foie

Warm chocolate chip blondie at Euclid Hall in Denver, CO.

September has always felt like the actual start of the year so, after a long hiatus from this space, I return. I began blogging in 2006 after Megnut invited me to post on her site. Blogs mushroomed then, spawning numerous books and even a movie. Now, I’m not sure where they are or who reads them. Am I wrong in thinking that there are fewer now and that people are spending their time reading more established sites such as Serious Eats, The Kitchn, and Food 52?

I’ve been through a tumultuous year. I and Donna, my wife of 25 years and the photographer of so much on this site and in books, have divorced. I reside, at least for now, in New York City’s West Village. I’ve completed my next book, about grocery stores and the buying and selling of food in America. I’ve helped to launch a Charcuterie App and am a part of another app, Simple Feast, both subscription-based, which I think is the future of apps as people recognize, in a sea of apps, what’s valuable and what’s not and also appreciate the time and effort that goes into making ones of quality and usefulness.

But what’s to become of this space in my new life? I think I’d like to return it to the original idea of the blog, or the web log, an online journal. For instance, I just returned from a fabulous trip to Denver, where I ate at impressive restaurants and felt what a vibrant food town that city is. Euclid Hall‘s amazing beef short rib kielbasa, one of the best sausages I’ve had in a long time, and their fabulous dessert, pairing hot seared foie gras and vanilla ice cream (above); Colt & Gray and its excellent dry-cured meats (and Island Creek oysters!); a fascinating Octopus “mortadella” at Stoic and Genuine  (run by chef Jen who also heads Euclid Hall and two others), fabulous chile at Appaloosa Grill, and a last-minute find, The Butcher’s Bistro, a perfect liver pate by Tyson Holzheimer, delicious charcuterie, great steak frites, great all-around meat destination.

And I’ll also write about what I’m cooking, when I’m not traveling, as I try to find a new cooking style necessitated by a tiny Manhattan apartment and solo dining.

And, of course, I’ll vent when necessary, as I move into this new life. Thanks, all, for reading.

Update 9/17/16: I’ve been off my site for so long I didn’t realize I now have to approve comments. I was a little surprised not to get a single response! Sad face. And then I looked on the WordPress site and saw the backlog. I’m kind of undone by the sudden outpouring. I’m very grateful to all of you. (And social media folks should read Elise’s comment—fascinating data, thanks Elise.) Glad to be back in the world.

 

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© 2016 Michael Ruhlman. All rights reserved.

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64 Wonderful responses to “Web Log 2.0”

  • Angela Alaimo

    Good morning, Michael!

    That’s a lot of change. Please keep writing here, it will probably be good for you. And I’ve missed reading them.

    And you can come up for dinner sometimes.

    A

  • thimes

    sorry to hear about the divorce . . . I hate platitudes so I’ll just leave it at that.

  • Tim Smith

    I tend to spend time reading the individual sites of the folks whose recipes and stories I’ve come to appreciate. The bigger established sites I don’t frequent often. So I’d appreciate your stories and recipes continuing here.

  • Tim Abel

    Michael,

    I have read or browsed your writings over the years and have enjoyed your writing very much.

    I’m sorry to hear of your divorce

    Best of luck to you and your former wife and your children.

  • Andy

    Great to see you back in the blogosphere! But also saddened to hear of the news of your divorce. Take care of yourself Michael.

  • Debby Teicher

    Sorry to hear about the sad changes in your life. I hope that your friends and family who love you will help lift your spirits. And your readers/fans…of course…hard to be “there” for a person you only know via the web and TV appearances, but please know that we are.
    May this coming year be one of joy, fulfillment and blessings for you.

  • Karin

    Welcome back, you have been missed. So sorry for the sad endings. As you are finding, it offers a chance for new beginnings. Looking forward to reading you with regularity again.

