I used to hate going on book tour, being away from family, more often than not sitting is some lonely barnes & noble that wasn’t even aware i was supposed to be there, and heading to the next soul killing hotel room.

Being on the road for Elements of Cooking  has been a delight, largely because of the people.  The people who come to an Elements event tend to be passionate about cooking and people who are passionate about cooking i’m discovering are the best sorts of creatures there are.  I knew this about chefs.  Chefs are a ball to hang out with as a rule.  They know how to live, they have enormous appetites, they are generous by nature, they work on very little sleep

And it’s been great in every city.  The viking demos have been fun, thanks to great crews at each one (I don’t serve my demo plates and so am not able to taste the finished plates that go out to the attendees—hope it’s been ok!).  I’d especially like to thank a few bloggers who came to the demos and generally helped out.  In Atlanta, Jennifer, of Blissful Glutton and in Nashville, Claudia  of Cook Eat Fret, and Ian Froeb in St. Louis, of River Front Times.  Many thanks.

There’s also skawt, of course, who, as a member of some prevent cruelty to warthog group he runs with acosted me in San Francisco, and is posting wildly outrageous slanders on this blog.

1975346702_a42c75dd65_bFavorite moment: Cosentino showing up at the Ferry building with a cauliflower for me
(photo by lux).  During Next Iron Chef he’d served me cauliflower that he’d billed as being properly cooked; at least he didn’t bring me those problematic shallots!  He also showed me his new dry-cure facility, salume offered to the Bay area on a CSA basis.

Off tomorrow for Dayton then,  Tuesday, Cincy


29 Wonderful responses to “Surprises in Touring”

  • Skawt


    I will have you know, sir, that slander is spoken, while libel is written. Now, what I told Bourdain about you, THAT was slander.

  • Wilmita

    I wish to express my disappointment not to see Philadelphia on your book tour; especially coming so close after the 23rd annual “The Book and the Cook” events here recently.

    I suppose I could schelp up to New York to see you and Bourdain but gee, Philadelphia is a very good restaurant town!

    It’s rather vexing to be excluded when we are so close.

    Thanks for listening.

    Red Beans and Ricely Yours,


    P.S. ¡Ay, pero qué sexy la foto en su sitio del web nuevo! ¡Le queda muy bello todo!

  • lux

    Ruhlman — if you want the high-res and/or unretouched version of that photo for your files, ping me and I can send it to you.

  • Auralais


    I love that Chris had such a great sense of humor as to bring you a cauliflower! Wish I could’ve made it to SF to meet you.

  • JoP in Omaha

    Glad the book tour is turning out to be kinda fun. It was cool of Cosentino to show up, cauliflower in hand, for a bit of sassy, good-natured revenge.

  • Russ H

    So Michael. You need to get up to Detroit for a signing! I’ll put you down for….uh….Thursday looks good! Lot’s of people seem to be off that day!

  • cook eat FRET

    michael, so kind to mention me. all i did was show up. but the pleasure was really all mine. no really…

    the book, already in its second printing, is going to be a huge help to so many people like myself.

    stay tuned for some wild poulty couplings – coming up…

  • DMcG

    I just bought some yellow, and purple, cauliflower last time I was visiting the North Fork of Long Island. Good stuff. And colorful.

    But the first frost of the season had not yet occurred, so both they and the brussel sprouts I bought from the local farmers in Jamesport were not quite as good as they are right now.

  • Mahala

    Well, MR, you do inspire. After the Cleveland Viking demo my husband spent Saturday morning in search of a pork belly. I’m convinced that for men the idea of curing meat and making sausage stirs some primitive longing that harks back to hunter/gatherer days. And a chicken is presently roasting to golden perfection in my oven, also due to the efforts of a man who now seems to believe real men do cook. Though I have no expectations that this new attitude will last, I thank you.

  • WalktheLine

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…I love you man! And also, when are you coming to Denver?!?!?!

  • The Professor

    I am glad you survived Nashville and please keep us up to date. I really like your book,and the egullet excerpt will help keep you busy.

  • Big Red

    Ruhlman, I have to say good show man! Just finished the book…Loved it. Another Triumph. Great sense of humor Consentino has to bring you the vegetable of terror!

    Great shot of your kitchen too I might add. I am jealous. But at least I will be able to sample the greatness of Ruhlman by visiting the Velvet Tango Room(? I forgot the name but I have directions and the pic from your post way back when) in another week when I am in Cleveland.

    Keep it comin’!

  • janet

    Re: “people who are passionate about cooking i’m discovering are the best sorts of creatures there are.”

