Does anyone know who first put cooked chicken breast on a Caesar salad and called it a Chicken Caesar?  I wish I did.  I’ve been upset about this at least for two years now because I remember railing to Todd English and Ming Tsai about it as we traveled together for an erstwhile cooking show.  “The Chicken Caesar is an emblem of the mediocrity of American cuisine!” I would cry.  Ming would chuckle and turn up the volume on his iPod, and Todd more or less ignored me as a run-of-the-mill crank screaming into the nor’easter of American food culture. Or so I thought.
    Last week I had lunch at a Cheesecake Factory in Cleveland, and of course, there it was, Caesar Salad, two prices, one plain, the other with chicken.  You can run but you can’t hide.  Worse, this week I had lunch at what positions itself as one of the most upscale restaurants in the city, Table 45, and here, at a restaurant offering cutting edge cuisine and has built a glassed in chef’s table looking into a swank kitchen, it was in the most egregious form.  The Chicken Caesar “Bangkok Style.”
    I never wanted actually to write about it, though, until I read a line from Barbara Kingsolver’s recent book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, about her family’s efforts to eat locally for a year.  “No matter what else we do or believe, food remains at the center of every culture.  Ours now runs on empty calories.”
    The first part of that statement resounds with truth and hope—those of us who love food understand it as a fundamental part of our humanity: that the gathering, preparing and sharing of our daily nourishment is the core of our days and who we are.  It is at the very center of our culture.  And our legacy, the content of that culture, judging from the sheer volume of portions served, is surely the Chicken Caesar, bottled dressing, thickened with Xantham gum.
    Why is it so annoying to me?  It’s not that meat on a salad is bad.  I love meat with salads—tuna, chicken, and beef have rich salad histories throughout the world.
    Every single laminated menu serving any kind of American or American hybrid food seems to include the Chicken Caesar (if it’s Mexican, it will be a Chicken Caesar Taco).  Why?  Two reasons, neither of them hopeful.
The Chicken Caesar is the default meal for America eating out.  Don’t know what to have, have the Chicken Caesar.  Everything else looks like crap?  Have the Chicken Caesar.  Hard to screw it up.  The Chicken Caesar exists because everything else about American cuisine at the major chain restaurants is of relentlessly dubious quality.  Greens are greens, and chicken breast doesn’t taste like anything anyway, and I’ll lay odds that the dressing you get at Ruby Tuesdays, TGIF’s, Cheesecake Factory, Appleby’s—fill in the blank—comes out of the same jug.  But the point is, we don’t care really what it tastes like, only that it tastes like the last one we had, that it’s consistent. McDonald’s learned the effectiveness of that strategy early on.
    I cringe when I see the Chicken Caesar because it represents an embrace of the misinformed and unimaginative American diner, who for better or worse continues to shape our menus.  I’ll have a salad, the reasoning goes, because it’s healthy (let’s disregard what it’s slathered with), and I’m hungry so let’s pile on some chicken breast, the skim milk of the protein world.  I’m not saying it’s not healthy, that I don’t like salad or that I think it would only be laudable were it a deep-fried pork belly Caesar (though I’d definitely give it a go if I ever saw that on a Cheesecake Factory—we could batter it and call it the Chicken Fried Pork Belly Caesar!).
    All I’m asking is for the corporate bodies that determine the menus of our mass market sit-down restaurants to consider a few more options beyond the mediocre Chicken Caesar.  Put a little imagination into it!
    It’s an uphill battle, I know, and surely the corporate bodies know better than I do about the ordering patterns of the public they serve and the bottom line that feeds their salaries, but I didn’t quite know what I was up against until I traveled with Ming and Todd, two well-known, well-regarded chefs, railing against the goddam Chicken Caesar on the plane.  We were just embarking on a four-city shoot, heading to Vegas, which in many ways is a triumph in terms of offering an enormous swath of America all but unlimited high-end, imaginative food, the likes of which is only available in New York in such concentration.
    English has one of those restaurants, his flagship Olives, at the Bellagio at which I’ve had some terrific meals.  On our final night in Vegas, he hosted a dinner for all the folks putting the show together.  He ordered for the table and began the meal with a few signature pizzas.  With glee, with guffawing laughter, he watched a server place one of those pies directly in front of me.  Olive’s Chicken Caesar pizza.  I’ll bet he can’t take it off the menu.
    Nor should he.  The pizza was delicious.