  • Elise

    Hi Michael,
    Here’s what you’ve missed:
    1. 60% of blog reading is being done on a phone (why you need a mobile friendly site, and larger type), 20% on tablet, 20% on desktop.
    2. 80% of digital advertising is going to Facebook, which is focused on promoting video.
    3. For this reason everyone is making videos. Already 55% of all web traffic is video.
    4. Readers don’t go directly to blogs anymore. They expect to find your work where they are, on social media—Instagram, FB. And if it’s interesting, they’ll click through.
    5. People are building amazing followings solely through social media, with no blog at all, and are able to do quite well through sponsorship.
    6. The younger generation seems to be hell bent on becoming Internet celebrities.

    Welcome back! Love you!

  • Heather

    I am delighted to hear that you plan to return to the blog (and I hope your life evens out happily). I’m an old fart and prefer blogs to the more established sites (although I do dip in those you listed) because I prefer the consistency of a single voice and viewpoint – and, obviously, can self select the writing I enjoy.

    Cheers

  • Kevin Boyer

    Sorry to hear your year has been rough. Best wishes with the “new life”, and looking forward to reading what you have to say.

  • phanmo

    Sorry to hear about your divorce.
    Food blogs are still on my regular reading list, but I have to admit that they don’t elicit as much anticipation as they used to.

  • Gary G

    Welcome back, Mike. Looking forward to more than 140 character musings and recipes. -Gary

  • Julie

    Dear Ruhlman — Please keep blogging. I enjoy it so much and have missed your more frequent posts. Food52, etc. doesn’t even come close to what you do in terms of life enhancing information. I ate at Citizen Pie today because of you and make great cranberry sauce because of you, too. I still love how you RAGED about the column about family dinners awhile back and how you RAGE in favor of salt, fat, and booze and get in trouble for cooking broth almost indefinitely at extremely low temperatures. Who does that? No one. I am very sorry to hear that you have had a tumultuous year. Sending good vibes your way from Cleveland, Julie

  • Allyn

    Welcome back. You have been missed. It’s been a tumultuous year for me, too, but in a good way . . . you just never know what life is going to throw at you. Look forward to your continued posts!

  • Joell Abbott

    Blogs are still very much read. Many people are making a living off of them and teaching others how to do them in fact.

    I am sure all the followers of your blog would love to see new posts.

    Glad you enjoyed Denver, my stomping grounds 🙂 There is some amazing food things going on locally.

    Sorry to hear about the divorce. I wish both of you all the best in your new lives.

  • Mike

    Whenever you go, we will be. Thank you for the update. I still embrace the Web Log ideal and know you fill it well. Keep on doing what you do. It’s the voice we come back to. Venting included! To the future!

  • Stephanie

    Welcome back. I will be reading if you are writing! Sorry for your life troubles, hopefully all works out in the long run.

  • Monty

    Sorry to hear of the horrible news, hope you are doing OK. Missed the blog activity but understandable. Take care of yourself, worry about the rest of us in a distant 2nd.

  • Bob

    It’s hard to crank out content on a consistent basis. My own blog tended to be commentary on news and politics, but after five years, I found it increasingly more difficult to keep up the pace.

    Best of luck with whatever you decide.

  • Luke

    As a long time blog lover, and appreciative reader of your thoughts, anything you want to share here is of value – to you, at minimum. Thanks.

  • Jeremiah

    Thank you for doing what you do! Ive been reading your blog since its inception. I own all of your books. I went to culinary school in 2001 as a direct result of the French Laundry Cookbook and The Soul of a Chef. I had always loved to cook but those two books pushed me to pursue my love for cooking into a profession. Ive missed you here for sure. Those big cooking websites have no soul. I cherish your site along with all of the other blogs written by individuals. Thank you and keep it up!

  • Bethia

    I speak for myself but I still read blogs by people I find interesting and admire. Some of the bigger sites post too frequently so it’s nice to follow bloggers who post once or twice a week (or less) with thoughtful personal content.

