Ruhlman’s “Ratios” Rules

2 10 2009

I had the flu for over a week (still not quite over it, but almost there). In the midst, sprained my ankle so bad I am still on crutches. Incredibly frustrated and pissy, what good could come out of this. Well, I got Michael Ruhlman’s new book the other day. Being a gimp-inclined sickie, I holed up in bed to read because that is all I could do. Uninterrupted reading time was available and served to distract my mind from the ever bothersome pain. I have read a lot of culinary books; school required curriculum, classics, trends, celebrity chefs and authors, related fields, etc. so I’ve usually seen whatever the flavor of that day is in one form or another before. I am also not inclined to use the blog space for promotion (I get no royalties, payments, etc.), but every so often something comes along that I think should be a part of everyone’s library; a must have/read. Michael Ruhlman’s new book, Ratios, is one of these books.

I am a big “foundation” guy. A strong solid base in the fundamentals have served me well in Medicine and Martial Arts. It’s an approach I bring to the Culinary Arts as well.  That’s why I love this book. The book has recipes, and good ones. As you can see from my links heading, I’m a big fan of Michael Ruhlman’s stuff. Yet, this book is key because it’s NOT about the recipes. It’s about learning important relationships in the form of ratios. It is a  part of what we call in the martial arts a “kihon happo” or a set of exercises that convey principles that form the basis of any more advanced technique.  Proverbially, it teaches you how to fish instead of what to do with a fish someone gives you. When it comes to acquiring incredibly useful things or enjoying wonderful experiences, I am one greedy bastard. I wish I had the opportunity to study martial arts a decade before I started, I wish I had met my wife 20 years before I got the opportunity to know her. And I wish I had this book a long time ago. If you’re serious about cooking; this needs to be in your Culinary Library. You can get it on his website (just follow the link) or check out our references page as well.

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