—Now this is the kind of post that makes the heart  glad!  Yet another happy bacon story, inspired by Charcuterie, a book whose subtitle might be "changing the world through better bacon."  Thanks, Danielle!  You’re an inspiration!  (You asked for a bacon idea?  Finely chop your bacon, saute it, make maple ice cream and fold in the bacon, serve as a dessert on waffles or French toast.  Idea from the excellent pastry chef Cory Barrett–just ate it last night so it’s on my mind.)

—Where to find a good maple ice cream recipe?  David Lebovitz’s excellent book The Perfect Scoop, chosen by amazon as one of the 10 best of the year in food and cooking  (an inclusion I heartily agree with, click the "Best Books of 2007" on his Perfect Scoop page for other top ten lists).  Recipe page 48, omit the walnuts, replace with bacon!  (Elements of Cooking, I will add less humbly is in the top ten for both reference AND Food Lit, categories, a surprise and an honor).

—David has a great post on his blog on top 10 things you can do to improve your cooking, which mentions my book (thanks!), and my blog on elements of cooking (thanks!)—interesting thoughts on what everyone can do to make their cooking better.  Now here’s an idea for a chef-blogger meme, the five main things professional cooks do routinely that everyone can and should do at home.

—I spill many a glass of red wine at posh restaurants, and so I loved this post from Bruni on The Napkin of Shame!

—Last, Thomas Mulready, whom I met in Cleveland when he was running the amazing performance art festival (1988-1999) here, came over to my house to do video on me and the new book  to post on his innovative site, Cool Cleveland (he was recently at a Vegas blog conference speaking about it).  Cool Cleveland is technically an e-newsletter, but it’s really more like an online weekly tabloid-cum-connection center.  I said, Thomas, why don’t you bring the whole family, we’ll do the video in my kitchen which will promote the book, and I’ll cook us all dinner, and that’s what we did.  Here’s the link, runs about 10 minutes, shows my swank kitchen (which even makes me jealous, and I get to use it every day), discusses the difference between “chef” and “cook,” other cooks’ terms, cooking simple good food, and a recipe for a really bad cake.  My favorite line is from Mulready:  “Wow, all in one book.”  Mulready films the whole thing himself, holding his own camera and doing the interview.  Ever the performance artist.


39 Wonderful responses to “Bacon, Ice Cream, Napkins, Cleveland Performance Art”

  • paul

    Bruni’s comments onthe napkink of shame are really funny–why do restaurants make such a big deal out of the tablecloth–its rented -not to worry–well said Frank Bruni

  • JoP in Omaha

    It was fun to see Cory in the flesh on ICA. And it’s cool that his 6 AM Special has received notoriety in wider circles. Wish I could try it! (Well, I guess I could…at home, huh?)

  • Danielle

    Thanks for the mention and the recipe suggestion! I see you’re going to be at the Union Square B&N on the 3rd – I’m going to try to stop by and say hi then.

  • French Laundry at Home

    Great video, and I’m lusting after your kitchen. I’m slated for a kitchen reno next summer, so it’s great to see how others set up theirs. And, great recommendation to Danielle on the maple-bacon ice cream. I’m going to try and replicate VooDoo’s maple-bacon doughnut one of these days… and using homemade bacon would be an awesome addition.

    Safe travels…

  • Tags

    I can’t get over the sound quality of your video. What was the make and model of the video camera you were using?

    I’ve already added CoolCleveland to my Ruhlman Pool of Favorites. I also saw a PBS show this morning called “To Market To Market To Buy a Fat Pig” that saved the West Side Market for last. They had a guy named David Gentile holding an “impromptu auction” that the city employees who run the place frown on. It looks like a fun place to go.

  • IGIF

    Enjoyed the video so much. I’m not even a
    “cook” anymore due to health problems, age, finances, etc., but your blogs (and posters) help me to even more appreciate the foodie shows and blogs/articles that I can’t resist! Do any of your books eventually appear in paperback?? Y’all make me excited about cooking even if I don’t do much! Thanks again.

  • Doodad

    Hope you had a great Thanksgiving Michael. I made mine completely from scratch and finished the last of the turkey as gumbo with sausage with stock made from him. I actually got a second weaker stock as well that I made as an Asian base since it needed a kick start.

    The Napkin of Capitalized Shame was a hoot.

    And speaking of Cool Cleve, I did not know that Chef Boyardee gained his fame in your fair town. Fleeting apparently considering he adorns the Skyline chili of pasta dishes, but it is good to be remembered.

  • Vinotas

    Whoa, I’m gone for a few weeks and all of a sudden Rhulman gets all fancy on us? What is this world coming to?