[Notes: 1) I wrote this for my August column for Restaurant Hospitality magazine.  2) I’ve become so inspired by the notion of a Chicken Fried Pork Belly Confit Caesar, that I am determined to make one tonight, and will post pix and the recipe tomorrow!  3) Pic at right is during Cooking Under Fire shooting, ages ago, with Ming and, far right, Todd–my daughter likes this shot because I am getting makeup, which she finds hilarious (as do I, actually).]


135 Wonderful responses to “The Shame of the Chicken Caesar”

  • theFrog


    Normally I’m on board with you on just about everything, but I just can’t get behind you on this. There’s a lotta talk about elitism and Foodie-ism, and maybe it’s not too far off the mark.

    Your gripe isn’t with the food itself, it’s in how it’s prepared. Even your own Chicken Fried Pork Belly Caesar, in the hands of a chain restaurant, could slide into mediocrity. Given a few years on the menu, a few “cost-cutting” ingredients, and a bit of “streamlining,” and it could become the next Chicken Caesar Salad rant. Even worse this time, because you’ll be able to rally about battered and fried fat in addition to the Xantham gum bottled monstrosity.

    If you want to rant about food mediocrity, rant about the places that have turned it into a profitable business. Don’t blame the food, though. A well made Caesar Salad with a perfectly cooked and seasoned bit of chicken could be just as delicious as any cutting-edge cuisine you’d find in New York or Las Vegas. I think if you could have done that, rather than concoct the Chicken Fried Pork Belly Caesar, it would have been a far more impressive feat.

  • nosnob

    I’m glad this discussion gained momentum and progressed beyond the shallow and snarky comments that pass for discourse on many blogs. Despite taking issue with aspects of Mr. Ruhlman’s original post, credit must be given for his openness to dissent and dialogue. At the end of the day, we don’t need to agree with each other, but simply to understand our individual perspectives and priorities.

    Thanks to Nicholas Robinson for the compliment. I do not write for Food & Wine. I do write for a living, but not about food, despite my passion for all things chow.

  • Tags

    People were lined up over an hour waiting to eat at a Cheesecake Factory. Who knew they would be in the vanguard for the Slow Food Movement?

  • Guy Anderson

    OK OK I know I have always wondered about that Chicken thing too. So we do the chicken, steak and Shrimp and have been adding our fish of the week too! Americans are eating healthy “HA” a salad with a nice slab of chicken or salmon. Bad ideas placed into the simple heads of may fellow Americans. M.R. Realize it is not their fault – – bad people have put them up to these crazy desires of things placed on top of a nice crisp, nicely coated romaine with great cheese and fresh crunchy croutons – hey wait didn’t you just bastardize this dish a little further! Man – I might have to take you down off my wall. Drat – Whats next huh – jelly on peanut butter sandiches! I may have been watching the food network when posting this so all comments can be forgiven. Sorry.

  • Ms.Anthrope

    Wow! Great debate!
    I confess, I have never had a Chicken Cesar Salad (I did stumble into a Cheesecake Factory once) but this does bring up something some friends and I were discussing the other day.
    I had just been to some awards dinner at a fairly “upscale” hotel. Aside from the predictable Steak/Chicken/Shrimp menu, they had rack of lamb for which I nearly climbed into the waiter’s lap. As I was the only one at the table to “dare”, all eyes were on me as I popped the first morsel in my mouth. “How is it?” they asked admirably. “Not very Lamb-y” I repsonded. Somehow, they had managed to remove ALL the flavor and replace it with something that was somewhat like filet mignon. My guess is they marinated the hell out of it to remove the “offensive gamey flavor” that I sooooo craved. The point of this little story is that, more and more, mainstream restaurants seem to take the middle road lest they offend the masses. It’s “O.K.” food but completely without challenge. I have all but given up trying anything new on a menu because I just expect to be disappointed.
    I’ll stick with my trusty taquerias that serve up great food that challenges me to try new things and, when all else fails, a mean ceviche.

  • Jay Shnoogins

    Cheezcake Factory?

    Yo you da WHACK food critic Mikey!

    Lunchbox wouldn’t eat that shit…so we went to 7 eleven and got some chicken caesar taquitos.

    They da shit, yo…


  • Tammi

    Actually, protien with your vegetables is a very healthy way to eat ::shrug:: It’s the fax that you add that’s unhealthy.

  • Tammi

    Pardon me…eating a fax would be unhealthy, fat…is what I meant..yessirreee.

