Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman

I would of course be remiss in the eyes of my venerable publishers if I did not recommend my own books as being splendid gift ideas for the holidays. So herewith my not-so-humble descriptions of some of the books I’m most proud of.

My favorite and most useful cookbook, especially for young cooks, home cooks who want to get better, or parents who want to help teach their kids to cook, is Ruhlman’s Twenty: 20 Techniques, 100 Recipes, a Cook’s Manifesto. It identifies the twenty fundamental ideas, foods, and techniques required to cook just about anything. It won a James Beard Award in the general cooking category when it came out.

The egg is a miracle of nutrition, economy, deliciousness, and utility. There may be no more valuable food to the cook. So I wrote a book exploring its many uses: Egg: A Culinary Exploration of the World’s Most Versatile Ingredient. Its publisher, Little, Brown, also created a killer iBook to bring to life the innovative egg chart (which Ferran Adrià called “ingenious”) included in the hardcover version.

Little, Brown also publishes my short how-to books, focusing on technique, because technique is what cooking is all about. The first was Ruhlman’s How to Roast: Foolproof Techniques and Recipes for the Home Cook. Last spring How to Braise came out, and next spring you can look out for How to Sauté.

I’m glad to say that on its 10th anniversary, our book Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting Smoking and Curing is still considered “the bible” on the subject by chefs around the country. If you want more, my co-author, Brian Polcyn, wrote a second book called Salumi, all about dry-curing meats. I’m told that these are also some of the most stolen cookbooks in America.

Hanukkah has begun, so how about cooking some latkes in rendered chicken fat with onions? Check out The Book of Schmaltz: Love Song to a Forgotten Fat.

Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking and The Elements of Cooking: Translating the Chef’s Craft for Every Kitchen also strive to clarify and simplify the work of cooking.

For simply reading about the life and work of the chef: My most popular nonfiction seems to be The Soul of a Chef: The Pursuit of Perfection, closely followed by The Making of a Chef: Mastering Heat at the Culinary Institute of America, followed by The Reach of a Chef: Professional Cooking in the Age of Celebrity, each book about differing aspects of the endlessly fascinating, brutal, elegant, metaphor-for-life professional kitchen.

Also, I’m very proud to have published this fall my first fiction, In Short Measures: Three Novellas, each story about love and marriage in middle age, and of youthful love and lost love. Sorry, no food here, just love stories.



And, last but not least, a great stocking-stuffer is my essay-long memoir on How I Became a Food Writer Without Ever Wanting to Be One, a Kindle Single called The Main Dish, readable on any device via the Kindle app, including iPads and laptops.

Or, just go to my books page and browse—there are other nonfood, nonfiction books as well. Sadly, due to travel, I’m unable to fulfill requests for signed copies right now.

Thank you for indulging me here, but if I don’t sell these books, I don’t get to write them any more! Happy shopping, everyone!


The shopping links for the week:

© 2015 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2015 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.


10 Wonderful responses to “My Books”

  • Marc Lindhout

    Big fan, Michael, your pic sincerely lacks the book of schmaltz. Was reading it while hunting white tail deer in Michigan this A.M. I encourage you to continue your reach in informing the traditional approach to cooking. I have 5 books, all inspiring me to expand my reach in connecting people through food. To you and your family, comfort and joy!

  • Allen

    Plenty of reference to food and cooking in In Short Measures. I bought St Andre cheese and Googled restaurants. Each story had lots of cooking and food.
    Better than Bill O’reilly’ “Killing who ever the fuck”. Can’t believe it’s not on best seller, and the stuff that is.

  • John Padmore

    I have your charcuterie and now twenty. I am making soppressata for the first time and I have 2 questions. 1. My curing salt had turned yellow. Is it still ok to use? it OK to hang for more than 12 hours For the bacteria to form? Thanks…. Great books and love twenty.

  • ruhlman

    curing salt is inexpensive so maybe prudent to just buy some more. yes should be ok to hang more if properly made.

  • Kate

    ‘Soul of a Chef’ is such a beautifully crafted book and is an absolute favourite of mine. Have read it from cover to cover many times and find it inspiring and thought provoking each time.

  • Mark

    Love your writing, Sir. Own almost all of your stuff. Quick question: I have a venison hindquarter. Can I apply the same recipe/technique for ham/prosciutto you put forth in your book, Charcuterie, or do you recommend a different treatment? Thank you, Chef.

  • Bob

    Michael Ruhlman’s work does two things. First, it makes the art of cooking accessible by instructing readers in fundamental techniques. Second, it conveys the gestalt of joy and love that people who enjoy cooking feel when they’re in their element.

    You really can’t go wrong with his books as a gift item.

  • Marc Barringer

    Any chance of a poster version of the Egg chart? My wife would love it matted and framed.

  • Allen

    I’ve not heard any praise, or enough praise for In Short Measure.

    It’s filled with reference to cooking and food, has a great story of re kindled relationship.
    A very frightening Jhon Grisham type of story, I thought Mr Ruhlman had passed the bar exam, better than a Grisham book.
    Each story has lots of hot juicy sex. Like that great Lawrence Kasdan film Body Heat, hot, sultry, lusty, moist…grrrrr.
    Younger people probably only know Kathleen Turner from Dumb And Dumber Too. Back in the day, she was da shit, like this book.
    And a story that reminded me of my youthful Europe tour, and more sex.
    Take a break from the cooking stuff, it’s a surprisingly good book. I’m not a big reader, but I found it easy to get lost in, each of the 3 short stories. Just don’t let the kids read it.


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