    Actually, thanks for the link to that Charcuterie book. I just got back from Madrid and pigged out on Jamon Iberico, Lomo, Chorizos and plenty o’ pig.

    It was pig paradise.

    I will post a report soon with pictures of all the gorgeous legs hanging in some of the smaller butcher shops. Not to mention some of the dishes I ate.

  • Adele


    Let me add to the chorus about your kitchen — it’s fabulous. I enjoyed the video, and I must say, considering the company you keep, you look remarkably boyish and undissipated. I guess that’s youth, for you.

  • CalloohCallay

    Awesome video, once I figured out how to get it playing. CoolCleveland rocks! (I hate myself for saying that!) Your kitchen does too…I can’t believe that’s a _home_ kitchen. I also dug the other links…mmm, bacon! (I don’t know about bacon bourbon, though.) But I can definitely sympathise with receiving the NoS!

    Hope you and your family had a happy Turkey Day,


  • bsturner

    The 6am special is fantastic. My wife and I tried it at Lola a few weeks ago, and both loved it. We’ve been a couple times in the last few months, and every trip has been worth the drive.

  • Vincent

    I don’t know how you didn’t smack the camera man swaying a-la NY PD Blue! That guy had me wanting to puke.

    Great video of the kitchen and details of what you were actually cooking for dinner. The chicken fat actually penetrated the screen – color me greasy. Nice tomato set as well…I bet they tasted awesome.

  • Vincent

    I wanted to say awesome again.

    Awesome. Totally dude.

    On another note – Mikey…

    Your hair has it’s own area code bro

    Tone it back a bit.

    Anthony back me up on this please.

  • Db Sweeney

    Thoughs about FN cancelling Emeril Live?????

    “Emeril Live!,” the cooking show hosted by Emeril Lagasse that helped put Food Network on the map ten years ago, will cease production in two weeks, the cable channel confirmed on Monday.

    Mr. Lagasse will continue to host “Essence of Emeril,” a toned down version of his cooking show without a studio audience or band. Repeats of “Emeril Live!” will continue weekdays at 7 p.m. for the foreseeable future.

    Mr. Lagasse has been with the Food Network since it was introduced in 1993. In a statement today, the network said that he remained “an integral part of the Food Network family.”

    In 1998, The New York Times called Mr. Lagasse “the most influential cook on television.” At the time, “Emeril Live!” was also the network’s highest-rated show.

    When Mr. Lagasse signed a five-year contract renewal in May 2003, Food Network called him the “cornerstone of the network.” But today FishbowlNY, a New York media blog, reported that contract negotiations between Mr. Lagasse and the network’s parent corporation, E.W. Scripps, had broken down.

    Mr. Lagasse, known for yelping “bam!” while applying spices to food, usually tapes episodes of “Emeril Live!” two weeks of each month at Chelsea Market in New York City. The last episode will be filmed on Dec. 11.

  • Jim Dixon

    Another good use for bacon

    Corn cakes with bacon

    1/2 c corn meal
    scant 1 c flour (eg, a little less than 1 cup)
    1/2 t baking power
    1/2 t baking soda
    1 t kosher salt

    1/4 to 1/2 cup diced bacon, cooked until brown and slightly crispy

    combine dry ingredients, stir in bacon (and the fat, too)

    2 eggs, separated
    1 cup yogurt
    1 cup milk

    combine yolks with milk and yogurt, stir into dry ingredients but don’t overmix

    beat whites to soft peak stage, fold gently into batter

    heat skillet or griddle to low medium
    drop spoonfulls of batter onto skillet, cook until bubbles open on surface, edges beginning to dry, then flip and cook briefly on other side

    serve with butter and maple syrup

  • Kay

    Dave’s book certainly helped me perfect my custard cooking techniques to the point where I can finally deliver crystal-free ice creams from my crappy Kitchen-Aid freeze bowl, but his chocolate recipes are waaaaaaaaaaay too rich.

  • ruhlman

    i’m glad for emeril that he’s ending emeril live. he needs to spend more time with his family. and how long could it have gone on? it’s time for a new model. emeril is probably the most influential chef ever, from sheer numbers of people he brought into the kitchen. he’s a good guy, good boss and a good cook. i certainly wish him well and don’t think the news is surprising. end of an era, yes, surprising, no.