    Not me. I’m one of the worst.

    Thanks for the tip about Cosentino’s CSA. That sounds worth knowing about.

    I’d post more, but I spilled a Martini on my keyboard a couple of days ago and shorted out the “a,” key, so I have to paste them all in. Gets boring.

  • Jerry

    I really wanted to at see you at Wordstock in Portland, but work and prior commitments always seem to win out.

    Working my way through Elements of Cooking. While I don’t agree with everything and have serious questions about a couple entries, I’m still enjoying the book.

  • Skawt

    I just spoke with Anthony Bourdain on KGO-AM radio (San Francisco), and he confirmed that Michael Ruhlman is a very bad man.

    It’s Las Vegas all over again!

  • sailorgrrl07

    I had the distinct pleasure of meeting and talking with Chef Cosentino at a benefit dinner with he and AB. Chef C is genuinely a hoot and so fun to talk to. Got a ton of dirt on the behind the scenes stuff from NICA 🙂 He also mentioned the cauliflower moment at the signing, sounds like everyone got a big kick out of it.

    Met some great people and ate my weight in fried tripe.


  • Anne

    Hey there, long time reader, first time writer,..because I want to beg you to come south for the winter. What are the chances of you coming to Florida- and to be more specific, central Florida, and NOT Miami!?

  • Ben M.


    Thanks for your advice in your reading at the Cleveland Heights Borders this weekend and in your book. As much as you thank your audience for their enjoyment of cooking, I also get the sense that you’re a bit of a missionary, trying to covert us to the ELEMENTS OF COOKING philosophy. I just thought I’d let you know it’s working. I salted a large pot of water for my green beans tonight so it “tasted like the Atlantic Ocean,” and carefully trimmed the beans rather than chopping them distractedly and letting my mind wander. And I’ll definitely be looking for Winesap or Matsu apples at Zagara’s once my current supply of apples runs out.

  • Drew

    I heard the Cosentino moment was more of a confrontation…he arrived screaming “I got your F’in crudite right here, pal”, or somesuch!

    Hi, sailorgrrl! Nice to meet you at the Bourdain dinner. I’m still dreaming of Cosentino’s stuffed, roasted pig’s trotter!


  • Claudia

    Ben, Ruhlman had me at stock, way back in The Making of A Chef. I had nightmares for four nights straight, after just reading the first chapter, about being in Skills I at the CIA and not having my stock ready, or having my consomme clouded or my “rafts” breaking. While we might all celebrate superchefs and avidly discuss food, restaurants and culinary issues, I think it’s Ruhlman who is subtly beginning to change the way a lot of us cook. I’ve been particularly fixated on what he wrote about finesse in the essay portion of Elements, especially since I had just met Keller a week before – and who (as Ruhlman wrote) did indeed say, “It’s ALL about finesse.” I hear you, Michael. I hear you.

    Drew and Sailorgirl – dinner details, please!

  • sailorgrrl07


    The dinner was at E&O Trading Company, a stalwart but (sorry) unremarkable establishment a block off Union Square. Bourdain was the guest of honor, but he was there only for book signing and shmoozing. (For some reason he didn’t seem to like me, but whatever, we all have our days)… The evening was kicked off with a small champagne reception that featured a variety of hors d’ouerves by the four guest chefs. Not hard to guess who prepared the yummy little 1″ squares of fried tripe, served in white paper cones that, as our server pointed out, were intended to nest neatly in our champagne flutes. I must have eaten my weight in fride tripe. The reception was where we had a chance to talk to Chef C. Among the things he revealed: the cart race at the airport was for real, and Symon held the door open while Besh was doing his best to cloae it. All’s fair in love and war I guess 🙂 He also mentioned that Aaron really never quite recovered from the 132 degree CIA kitchen episode and that had a lot to do with his deer in the headlight expression. The entire taping of all those shows was only 3 weeks. He said that compared to that competition “Kitchen Stadium is like changing diapers” He also was really fun to listen to describing the run ins with the German cameramen. I assured him that most of the people I have talked to thought he was too kind to them.

    At dinner upstairs, the quality of the dishes was a tad inconsistent, but the braised short ribs (I don’t know who’s those were) and the pig trotters (my first! and so yummy!) were to die for. Drew you were great, always so great to meet another foodaholic!

    Cheers, and Happy Thanksgiving

  • Claudia

    Thanks, Sailorgrl! And, yes, I remember reading that poor Aaron needed a little EMS after the 132 degree kitchen episode – overcome with dehydration, as I recall.

    Glad you had a blast with Chef C!