I did two promotional videos for my new book, one a general description of the book (love that that one has a shot of Donna photographing, and one about an idea I thought people might call me out on. Even my recipe tester/organizer/overseer, Marlene Newell, had issues with this.

Can food be a technique?

I say it can. A technique is an action that has multiple applications. So while yes, an egg is an egg, it’s also an emulsifier, a leavener, a binder, and enricher. Therefore using an egg can be considered a core cooking technique. Knowing how to use salt, is one of the chef’s greatest assets. Learning how to think about these foods as tools makes you a better cook.

Disagree? I’ve heard some gripes but nothing substantial. I’d love to read comments.

Ultimately, it’s a semantic issue. You can’t argue that when you know how to manipulate water in all its many forms, you aren’t a better cook. And would Seven Ingredients, Three Preparations and Ten Techniques been a good title? I don’t think so.

Twenty techniques: keep things simple.

Simplify, simply, simplify.

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