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Ruhlman's Twenty: 20 Techniques 100 Recipes A Cook's Manifesto Hardcover – September 14, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 242 customer reviews

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  • Ruhlman's Twenty: 20 Techniques 100 Recipes A Cook's Manifesto
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Editorial Reviews

Review

James Beard Foundation 2012 Book Awards winner, General Cooking category

"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

"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

"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

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

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.
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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: 8.5 x 1.5 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (242 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Becky (in NOLA) TOP 500 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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I decided to wait until I'd made several things from this book before I reviewed it. Currently I've made lemon confit (though it'll be 10 weeks before I can use it!), pizza dough, bacon-and-egg pizza, roasted shallots, and coq au vin.

The pizza was brilliant, even though I managed to overcook it a bit at all possible stages. I am hankering to make it again. Both the pizza itself and the crust are dead easy, and taste wonderful! The crust is crisp, but not at all like a cracker; I have some in the fridge to make tomorrow, because as written, it only takes 3 hours- that's great! but doesn't leave time for the dough to ferment. It'll be interesting to taste how it is after fermenting for a couple of days in the fridge. For the pizza as a whole, the balance of cheese, bacon, and eggs is just perfect and very crave-able.

The lemon confit was really easy to make, too. I can't use it yet because it requires 3 months curing, but it worked well. I've done 2 jars: one is conventional lemons, and the other is Meyer lemons. The recipe calls for 2 pounds of salt and one of sugar for 5 lemons; that seems excessive, since mine are going well with 9-10 lemons and 3/8ths the amount of sugar, salt and water.

The roasted shallots are like candy; I could eat them all day, but heroically refrained because I need some for the coq au vin, which we just ate and which is rich and flavorful and amazing. It did take me closer to 2 hours than 1 hour to make it, but it's so worth it; it's the best coq au vin I've ever made.

But- I didn't buy this just for the recipes. I really love Ruhlman's thoughtful approach to cooking, and the text parts are what I am valuing as I'm reading this. It is not a book of recipes; it's a considered approach about HOW to cook.
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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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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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