Monday, August 10, 2009

what's for dinner, michael ruhlman?

I'm very excited to introduce a new column at Dinner Party today. It is a Q&A called What's for Dinner and will hopefully be a fun window into how food writers, chefs, bloggers, and other notable people who like to entertain at home. Don't you want to know what other people serve at dinner parties? I do!

Our first subject is author Michael Ruhlman. Michael is the author of the seminal The Making of a Chef, a book about the Culinary Institute of America, where he trained alongside the students. Since then, he has written companion books The Soul of a Chef and The Reach of a Chef, as well as multiple cookbooks including The French Laundry Cookbook. You'll also find him judging Iron Chef America and palling around with his friend Anthony Bourdain...that'll up anyone's cool factor. Michael's most recent book is Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking, which explores the relationships between ingredients and how the right ratios can help you master any basic recipe, from bread dough to stock. In addition to all of this, he runs a very popular blog, which has a lively community of food-obsessed readers. In short, the man is most impressive, and I am thrilled to have him here in my little corner of the Internet.

1. Name, occupation, and city
Michael Ruhlman, writer, Cleveland

2. When was the last time you threw a dinner party, and who was invited?
July 4, close friends and their kids.

3. What is the best menu you've ever made for company?
All so extraordinary, not a one stands out.

4. What's your preference: wine, beer, cocktails?

5. What's your favorite dinner party soundtrack?
A mix of Chet Baker, Benny Goodman, and Billie Holiday.

6. Some friends are coming over for a last-minute dinner tomorrow night. What do you make?
I almost always have something confited, duck, pork belly, in the basement fridge, so that, a salad and bread.

7. Do you usually cook everything yourself, or do you have help?
Donna [his wife] helps with prep.

8. Do you ever buy store-bought food, or is everything on your table made from scratch?
I buy more stuff from the store but it usually requires some cooking.

9. What do you like to serve for dessert?
Whiskey and cookies.

10. If you could invite anyone over for dinner (living or dead), who would it be?
Christ and my dad, along with living family and friends.

[Photo: Courtesy of Michael Ruhlman]


ruhlman said...

thanks for letting me know this was up, lisa. reading it, I see that I didn't say anything that i actually serve.

We had 16 for dinner last night, a tribute to my dad and because I wanted to be with all his friends rather than cook, i did everything ahead. I bbq'd the chicken with a lemon mustard tarragon baste and kept it warm in oven, I made a potato salad with new potatoes, sauteed onions celery and red onion dressed with homemade mayo with fines herbs, and a green been salad with a shallot vinaigrette, along with some fresh sourdough, all made that day with time to shower and relax before guests arrived.

spice cookies and mini dove bars for dessert (no extra dish with a passed dessert!).

only problem was, I told donna we were having 13 for dinner. 16 showed up. don't know how that happened! happily we had plenty of food.

Unknown said...

Cool! This Q&A feature is really neat. I can't wait for more installments.

Casey said...

LOVE the new feature! And I'm also happy to see that whiskey is an acceptable dessert option in the Ruhlman household.

Natalie Sztern said...

with michael i always find a new word to look up and add to my lingo: this time 'confited' did not know it can be used in this context or even existed outside of its normal useage...luv it!

Lisa said...

Ruhlman: What a meal--sounds like a wonderful tribute, even with the extra guests. And great idea on the Dove bars. I've never met anyone who can turn those things down. Thanks again so much for participating.

Nikkilooch: Glad you like it! More to come...

Casey: Thanks, lady! I agree on the whiskey. Good times at Chez Ruhlman.

Natalie: Ha! Yes, he is a font of information. I feel the same way every time I visit his site.

Daniel said...

Oh, to have a home that could accommodate 16 guests!

On the other hand, having read House, I know how much work went into it. Hhhmmm...

Colin P. Delaney said...

Great new feature -- looking forward to the next one!

Maggie said...

My parents love to serve dove ice cream bars after dinner parties. Fun and easy, and relaxing.


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