  • McNormal

    Regarding the original question in this post, the actual origin of the Chicken Caesar Salad and the trajectory of its popularity as a menu item, does anyone really know the story? Is there a tale out there of extraordinary individual achievement in the restaurant-industrial complex, told Eric Schlosser-style? Was the Caesar Salad really invented in Tijuana by a guy named Caesar?

  • Victor

    What kills me is that in the wiki listing the only picture of a Caesar salad given is of the “variation” with chicken. Ha!

  • mdg

    While I rarely order the chicken caesar salad stateside, it has been a saving grace at the TGIF in terminal 3 at heathrow airport whilst involved in yet another @$%^ flight delay. somehow always feel comfortable killing a few hours there with a the chicken caesar and a beer (tho they can keep the overly chipper wait staff).

  • Annie

    Greetings from the Heartland. When I go shopping in Des Moines with friends (okay, so I am willing to drive two hours to wander through a Williams Sonoma), our lunch choices are: 1)the mall’s food court, 2)the mall’s Cheesecake Factory, or 3)other formulaic restaurants outside the mall. I pick the Cheesecake Factory every time. I don’t eat the cheesecake–it’s not as good as my mom’s New York style. I have one of the simpler salads, and the fried macaroni and cheese balls. I like them. I like them a lot. I have tried several times, using various recipes, to copy them and still haven’t gotten it right. Consider it a food quest. CF is also my first choice because they have excellent service and no drive-through window.

    I think it’s a matter of finding what food, fast or slow, that works for your taste buds, your budget, your lifestyle, and your health. For some that would include generic Chicken Caesar salad. For others that would exclude it.

    Now that I have a little more time and money, I chose to cook more for my family rather than just driving through. They still love fast food hamburgers, chicken strips, and fries (I gave up all fast food last March for various reasons), but I don’t provide it or deny it. My teenagers are going to have to chose their own ways in the food world soon, so I am giving them other taste experiences.

    I completely identify with the mother who wrote about how McD’s food for her autistic children gave her a few moments of peace. Now I am lucky to be at a point where I can give my children some food UNREST to think about other food choices. Recently during a family cookout, my 16-year old son tried the barbecued bacon-wrapped dates, but preferred his experimental grilled bacon-wrapped hotdogs. My 14 year-old daughter helped me make the ricotta-stuffed pumkin blossoms (fresh from our own vines), but wouldn’t taste them. Eat on!

  • Jay Shnoogins

    Mikey –

    I tweaked it a bit and put the panko in a crummer with toated anise. Smoked coriander would be nice as well I guess. Just a bit though…

  • Jennie/Tikka

    I’m in complete agreement on this one – the chicken caesar is the poster-child for the majority opinion on food in this country.

    I still strongly believe that attitudes toward food reveal a great deal about the individual. I still strongly believe that a person averse to the idea that there is better (food) out there, is probably averse to improvement as a general concept across the board in the rest of their lives. When people begin defending the mediocre as “its good enough – why knock it” I usually find they believe that about everything else in their lives, too. Their lives may not be bad – but they aren’t particulary good, either. They remain right in the big fat center of the bell curve.

    Excellence requires effort. It requires getting out of one’s comfort zone. It requires admitting that there is something better out there, and it is not equal to what is mediocre.

    Try applying that “its good enough” concept to sports and see what you get. Is it okay if everybody crosses the finish line at the same time? Has the exact same score on both teams every game? Why is it then okay to have food that doesn’t excel?

    There is something deeply troubling to me when people begin pushing the notion that all things are equal – good, bad, and excellent are all the same. Its like saying there is no reason for standards for anything – no rewards for those who do better and work harder.

    Again, for some of you who believe that….try putting a football team (or any other team for that matter) together with that opinion. See if you can win a game with an entire team of dead-center mediocre players.

  • Maura

    You make some excellent points. Good enough isn’t enough. I want quality no matter where or what I’m eating. I haven’t stepped inside a Friday’s in years, but I’ve been know to go there. I don’t order the pasta, but they have some of the best potato skins around. The only place that has better potato skins is an Irish bar in Durham, NC. You have to be a fan of bar food to appreciate that, of course. I am a fan. Yes, they’re processed. I don’t eat processed food at home. My body isn’t a halfway house. But it’s not a temple either.