  • Ronda Colavito

    Michael, I just got “How to Braise” in the mail today. I’m actually quite good at braising. But, Fall is in the air -even in Northern California – and this book has been on my list for a while. So, I was just about to crack it open, when I decided to visit your website. So sorry to hear about your divorce. My heart goes out to you and Donna. You’ll be in my thoughts.
    R. Colavito

  • Erin

    I’m so sorry to hear about you and Donna, but I’m glad you’re back to blogging. Looking forward to hearing about your new adventures!

  • Rachele Spencer

    A few things….

    First of all, it is good to read that you’re returning to blog-land. I enjoy your posts immensely, and have missed your musings and instruction since you’ve been gone.

    Regarding your divorce…Wow. I wish an equal share of sympathy and congratulations to both you and Donna, as well as your children. Sympathy for the hard times you have, no doubt, experienced and will continue to experience, but congratulations and best wishes for the new chapter in your lives. I hope that you are all doing well, and wish your family the very best as you continue to navigate this new journey together and separately.

    I am a lifelong Clevelander, and always have my eyes peeled for a Ruhlman siting around town. I’ve never had the pleasure, and am sad that you’re not here anymore.

    With regards to the popularity of blogs…I think that you’re right and wrong. I was and continue to be an avid reader of them. Originally, I found them to be very refreshing in comparison to magazines that were constantly trying to sell me. Bloggers shared their talents with the world, and it was an opportunity to connect with *real people* that hadn’t sold out to the marketing predators. They were doing something because they were passionate about it, and had something to bring to the table.

    But the marketers found the bloggers credibility with their readers irresistible, and this ruined 75% of the blog experience for me.

    Make no mistake; I am on board with people making money. But when the hairstylist that taught styling tips on her blog quit her job styling hair in the real world in favor of lifestyle blogging, she lost her daily experiences in real life that inspired her creativity and gave her fresh content everyday. When the career person who gained credibility by making more wardrobe with less shopping quit her job in the real world to devote time to her blog and now features a brand new outfit everyday valued, on average, at $900 to $1,200 head to toe (accessible to her only because of her “relationships” and “collaborations”), she has lost credibility and has turned into the same marketing machine that had originally empowered her to try to make more out of less in the first place.

    These bloggers have sold out, and blogging did not empower them to be better versions of themselves. They now appeal to those who mindlessly follow them and compliment them. I’ve moved on.

    Cooking blogs, however, are an entirely different story. While there are a few whose circumstances fit what I describe above, the best ones are still going strong and seem to be making money, and I anxiously await new posts. It would seem to me that this is because you all were able to monetize your blogs and keep doing what made you popular in the first place. Not only that, but you’ve all increased your skills and creativity along the way and have made connections and fostered relationships that have enhanced what you do. Folks like you, Deb Perelman, Clotilde Dussolier and David Lebovitz have made it big and have tremendous followings, but because you’ve remained true to yourselves, I do not feel like I’m being “sold to” and even hope that you’re all very well compensated for what you do. I do enjoy Serious Eats and Food 52, but I prefer individuals’ blogs.

    Rant over. Welcome back.

    Rachele

  • hng23

    Good to see you back, I was starting to think you’d given the blog up. I prefer personal blogs rather than the established sites when I’m reading about food. The big sites feel rushed & busy & too impersonal. I’m looking forward to reading your future posts.

  • Arlene

    Michael,
    As you have been here for us – teaching and guiding, we are here for you. Looking forward to your posts.

  • Derek

    I’m sorry to hear about your year. It seems like it’s been rough for everyone lately.

    I’m still here reading blogs. From my experience, it’s the bloggers, not the blog readers, who have gone away. I used to check your site, Carol Blymire’s sites, and the Amateur Gourmet obsessively. With the trickle of posts at the blogs I latched onto growing ever slower, I forget to check most of the time. I’m not familiar with the other sites you mentioned, so I guess I’m just a dabbler. In any event, I’d love to see you post more often.

