Food nerds rejoice. Author Michael Ruhlman’s new book, The Elements of Cooking, is paired with a blog of the same name that explores the nitty-gritty of kitchen magic, those food-preparation basics upon which all cuisine is based. It’s a delight for intellectual cooks.

As Ruhlman explains:

This is not a recipe blog—I’m interested in what doesn’t change, what can’t change, what is permanent, what is fundament to the act of cooking. I am interested in not needing recipes. Each week, my goal is to post an ‘element’ for elaboration and discussion.

This creates a salon of sorts, a discussion about the basics of cooking and food preparation. And while the photos are striking, this is far more about substance than food style. Witness Ruhlman’s response to a question about whether or not a turnip can be considered, along with onions, carrots, and celery, an aromatic:

What an interesting question … if a turnip and a green pepper can be considered aromats, than ANYTHING can be, and the word ceases to have meaning. When do we ever add a green pepper to sauce intending to strain it out after it’s imparted its ‘aromatic’ effect. Perhaps that should be part of the definition, a veg or herb that we intend to remove before it’s ultimately served.

As I said, food nerds rejoice. At last, a place for those obscure food questions that have been keeping you up at night. The rest of us will just sit back and take notes.

See more articles