    But I’ve gotten past the point where I feel I can judge someone on what they eat. When they eat at my house, they’re going to get really good food (or so I’ve been told). I hope that opens their eyes to more possibilities. But it’s a really sensitive issue, because what people eat does have a lot to do with what and who they are. Attack what someone eats and you attack them. But having what I consider a bad palate doesn’t make someone a bad or a stupid person. People’s food preferences are based on what they ate as children, what they’ve been exposed to, how adventurous they are, how much time they have* and what they can afford to spend. Or maybe they just don’t like something. I can’t force someone to come over to my side, any more than I could force someone to change his/her religious beliefs.

    *Although, for real, I’ll be damned if I can understand how waiting in line for an hour or more to get into an Outback saves time. And I draw the line with that damned green bean casserole. At that point, the mocking will begin.

  • ihop

    Well, I’m a bit late to chime in to the “food snob” debate, but if I may…

    I’ve always been an adventurous eater; I moved around a lot as a kid and had a foreign-born health nut for a mother, so my childhood diet was highly varied. Then we moved back to my dad’s hometown (Heights shoutout, Mr. Ruhlman!), and my new friends considered my eating habits very strange — they largely preferred grilled cheese sandwiches, chicken fingers, and various other blandly nonoffensive items. I cooked a lot in high school, and more often than not my friends would only pick at what I made, rejecting it with comments like “I don’t eat fruit and meat together” or “I don’t eat .” In short, they were unwilling to try.

    Then we went to college and beyond. People studied abroad, went to Peace Corps, went to professional programs and networking events where chicken fingers were not a menu option. And then they started asking me for recipes, for advice, what different things meant — in short, they were asking me for help. And they’ve even started to admit that, back in high school, it was their palates (or their staunch unwillingness to broaden them) rather than my food that was problematic…

    The moral of the story? What pisses ME off, as a foodie, is gastronomic narrow-mindedness. Yes, the lunch I had at French Laundry was probably the best meal of my life, but that doesn’t mean the In-N-Out burgers I love aren’t good too — they’re not as good, but then, they serve a different function, and I can afford to eat them much more often than once in a lifetime. Conversely, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying grilled cheese and chicken fingers if you’re also willing to have a go at pho or tartare or whatever vegetable you don’t like.

    It’s not about being exclusive or condescending; it’s about recognizing and seeking quality and excellence, in all its manifestations. There is zero shame in that, nor is there any shame in choosing particular areas to focus this purported snobbery; whether in food, design, consumer electronics, art, literature, music, whatever — why does the recognition of quality have to be held against an individual? So Mr. Ruhlman went to the Cheesecake Factory to meet friends and had a shitty lunch. Who wouldn’t rather have a meal with friends that involved good food? How is that wrong?

    As others have pointed out, it’s not an either/or situation; either you’re an elitist food snob or you eat anything. I’ll try anything, but I won’t like all of it. Caeser salads can be done well, burgers and hot dogs can be done well, and high-end concept cuisine can be a poorly executed mess. What matters most is that an individual is willing to try, to really try, to fully taste… and if it’s bad, it’s bad. Being able to distinguish one from the other isn’t a flaw, nor is the willingness to express one’s opinion on the matter.

  • the serrach

    i think the boneless skinless chicken breast itself is the proper emblem of american dining – whether it’s in a salad or not (setting aside junk food of course). the BSCB is devoid of character, or flavor or soul and is lopped into all manner of dishes in order to make americans feel better about eating vegetables (i guess).

    it is meat for meats sake and brings virtually nothing to any dish it touches while giving the devourer the silly notion that they are eating “healthy.”

    that said, why in the hell would you go to cheesecake factory? and what else would you expect?

  • Bob delGrosso

    Any dish that is as easy to reduce as a Caesar Salad and still have it look like what it is supposed to be is going to become tedious if it grabs the imagination of cooks and the public.

    When this happens it is not the dish that is offensive but it’s endless replication coupled with the reasonable expectation that most times you order it, it will suck. Many of us are as tired of seeing balsamic vinaigrette or mesclun on a menu as we are Caesar Salad or chicken Caesar Salad for that matter. Why? Because most of the time these dishes are lousy.

    And what about tomato sauce? I dare anyone here to say that they don’t quiver 3 out 5 time they see
    marinara sauce on a menu. Or Alfredo sauce for that matter -which really is not supposed to be a sauce at all but rather a way of treating pasta.

