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Customer Review

404 of 435 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner from Ruhlman!, September 7, 2011
This review is from: Ruhlman's Twenty: 20 Techniques 100 Recipes A Cook's Manifesto (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. Maybe it's intuitive to other people, but that really drove home why he had a chapter on thinking, and I got over the eye rolling first impulse I had "be one with the sauce, visualize the roasted chicken" and realized this is good stuff.

A lot of the recipes will become staples, and while he gives great techniques nothing here is especially frou frou, this is not only a book that can teach, but it's one that after you learn the technique the recipes are delicious and great for cooking from again and again.

There is a lot to learn, it's really not all been said or done before, or maybe it's just how Ruhlman presents the information, so clear and easy to understand.. The candied orange peel was delicious! As was the roasted cauliflower with brown butter, Halibut poached in olive oil, and the to die for French onion soup. I can't wait to make more recipes and I have pictures and well laid out recipes to help me learn something new, even after 30 years of cooking
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Showing 1-10 of 17 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 12, 2011 1:17:24 PM PDT
bromya says:
Thanks for taking the time out to make the video and give a very thorough review!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 12, 2011 3:51:39 PM PDT
You're welcome. It's got such great pictures I wanted to show them:)

Posted on Sep 12, 2011 10:06:10 PM PDT
R. Keo says:
Excellent review and very nice video and commentary of the book. Thank you. I will definitely get Chef Rulhmans' new book in the near future. My collection is around 60ish at the moment and I also have been really trying to slow down my cookbook buying (mine is nowhere near 1000+ books though. Wow!) It's also great to see someone so close to home that's so passionate about cooking. I'm a culinary student at the John Folse Culinary Institute in Thibodaux, LA. Thanks again. - Rico

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 13, 2011 5:40:48 AM PDT
Does Chef Folse teach or come to the school? I think he's great, he seems so much fun on TV.
I love cookbooks, get them at thrift shops, garage sales, on Amazon, but I've run out of space to put them all!

Good luck in school!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 11, 2011 8:43:18 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 14, 2011 8:24:18 PM PDT
R. Keo says:
You are a true cookbook-a-holic! I commend you. As for Chef Folse, he teaches a class on Mondays right now from 9 to 3 p.m. I haven't met him yet because I am in less advanced classes, but hopefully soon I will.

P.S. I have to do a dinner project blog for a class. Check it out in a few weeks if you want. I should have pics, stories and recipes up by then. The address is and I can't believe M. Ruhlman commented on your posts. Beckygardens you are like-totally my new culinary hero. My top five list just became my top six. You rock!

Posted on Oct 14, 2011 7:13:45 AM PDT
I want to thank you personally, becky, for such a thoughtful review and video. Thank you for taking the time. I'm especially pleased that you mentioned the "Think" chapter!

Keep on cooking (and reviewing)!


In reply to an earlier post on Oct 14, 2011 8:05:35 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 14, 2011 8:15:29 AM PDT
Wow, thank you and I think it's great you check to see how people are feeling about your books. I loved ratio too, though it took me awhile to stop being afraid of it being "mathy" and actually give it a chance. I hope you have a long career writing cookbooks so I can continue to make delicious food for my family and friends.


In reply to an earlier post on Oct 14, 2011 8:40:42 AM PDT
with this kind of encouragement, how can i not?! thanks again

Posted on Nov 2, 2011 8:45:14 AM PDT
Ms Bre says:
Absolutely FANTASTIC review. I am now purchasing this cookbook as I too adore all my cookbooks and love getting new ones but want ones that are printed well and I love having pictures to go by. Even if my results rarely look like the pictures. But I just had to take a moment to say thanks for taking the time and energy to post such a through review. I truly appreciate it.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2011 9:30:26 AM PDT
Thank you. I continue to be impressed with this book and ratio. I love to cook and have things turn out right, the way they do when a book has been well edited and researched. when you get the book the snicker doodle recipe has an errata, it should be 1/2 cup sugar not 1 1/2, I just adjusted it in my own copy.
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