Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman

Long enamored of black and white, my wife and collaborator has been working on a series of food shots featuring not food so much as the color of food. If you like her work, let her know, spread this link on facebook or twitter, or have a look at her gallery at

This last one reflects where we’ve been. Florida at the height of citrus season.  Great weather for the first time in a decade, excellent lunch at Cafe Morada, jaw achingly chewy conch fritters at Alabama Jack’s, an excellent meal at a new place on Palm Beach (my mom’s a real estate agent at Sotheby’s there) at Buccan, and delicious and genuine daiquiris at Nick and Johnny’s watching Duke’s final win (sigh).

Back home and will resume posting Monday (thinking stock more on stock, thanks to Twitter)!

As ever, I’m grateful to all who come to this site, especially those who comment and keep the conversation lively! Thank you!

Want more food writing? Have a look at some of my books:

  • For deep forays into the world of professional cooking, my “Of A Chef” series, The Making of a Chef, The Soul of a Chef, and The Reach of a Chef.
  • My opinionated essays on the basics of cooking and an equally opinionated dictionary of cooking terms: The Elements of Cooking, a steal for under $6!
  • A book that teaches the basics of cooking using proportions of ingredients rather than set amounts: Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking (it’s also a smart Phone App, watch the Ratio App video demo.
  • A lot of readers aren’t aware that I’ve written four general (non-food) non-fiction books: Walk On Water, about a surgical team that repairs complex congenital heart disease, a brutal, fascinating sometimes tragic account of fixing children’s malformed hearts; Wooden Boats, about a boatyard on Martha’s Vineyard and the people who build and sail plank-on-frame vessels, House: A Memoir, about buying a run-down, century-old house in one of America’s first streetcar suburbs, reflections on the importance of houses, homes, and living in a single place in our era of vagabondage; and Boys Themselves, a school story, a year at an all-boys school that is defiantly pro-single sex for boys.

Happy cooking, everyone!

© 2011 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2011 Donna Turner-Ruhlman. All rights reserved.


15 Wonderful responses to “Citrus”

  • Susan

    Amazing photo, Donna. Love the detail on the top of the orange half and the back lighting on the stained glass.

  • Jan

    I am loving Donna’s compositions as much as I love your writing, so thanks to both of you. Also, I have not thought of Alabama Jacks for many years, so thanks for the memories!

  • sarabeth levine

    Thrilling so see such beautiful photography. The citrus shot is really amazing. Love the lighting. In fact love this color series, not only beautiful to look and expertly composed, but an amazing concept to focus on food as pure color. Thank you for the eye candy!

  • Jedrick

    I am soooooo JEALOUS of you right now because you ate those conch fritters, I havent tasted one in YEARS!!!. I’m from the caribbean(Turks and Caicos Islands) and it’s a well loved treat. The photos are amazing.. Love the vivid colors…

  • Mark Prescott

    Great photos – I’m from the UK I’ve read your chefie books hundreds of times! These photos made me want to ask – citrus with chocolate. I think it’s horrible I don’t like the acid but chocolate with orange is so classic what do you think?

  • ruhlman

    I know a lot of chefs feel that chocolate and orange is cliche, but I love it. Hate chocolate-raspberry combo.

  • Susan

    Chocolate and sweet or sour cherries together tastes good to me..but that’s it! I do not like citrus with chocolate, at all. It makes the chocolate taste too acidic and harsh and the citrus taste bitter like it’s embedded with it’s pith.

  • Jake O

    This is amazing, as are all of Donna’s portraits I may have missed it during previous post, but what knives do you use? I have a Shun Bob Kramer, and it’s the only knife I’ve used that could produce such clean cuts. Whatever you used was sharp!

  • Abigail Blake

    Stunning photo, beautifully lit!

    Just curious – were the conch fritters supposed to be chewy? I ask because we cook with conch a lot in the islands and it’s all about getting it as tender as possible.

  • Mark Prescott

    Agree with you on chocolate and raspberry and even worse worse when it appears as a coulis! Would be an interesting post to hear your top ten food or recipe don’ts!

  • Maggie Downey

    Love the food photos. Backlighting on the citrus gives the shot an ethereal quality. And congratulations on your nuptuals! All the best to you both and many more happy times to come.

  • Caroljay

    MMMM….I just made a big batch of Seville Orange Marmalade last week, and that photo is the perfect illustration of my efforts. I am amazed at the quality of the citrus this year, from clementines to the afore-mentioned Sevilles – it has all been good. I am loving the lovely, color-drenched photographs!