  • Allen

    I’ve tried three times to comment on this, but knowing how you read everything and your such an inspiration on writing and words, I deleted each attempt. Nothing felt right.
    I guess I mainly want to send love and thanks to both you and Donna for all you’ve done, and wish you both the very best.
    We all change constantly, we grow – sometimes in different directions, sometimes apart. Sometimes that’s for the better. Wishing you both the best.
    Warm regards – A

  • Jonathan

    Glad to have you back on the internets.

    Serious eats, etc. are a different thing than what you are writing. Lots of great content, but it’s about click bait…what interests me…instead of what interests you.

    What sort of keyword driven writing ever stood the test of time?

  • janet

    Was wondering what happened since you haven’t posted for a while. Wishing you all the best and as always looking forward to your blog. Glad you are back!

  • Alex Deighton

    I’m very sorry to hear of your tumultuous year, Michael. All the best for the future. Warmest, Alex

  • Dawn B

    I, too, am in the midst of a divorce. Cooking for one can be challenging on so many levels — cooking and eating, for me, have always been so communal. So as I rebuild a new life, I’m trying to find new inspiration in the kitchen, as well. Here’s to a future filled with good food and good times, for each of us. Cheers, Dawn

  • pam seiffert

    Sorry to hear about your change of marital status.
    I do read your blog along with the others you mentioned. I have missed it, but I kept checking back. Welcome back. Pam

  • Victoria

    You have been missed.

    Best of luck to you – and to Donna, who gave us many wonderful photographs.

    Hope you stick around here; I’m looking forward to hearing about the adventures in your West Village Kitchen.

    You can run down to Murray’s and Faicco’s in the blink of an eye and plop down at the bar at I Sodi and eat an amazing meal, not to mention Pearl or Mary’s! You can go to Di Palo’s and hang out with Lou and Marie and Sal. What about Salexby Cheese? Soooooo many good places!

  • Darre

    Sorry to hear about the divorce. Having been through it myself last year I can sympathize. My last two years have taken me away from some things that were in my life. Reading, mainly. And coming to this site and others I’d frequented. And in the months leading up to the divorce my cooking suffered too. Those damn emotions can derail everything. But thankfully things equalize and new routines appear and slowly those old hobbies come back to life. Glad to see you back posting.

  • Kiara

    Can’t wait to hear your thoughts again. Life is hard, but it marches on. Great food, cocktails, and writers make it a bit easier to bear. I find all three here.

  • Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.)

    Michael, happy to see you back here, sorry you’re sharing sad news. I’d welcome a return to the “old days” of (we)blogs myself – it feels a bit like the wild west these days. I’ll be here, reading and looking forward to your next post.

  • terri

    I’m sorry about your divorce.

    Welcome back to blogging–I’ve missed your voice here.

  • Tim Abel

    While I’m sorry to know the reasons for the move, I think it will be VERY relevant to your readers to read what you write about developing a modified – new cooking style “necessitated by a tiny Manhattan apartment and solo dining” ….

  • David Owen

    I was draw to your writing in its quality of delight in human refinement involving skills and lore that are rich in intelligence and tradition – presented in a manner that evokes a best-friend telling me abut his wonderful experience with zero posturing-filter.
    It was no leap at all to go from wooden boats to French Laundry – same relief to hear of good people doing good things.
    it’s a kind of ineffible thing but it’s real and you got it. I was getting lost in marketing and product.
    I wish you all the best; if you are writing, hopefully in continuing to help us readers in a scary world, with encouraging quality mind-samplings of civilized human endeavour and a sense that well-being is not lost.

  • vambino

    Glad you are coming back and wish you well. I have followed your blogs from the beginning and both enjoy what you say and how you say it. I first knew you through print and I guess I am a fogey but still an aficionado of the the word, in print or online.
    I have experienced the life changes you mention, and no matter the ‘reasons’ the effects are challenging. Good luck and I will continue to be a follower and internet friend, all with the many others.

  • witloof

    Oh, my gosh, what a shock, I actually gasped and shrieked when I read that you and Donna had split up. I am so sorry.

