Amazon Best of the Month November 2007: Inspired by the Strunk and White classic, Michael Ruhlman's The Elements of Cooking will quickly prove to be an essential culinary reference for both seasoned cooks and novices who might not know gravlax from gremolata. After a thorough "Notes on Cooking," Ruhlman, a prolific cookbook author and popular blogger, settles in for an opinionated and informative A-Z roundup (from Acid to Zester) of cooking terms, lessons, and techniques reduced to their essential essence. Even with only one recipe (for veal stock), it's a must-have for every kitchen library--a book that will help you re-think your approach to food. --Brad Thomas Parsons
Ruhlman's slim 12th book, inspired by Strunk and White's classic The Elements of Style, would more accurately have been titled Selected Elements of French Cooking. Organized in dictionary format, the book offers short definitions of culinary terms most likely to be encountered in a Continental restaurant kitchen: à la ficelle, jus lie, lardo, mise en place, oblique cut, oignon pique, rondeau, roulade. Entries for ladle, rolling pin and other common implements seem almost superfluous, while international items such as wok, tandoor, udon and cardamom are nowhere to be found (though to be fair, nam pla, kimchi and umami are included). An opening eight-page section announces, with finger wagging, that veal stock is the essential and discourses on eggs, salt and kitchen tools. Ruhlman (The Soul of a Chef) is an elegant writer and the entries he does include can be useful and sometimes entertaining. The real problem is the idiosyncratic, highly personal approach: you just don't know what you'll find in this book and what you won't. (Nov.)
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As always, his writing about cooking is clear and detailed. This book gives precise information about cooking from A to Z.Published 5 months ago by Lady Bird
Excellent book and a great way to learn the fundamentals of how and why food behaves the way it does and how to use this knowledge to become a better cook.Published 11 months ago by Michael T. Lawson
The essays that open the book are exciting, inspirational prose for anyone who loves food and cooking; the glossary of food terms that follows is a concise reference that opens the... Read morePublished 14 months ago by A. Boudreaux
I like the contents of the book, found it interesting, as I have all the other books by Mr Ruhlman that I've read. Read morePublished 17 months ago by D. Earls
I love Ruhlman. Ratio and Ruhlman's Twenty are two of my favorite cooking instruction books.
Elements, on the other hand, is a dictionary of cooking terms
with a sentence... Read more
There is a lot of good information contained here, but having it arranged alphabetically is the not the most logical way to organize things. Read morePublished on August 12, 2013 by paulsharp