

About the Author

Michael Ruhlman is the author of Ratio, The Soul of a Chef, The Making of a Chef, Charcuterie, and, with, Thomas Keller, The French Laundry Cookbook. He lives in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.


Photographer Donna Turner Ruhlman lives in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

More About the Author

Michael Ruhlman is the author of more than twenty non-fiction and cooking related works, including the bestselling "The Soul of a Chef," "The French Laundry Cookbook" with Thomas Keller, Charcuterie and Ruhlman's Twenty, which won both James Beard and IACP awards. He lives in Cleveland with his wife, Donna, who is the photographer on his most recent cookbooks.

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Customer Reviews

I look forward to trying more recipes from this!
Cissa
This is a great book for the novice or more experienced home cook/chef.
Robin McNeill
This book has great, well written techniques and excellent recipes.
Deena

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

281 of 294 people found the following review helpful By Becky in NOLA TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Length: 4:07 Mins
When I saw Ruhlman's Twenty being offered through my book club last month, I had to wonder if I really wanted this book. In my house over 1000 cookbooks reside, taking up space, filling bookcases, spilling out everywhere, so I am getting really picky about what I bring in the house. could this book be something I wanted or needed? I am considered a good cook, I've read Pepin's La Technique and La Methode, would Ruhlman's Twenty actually bring something new to the table? Ha!

I'm such a huge fan of Ratio I decided to give Twenty a chance. It's a big beautiful cookbook and the first thing I noticed was the pictures! Beautiful, in focus, of the food, and the techniques being described. For example, there is a recipe for candied orange peel, the recipe is on one page, and on the facing page are pictures showing the four stages and how it should look at each stage. For someone like me who prefers visual learning this is amazingly helpful. Making mayo? there are two pages showing the emulsifying steps using a hand whisk or an immersion blender ( a trick I actually found in Ratio, and went from broken mayonnaise to beautiful lush mayo just using his technique and recipe)

At first I felt a little cheated, The first chapter is "thinking" Really? thinking as a technique? But then I read what he had to say. In 30 years of cooking I cannot tell you how many times I've boiled over milk while getting it to boil for a recipe, and never once did it occur to me that I had just changed the liquid ratio by how much I lost in the boil over- and then blamed the recipe for it not turning out right.
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165 of 183 people found the following review helpful By Ellen Malloy on September 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of -- his books and his blog. Time and again, I have seminal moments of my life as a cook that involve his work.

So it is no surprise that I stayed up late one night to read TWENTY and then immediately started in on the recipes. The book is nothing short of brilliant.

And let me tell you why you should pay attention to my review.

I know the fundamentals of cooking. I went to culinary school and graduated at the top of my class.

And I know recipes. I actually wrote recipes for chefs for 14 years in my work as a restaurant publicist for 14 years. Most chefs, you see, can't write a recipe so I would have to get the ideas from them and then write up the actual process. Once, I got a "recipe" from a rather famous chef that was written on a bevnap. It said, "take veal, make ragu." I had to translate that into something for the NYT. I did, I sent it in, and the Food Editor wrote back to tell me that the recipe "from the chef" was the best recipe he made all year.

So, I have some cooking cred.

And yet, I am learning from TWENTY. A lot.

I am not sure if this is an awesome book for absolute beginners. Though there is enough instruction in there that a smart person who pays attention could, in fact, use this as a 101 book. But I do know it is *essential* for anyone who thinks they are a competent cook and is confident in their kitchen abilities.

Buy it. Now.
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful By C. Young on September 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover
sorry for the rhyme, but honestly, if you are serious about creating very good food in your home then this is the book that will catapult you forward. ruhlman's style of writing is a pleasure to read and you will learn an incredible amount about how to cook food properly to make delicious meals. just read it cover to cover. this book is a wonder. truly. buy it now. (i'd trade 20 of my top favorite cook books for this one)
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By J. Turner on September 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is in one word "Excellent". I previously purchased Ratio which I use for many things as a reference and it's an excellent one, but Twenty is so much more. Between the excellent tips, techniques, and recipe ideas (and I say idea in that you're encourage to make every recipe your own) and the amazing photography by his wife Donna Turner Ruhlman which is not only artistically enticing but well thought out to give you the feel that you don't have just a book you have a kitchen companion. I've been reading a few pages every night, using post-it flags to mark what I wanted to try, but gave it up quickly because I was just putting one on almost every page. I've already made the "Perfect Roasted Chicken" which indeed, to me, was just awesome... finally crispy skin all over the chicken! I'm sure I'll have more things to say as I try more of the concepts, but if you're even considering buying this book, do it. It will definitely be my Christmas gift to family and friends.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By F. E. De Sanctis on October 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I like his work, but I expected the photo descriptions for more of the tricky stuff. I was surprised to not see browned butter step by step along with other techniques you would want to see. I found his descriptions to be on the vague side, and clearer time frames for various cooking and baking steps are important and missing here.
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326 of 441 people found the following review helpful By Janet A. Zimmerman on October 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's ironic that the first chapter of Ruhlman's Twenty is titled "Think"; he obviously didn't do nearly enough thinking while writing this book. His premise, that there are only a handful of cooking techniques one needs to know, is sound, if unoriginal (James Peterson said the same thing in his 2007 book "Cooking"). But right away he starts to go wrong - most of his "techniques" are not techniques at all. He seems to understand that on one level, yet with an illogical flurry worthy of Humpty Dumpty in "Through the Looking Glass," he conflates actual technique (poaching) with ingredients (eggs) and even complex preparations (soup).

It's not that I think acid, salt, eggs and water are unimportant in cooking; Ruhlman is right in putting them front and center. But when he insists on calling ingredients and recipes "techniques" he creates unnecessary confusion - both in his writing and in the structure of the book as a whole.

Take eggs, for instance. If he treated them as an ingredient, then the egg section would have such recipes as poached eggs, scrambled eggs, deviled eggs, and perhaps angel food cake (which relies on whipped egg whites for its structure). Instead, because he can't figure out the difference between ingredients and techniques, the egg chapter contains scrambled eggs, but poached eggs are in "Poach"; deviled eggs are in "Chill" and angel food cake makes an appearance in "Sugar." Trying to guess where any particular type of recipe will end up a dizzying exercise in futility. Meatloaf is in "Water" because it's cooked in a water bath, but while his cheesecake is also cooked in a water bath, that recipe appears in "Eggs." A recipe for grapefruit granite shows up in "Chill" but lemon-lime sorbet is in "Sugar."

Confused writing is one thing.
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