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The Elements of Cooking:


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Anyone have an information regarding Michael Ruhlman's new book, The Elements of Cooking: Translating the Chef's Craft for Every Kitchen. I am just a big fan of his work.

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Co-authored by Bourdain.

Bourdain wrote the introduction. I don't think he's a co-author.

There isn't much information available about the book on the Simon & Schuster website yet. I assume the marketing push will come in August, at which point we'll know more.

I love this sort of book, which judging from the title is in the tradition of the 1992 book "The Chef's Art: Secrets of Four-Star Cooking at Home," by Wayne Gisslen.

Books about the fundamentals of cooking are, in my opinion, far more interesting than cookbooks. It will be interesting to read Ruhlman's take on the subject.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Co-authored by Bourdain.

Bourdain wrote the introduction. I don't think he's a co-author.

You're right, Steven! I just looked at it again and I must have read both names too fast. Too bad, though. That would be a fun read, I think!

I still am really interested in the book - the chef series made me realize that, however much I love cooking, I am, at best, a capable home cook and it also made my respect for those who are chefs simply soar higher than ever.

Kim

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actually, it's in the tradition of the Strunk & White classic, The Elements of Style. Elements of Cooking is an opinionated cooking glossary. Everything you need to know as a cook, according to me. Admittedly a presumptuous undertaking, but no one else had done it. so here it is. And I wrote eight uncommonly perceptive and elegant essays on the fundamentals of cooking. Granted as a prose stylist, I'm no eb white, and no doubt fat guy and steingarten and that miscreant russ parsons will gleefully skewer me with my own errors of fact logic and common sense. But basically this is the book I needed when i entered culinary school.

I want this book to be useful and i want people to argue with it.

...gosh posting on egullet...i'm kinda misty eyed with nostalgia.....

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I'm confused. Is it Strunk & White (rules about execution) or a glossary (a list of words and definitions)? Or both?

essays and a glossary of cooking terms and cooks terms, everything from "all day" to blanche to what does salted water mean.

inspired by strunk & white's elements of style.

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I'm confused. Is it Strunk & White (rules about execution) or a glossary (a list of words and definitions)? Or both?

essays and a glossary of cooking terms and cooks terms, everything from "all day" to blanche to what does salted water mean.

inspired by strunk & white's elements of style.

Hmm, I may need one of those, a style book for the kitchen.

Do you also assert that one must know the rules, before they can break them? I can see how cooking can break down to "usage" and "composition" as well, although you may have chosen a different tactic.

Sounds clever, and useful.

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Edited because I didn't read everything before posting...

Michael: Arguments, I'm sure you'll get -- on both style and substance. It comes with the territory when you launch a work into a knowledgeable crowd such as this one.

I still have my copy of Strunk and White from freshman year of high school, along with a more recent version.

Anne: "In order to break the rules properly, you must know them first" is a maxim I live by and advise any would-be writer at the outset. I wonder whether this maxim is as applicable to cooking.

--Sandy, donning padded suit to handle brickbats and vegetables

Edited by MarketStEl (log)

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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...gosh posting on egullet...i'm kinda misty eyed with nostalgia.....

I, for one, have missed your input and look forward to "Elements."

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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"Elements of Style" is one of those books I use all the time. I recommned it to people who ask me about writing books. I've given away so many copies you would've thought E.B. White was a relative.

Can't wait! This one is destined to be a classic!

Edited by rconnelly (log)
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  • 1 month later...
I want one. I want one. I want one.  Do I have to wait until November?

How have I missed hearing about this book? I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy.

You can preorder it - right now. Actually, I thought Elements might have less to do with Strunk & White in terms of style and/or substance, and more to do with it being a McGee for the home cook - but I'm just going to have to wait until 11/6 to find out (or until my pre-order arrives.) I'm intrgued, either way. And Bourdain wrote the introduction and did the illustrations for it? Lord help us! :laugh:
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I want one. I want one. I want one.  Do I have to wait until November?

How have I missed hearing about this book? I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy.

You can preorder it - right now. Actually, I thought Elements might have less to do with Strunk & White in terms of style and/or substance, and more to do with it being a McGee for the home cook - but I'm just going to have to wait until 11/6 to find out (or until my pre-order arrives.) I'm intrgued, either way. And Bourdain wrote the introduction and did the illustrations for it? Lord help us! :laugh:

Ok, count me in. I picked up The Making of a Chef yesterday and am about 50 pages in. Guess that will help until it comes out.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Got an advance copy of this the other day, I LOVE it! Of course, the essay writing is beautiful and the glossary is super-informative as well; taking the simplest definitions and giving them thorough explanations that show the care and consideration put into them. For example -

Clean: Perhaps one of the most important adjectives for food and kitches and also one of the most important verbs as well. Clean flavors are always to be pursued, flavors that most purely represent the food being cooked; clean also denotes a harmony of flavor pairings. Stocks are said to be clean when they are relatively clear and fresh. Sauces are said to be clean when they have been properly cooked and strained and used, and not muddy, old, gluey, or off, as they can become if not cared for.

Cleaning is among the most important activities in the kitchen. A common refrain among chefs is "always be cleaning". Keep your food clean, your stovetop clean, your work surfaces clean. The unusual and fascinating dynamics of cooking are such that cluttered or dirty surfaces work their correlative clutter into the food.

Clean is also a state of mind and a description of a cook's abilities, as in the phrase "working clean" - which means a cook not only looks clean and is keeping his or her work surfaces clean and organized, but is also working efficiently, is in control, no wasted moves.

**************************

I'm definitely getting a few copies for friends when it hits the shelves too!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Michael Ruhlmann's new book is hitting the stands and is available now at the usual online spots.

Sounds like this is more of a "How to speak food" than his usual journalistic insight of the inner workings of a chef. There is no question that Michael can write, has boundless entusiasm for food, knows a helluva lot of people in the industry and has the golden touch when it comes to taking on a variety of book projects. It will be no surprise that this book ends up in the hands of professionals as well as food enthusiasts.

Here is a summary of his blog press release...

• good reviews from friends, colleagues and the press

• lots of stops on his book tour (complete tour available unlike some other harder-to reach writers)

• some other interesting stuff .... and stuff

So happy together...

Michael Ruhlmann and Anthony Bourdain are so cute together, which is probably why Amazon is offering a great deal if you buy Elements of Cooking and No Reservations.

Pierre A. Lamielle

illustrator

Calgary, Alberta

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I am certainly going to get my hands on this one....

It's times like these that I find USPS especially infuriating... "Carrier notified to pick up package" for days on end! I want my book!! :angry: I pre-ordered the thing months ago... shoulda just bought it at a local store...

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I am certainly going to get my hands on this one....

It's times like these that I find USPS especially infuriating... "Carrier notified to pick up package" for days on end! I want my book!! :angry: I pre-ordered the thing months ago... shoulda just bought it at a local store...

I pre-ordered it through amazon and it arrived yesterday. I read through the first part of the book which is a bit of a description of some of the important fundamentals (stock making, properly seasoning, etc). The rest of the book is like a large glossary of terms.

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