  • rmw

    you knew something was up when they took him off of prime time and put alton in…can they get rid of RR now…

  • Natalie Sztern

    don’t think i didn’t catch the football game on the tv in the background….and i thought i could buy a signed copuy of Elements via this site…so jow do i do that?

    ps along the way i discovered u once wrote a book on a childrens’ hospital or am I wrong

  • Vincent

    Totally agree with the Emeril comments – that man has had the FN leash on way too long. I remember “Essence of Emeril” when the intro song sounded like my son’s old crappy casio one handed keyboard was playing it. I imagine the creativity flow has finally come to a breaking point for him – when he got into Polynesian cuisine a few years back and it was (a bit) shunned (I think) it was the start of the end. He is a good chef, business man and person and needs some time for himself.

    Ruhlman, sorry about the hair quote. Chalk it up to a jealous Italian who has had too many ladies drop him for the flowing locks…HAHAHA!

    Also a question – the Half Price Books stores have copies of your books in the stores in the Dallas area – do you reap the rewards of these sales? I have bought copies for my staff over the years (making, soul, reach) and it didn’t strike me until today that you might not. Hope so – they are a great tool in the kitchen.

  • IdahoRocks

    Great video, but I wondered why the cameraman kept cutting off the top of your head….

    As a book dealer and book collector, I can only say that your books are far too close to the grease of the kitchen and eventually they will not retain either their original appearance or value. You might want to cover the bookcases with glass (after some time you may notice what the glass collects on its surface….).

    Be all that as it may, I enjoyed the video as I enjoy your books (which are not in my kitchen unless they’re the cheap paperback editions….)

  • Debbie

    I am glad they are ending Emeril Live. You could tell that for the last couple of years at least his heart just wasn’t in it. Half of the time he didn’t seem to have any idea what he was supposed to be making until he was out there. It was rather painful to watch. I would rather see him do a few targeted specials that he really cares about.

  • CaptainK

    I’m not so much worried about Emeril as I am about Doc Gibbs and the Emeril Live Band. Since its the only “live” show, where can they go other than maybe work for Sandra Lee as “Doc Gibbs and the Tablescapes”?

  • CDN Emeril Fan

    Those knuckleheads that run FoodNetwork Canada didn’t pick up Emeril Live for their schedule, opting instead to deliver a multitude of really low budget garbage shows. Man do I miss this guys show.

    I hope in future they reconsider, as even old reruns of How to Boil Water or Essence are way better than some of the cruddy CDN shows they try to highlight. US Food Network TV rocks, the CDN version blows.

  • Jennifer

    Wow! I’m planning on hosting a Sunday brunch soon. Bacon folded into maple ice cream atop homemade belgian waffles? It’s on the list now! Thanks!

  • jsw

    Waving the Charcuterie banner high and proud, that’s one of the many reasons I dig you, Ruhlman! If you’ve got an inclination, I’ve posted a write-up on a Relais & Chateau event held in DC last Sunday. Keller, Boulud, Splichal and Danko were all there. It was a hoot.

  • tr

    first i’ve seen your new site…but, I’m thinkin’…you should probably lose the perm hair pic…

  • Todd

    “Half of the time he didn’t seem to have any idea what he was supposed to be making until he was out there.”

    I think he tried to make it seem that way… very often, he ‘wouldn’t know what he was making’ but yet his mis en place was completely ready for him when he needed it.

    But I agree that his heart didn’t seem to be into it. I also wonder if health had anything to do with it — I recall the end of the TNFNS where he was visibly shaking. He doesn’t seem like the type to get stage fright any more.

  • Doodad

    A second with Todd, he looked awful at the Food Star finale. Like he was sick.

  • Claudia

    Well, I hope Emeril is OK, healthwise – he really is a nice man, and got my nephew into cooking years ago when he had kids in his studio audiences. He was especially nice to said nephew, on-camera and during commercials, and I have a lot more respect for him as a TV chef than a lot of the other dreckmeisters on FN.

    So . . . MarioWatch, Day 7 – looks like the big dawgs are being winnowed from FN, either by attrition or the corporate version of a “va fan’gool”? Both these guys seem to be leaving FN, yet not . . . quite . . . leaving . . .

  • sheila

    Michael, can’t WAIT to see you and Bourdain (the missing) next Monday @ B&N. Watch out for an Irish girl with a million things to say to you, but who will probably get tongue-tied at just wrong moment. Love your stuff.

  • Robert

    Last year at this time I was doing Applewood Smoked bacon Ice Cream. But I rendered the fat off first and added that to the egg and cream mixture. I think its great to see others putting this on their menus. Way to go Cory! Keep up the good work.

  • Walter Jeffries

    Eek! Bacon ice cream! I love them both but think I’ll keep them separate. Besides, as our kids commented this morning over scrambled eggs and bacon, it is the utmost of ironies that we can never get enough – after all, we’re pig farmers. There just isn’t ever enough bacon at breakfast so I don’t think any will make it to ice cream time… :}