Well, they do and they don’t. Ruhlman’s Twenty surprised me by winning both an IACP award and a James Beard award this spring. The book’s editor, before the Beard ceremony, wrote, “The book is just unusual enough to break through all the other more standard cookbooks.” True, it is unique, a book organized by techniques rather than by types of dishes. I thought this was a liability in the awards department. Ratio was a completely original book, a book like no other, and was nominated for nothing. The French Laundry Cookbook I thought was truly unique, with its broad mix of story, Thomas Keller’s trajectory, but also the stories of his purveyors, its discussion of critical elements of his cooking (beurre monté, special tools such as the chinois and the tamis, butter poaching lobster), Deborah Jones’s exquisite photography, Read On »

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When your computer crashes, you find out just how precarious your life is without technology. None of yesterday’s work was backed up, so that’s what’s going on here! Today will be spent trying to restore what I can. Life will be normal again, I suppose, soon but not now. Thank goodness for good partners (viz Donna), wonderful assistants (thank you, Emilia!), and easy staple meals that you can count on, meals that are a breeze to prepare and a comfort to eat at the end of a frustrating day.   The following is a weekly staple dinner in the Ruhlman household, a simple beef stir-fry, published in Ruhlman’s Twenty, which happily just won both a James Beard award and an IACP award.   Wishing all a productive day and good food throughout (and don’t forget to back Read On »

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Twenty wins the James Beard Award, via San Francisco Chronicle!

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I had my first cocktail with an egg white in it at The Best Bar in the World, and it was a revelation. A Ramos gin fizz. The egg white gave it the kind of body I’d never felt. (And nutrition! If LA starlets can call an egg white omelet a meal, I can call my cocktail a meal!) I’ve since become a huge fan of what an egg white can bring to a drink. I even put the VTR Whiskey Sour in Ruhlman’s Twenty! Herewith the Friday Cocktail Hour a classic whiskey sour. It’s typically made with bourbon, and that’s fine, as is scotch. But after last week’s Manhattan, which used Old Overholt Rye, I had a rye on the rocks to evaluate it and was impressed by how dry it was relative to Read On »

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FINALLY!!! Ruhlman’s Twenty is back in full stock. The first 25,000 sold out within a few months of publication, so fast that Chronicle Books couldn’t push the reprint button fast enough. This delay, followed by a printing error, has kept the book unavailable for four months now! Killing me! But now it’s back in full force with one difference. People have begun to use it, and tweet successes, and facebook it. From Martha (on whom I developed immediate crush) to the Chicago Tribune to the LATimes, the reviews have been resounding. Here are some from amazon: The best review, was the very first, a video review by a woman named Becky, whom I don’t know but would very much like to meet! Others have written: I am a big fan of his books and his blog. Time and Read On »

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