    Re: established sites. I haven’t visited Serious Eats in years unless it was to click on a link to a recipe there. When they expanded and Adam Kuban left the quality went down tremendously. I most emphatically did not want to read pieces entitled “We Sample Every Item on the Menu at the Times Square Pop Tarts Store .” I still love single person blogs like Smitten Kitchen, Orangette, and Tipsy Baker.

    My clinic is in the West Village, so perhaps I will run into you someday at Murray’s or Citarella.

  • Brian

    Sorry for the rough times,but looking forward to what comes next. huge fan of your writing including boats.

  • Mary H.

    I was so thrilled to have come across this blog recently. I find myself reading blogs more than other content and am happy to find ones that are well thought out, well written and of course interesting. Yours is all that and more. I am so sorry about your divorce; a lot of us have been there. I am really looking forward to hear about cooking for one in a small kitchen, especially to get good tips from a chef such as yourself. Really have enjoyed your shows with Anthony Bourdain. Could you do more of those?

  • Matt

    Sorry to hear about your divorce, but glad to have you back. I’ve missed reading you. I’m sure you have plenty of friends in NYC, but if you ever want a home cooked dinner (or a demo of how to cook in a small kitchen), I only live a few subway stops away.

  • Lisa Klefos

    Michael,
    So glad you are back. I wish you a happy future! Will you be featuring a Friday cocktail?

  • Maggie Orchard

    But….but….your beautiful house:(

    PS Laurie Colwin’s excellent book Home Cooking has wonderful descriptions of cooking in a tiny space…bet you’ve already read it. Best of luck.

  • Michael Trippe

    Hey Michael – Yours is the first in my list of ‘Bookmarks’ under Food on my computer. I visit your blog regularly and, quite frankly, was sort of bummed to see your recent lack of new content. Glad to have you back.

    Unfortunate – your recent life changes – hopefully everything works itself out…

    Keep on blogging cuz I’ll keep reading.

    Thanks

  • Michael Smith

    Michael – SO BUMMED about the divorce. Never easy no matter how one looks at it. Give our best to your family and looking forward to more of your writing and app dev. Cheers my man.

  • Darya Rose

    You were missed, it is great to have you back. I’ve recently found that find writing and reengaging with my community has been great therapy after some difficult times. It’s nice to feel the love. Cheers from Brooklyn.

  • Melissa

    I’m really sorry to hear about the divorce…have been there. I hope the move to NYC allows you a fresh new start (even if it’s just “for now”). I just moved here a year ago and it and my therapist have done a lot for my mental health. Plus, now it’s fall and full of possibility. 🙂

  • Swampyankee

    I’m really sorry about the divorce. Sending all kinds of positive energy your way. Elise is right about the mobile platform; you can give Serious Eats a run for the money. Take care.

  • Justin

    Sorry ’bout the divorce. I wanted to respond to the question about the shift from food websites.

    I loved well written, curated food websites. Used to spend an hour a day, at least, browsing them and blogs. Slowly the food websites became harder and harder to enjoyably browse, pop-up ads, scroll over ads, weird formatting designed for phones but making for a crap computer experience and other changes made the time I spent on the feel like trying to walk through mud. Now I check them out maybe once a month. Just a thought for whatever you do next, monetization is essential but don’t make the user experience terrible.

  • Kathy Brennan

    Hi. I’m sorry to hear about your divorce. Am glad you’re “back”, though. Would love to finally get together for that glass of wine. Now that you’re in NY, it should be easier. Keep on cooking!

  • Kate Mandler

    A loss is a loss- no way around it. Thank you for the joy both you and Donna have brought throughout the years. I still have her beautiful egg picture hanging in my kitchen- and I have you to thank for that!

  • Gina

    You are a beautiful and lyrical writer. I am not surprised at the life changes as it was apparent in your writing. I wish you well and look forward to seeing you evolve. Best wishes for you and your family and thank you for sharing your time, energies and talent. Can’t wait to see what you do next!

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