    Understanding why this is, does not take more than the recognition that very few foods can withstand the effects of endless repetition by often lousy or careless or cheapskate cooks, restaurateurs and food factory owners. It’s that simple, I think.

    Finally, I think that this post has got nothing to do with snobbery or anything other than boredom and angst over the prospect of having to see or eat another lousy version of something that should be very easy to make well, but almost never is.

  • Jennie/Tikka

    Maura –

    Thanks for your post…that’s a great response. In response, allow me to clarify just a bit.

    Some of you know me and what I have been doing since I graduated culinary school. I’ve chosen to feed people who are either experiencing a disaster (i.e. the general public) or who are participating in getting a disaster under control (i.e. the fire department, etc.). I am responsible for cranking out large portions of mostly cafeteria-style food for people to eat while the fire is burning, the rain is coming down on their flattened houses, and the water is still 5 feet deep at their favorite market. Sometimes we can’t do that and the best we can give people is fast food, p b & j’s, or in worst case scenarios – military M.R.E. packaged food. In each case people are grateful for whatever they get. Likewise I too am grateful because I eat what I serve to people.

    But when I get the chance and we have the resources available – we make improvements to the menu. In some cases I’m able to put pretty decent/culinarily acceptable food on the table. Sometimes, I have a choice between really great ingredients and really crappy ingredients (so I take the really good ones instead). When given the chance, I’ll eat in a good restaurant….which in my case (living in L.A.) involves me driving all the way north of San Francisco to The French Laundry. I’ll also, when the mood hits me, have a Tommy’s burger with chili-cheese fries and a Coke – because it tastes good. But I know when I eat that, that it isn’t the best that’s out there. And I know that not every meal has to be a culinary work of art. But I do want to know how to appreciate good food when presented with it.

    The point I’m coming around to is that there is no crime in understanding, in studying, in learning what is and is not good technique. I’m certainly not going to turn down a Big Mac in the middle of a category 4 hurricane if that’s all that around. But given a choice and all the other resources – I’m eating something else somewhere else. And when I eat that Big Mac I’m aware of how it could be made better. That’s all I’m getting at.

    An example. I recently cooked dinner for a fire department. They were preparing to have a dinner of plain spaghetti and ground turkey, no sauce. I offered to make them prime rib instead. Should they have said, “No thanks – we don’t eat that!” and sent me away? Should they have lectured me on food snobbery and eaten their dry pasta instead? Nope. They were grateful to have something good they weren’t expecting. So it is in other situations. Something good (which is better than the daily normal fare) is put before someone – should they send it back because it isn’t what they usually eat??

    The better things in life will come to those who appreciate them. They will avoid those who disdain them.

  • Claudia

    Of course, my good bud Jennie just articulated what I was thinking about the good things in life – but I didn’t want to sound like an elitist swine saying it.

    OK, so I’M an elitist swine – I’ll ‘fess up. And now I crave a good Caesar – WITH the anchovies, not the wussy version. Bring it on. While I wish everyone had access to and appreciated truly great “foodie” food, prepared correctly, with care, pride and good ingredients (and handling), I certainly wouldn’t begrudge anyone their favorite dirty water dog . . . or mac n’ cheese . . . or whatever.

    And I think that’s the real point of the great CC debate – it’s not about Chicken Caesar as a food item, per se, but the bastardization of Caesar to the point it’s not really Caesar. The ubiquitious Caesar we see now usually lacks two of its major ingredients (the egg and the anchovies), and a MAJOR dumbing down of the garlic – compounded with a psychopatically insousciant recklessness towards the lettuce. While I totally sympathize with those whose food choices are predicated by what’s available in the neighboring food court (because you KNOW what real Caesar – or, fill in the food blank – should be), the truth is –

    we get crap because we accept crap.

    To quote Pinter (Chicken Soup with Barley): “They want the third rate? Then bloody hell – they get the third rate!”

    The problem is, it leaves the rest of us with the same oleogenous fructoseness of the Caesar dressing, anaemic iceberg lettuce, refrigerated croutons and, of course, vulcanized rubber chicken.

  • Jay Shoogins

    Pinter quotes? Adjective flares like anaemic & vulcanized? Adjectivizing a noun (fructoseness)to make the masses seek a food movement?

    I must start a blog to ingest all this grammatical and foodilogical indifferiantial anticipational way of life…ical.

    Fat guy – Little Coat

    Coming soon on blogspot if I have time to verb nouns and adjectivize prepositionals.

  • Jennie/Tikka

    The very first Caesar salad I ever had was prepared correctly – tableside – anchovies and raw eggs included, in a nice restaurant. I think I was 10.

    It was courtesy of my best friend’s parents, who had the courage to quit their jobs and start a business in their dining room (with 3 children dependent on them). They were able to turn that kitchen into a two story office building they had built to their specs, and a couple million dollars a year income 5 years later.

    They (and that salad) have always been an inspiration to me of how we are largely in control of our destinies. Prior to that, they were scraping by with Taco Bell and boxes of Mac ‘n’ Cheese while they started their business. But because they didn’t indulge defeatest attitudes, and knew their worth, and were smart, they succeeded.

  • FoodPuta

    I suppose next, you’re going to act like the Taco-Salad, isn’t traditional Spanish?

    Where does this all end Mr Ruhlman?

  • Suzette

    Although it’s been pointed out before, I do bemoan the death of the Real Caesar Salad. Caesar salad is one of my top three favorite dishes in the world, and I almost never order it in a restaurant anymore. More than 9 times out of 10, it’s romaine lettuce, croutons, bad Parmesan cheese, and ranch-type dressing. That, my friends, is not a Caesar salad.

    For a while, I tried to gauge whether or not I should order it by asking if the salad contained anchovies. I’ll never forget the time I asked this question (in a fairly nice restaurant) and the waitress replied, with a beaming smile, “Oh, NO!”

    A few restaurants know what a Real Caesar Salad is (like the chain Morton’s), but I, as others have posted here, usually just enjoy it at home.

  • Claudia

    Jay, on this board, you can adjectivize your nouns and split your infinitives all you want. Just be careful about dangling your participles. THAT might alarm some people.

  • Anthony

    The only fault I can find with American Cuisine, is that us patrons continue to eat it. We’re not the ones drafting up the menus or skimping on the ingrediants. There’s nothing I’ve ever eaten in a restaurant no matter how high and mighty the chef was that I can’t make better at home. Given what I’ve seen on TV and read about chefs, it amazes me that someone can question the general palates of America while holding up the pickled, chemically processed, and thoroughly smoked palates of our “celebrity” chefs as the standard for all of us to aspire to. Heat’s a cliche, bubbas. And the only reason you need that heat is so there’s something that tastes strong enough to get through all the shit you’ve done to yourselves over the years.

  • 5%Celery

    Let’s talk about Tuna Tartare on EVERY menu in Los Angeles. First it must be said that tuna tartare is the upscale restaurants way of using the left over tuna. Sure it’s a natural use of the left overs–natural because so many diners have no imagination. That is the problem that lies with the caesar salad. You mention the consistency issue–seems to me that if a menu is not written well, it is hard for the diner to imagine the taste of a particular dish–so they go with what they know. I agree that chicken caesar salad is the unfortunate winner of the much needed title of American cusine–but let’s put them blame where the blame lie; with lazy chefs and unadventurous eaters.


  • Doug

    Let’s dispense with the useless snobbery, and remember how the original Caesar came about – a cook (last name, Caesar) in a Tijuana restaurant frequented by Hollywood types in the 1920’s was asked to fix something different for the celebs. He grabbed a bunch of stuff left over in the kitchen and threw it together in a salad – stale bread, garlic, Romaine, Worcestshire, some grated cheese, and raw eggs (No Anchovies, mind you – that was added later).

    It was the antithesis of the overly planned, narrow minded foodie approach which insists there is only one way to prepare and eat food. If Caesar had some chicken handy that night, he would have thrown that in, too. Or clams, or moose or whatever.

    get over it.

  • Jen on Oahu

    Assaggio in Mililani, Hawaii does it right. Tableside, perfect flavor. Now, why does my recipe end up so damn peppery tasting? I don’t even use pepper!

  • Tracy

    My first thought is: You are putting down chicken Caesar salad and the people who enjoy it yet YOU are eating at CHEESECAKE FACTORY! Isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black?? You need to get over yourself and realize that we are all well aware that you are simply riding the coattails of REAL chefs.

  • Michael Moss

    Why in the world were you you eating at a Cheesecake Factory? Pure shit food, why bother? Was it research?

    Mr. Ruhlman, on another topic can you talk to your buddy Bourdain and ask him the name of the sushi restaurant in the Roppongi district of Tokyo he mentions in Kitchen Confidential?