Meet Michael Ruhlman, Accomplished Cook & Author


Do you ever wonder what it’s like to do something else for the day? Whether it’s choosing a different career path or stepping out of your comfort zone, this series dives into the crazy-interesting lives of those we’ve always admired. From pilots and chefs to charities making a difference, go ahead and read a page in their life. 

Our most recent Page in Your Life feature is the amazing Michael Ruhlman. Michael graduated from the Culinary Institute of America with a passion for cooking and writing, and has since written over a dozen books on everything from chefs and cookbooks to nonfiction. (Take a look at all of them here!) He’s also appeared on such television shows as Cooking Under Fire, The Next Iron Chef , Iron Chef America, and Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. Want to know what it’s like to be a big name in the food business? We sat down with Michael to dish on the chef world!

Michael Ruhlman, Author and Chef

Could you give a brief introduction for our readers about you, your interests, and your hobbies?

I write and cook, and now that my kids are getting older and one just left for college, I hope to do more of both.

Was there something that first inspired you to be a chef?

Hunger. I was a latchkey child. If I wanted to stop feeling hungry, I had to cook.

What is a typical day like as a chef?

There are many different kinds of chefs: corporate, personal, restaurant, R&D, chefs who become administrators, chef-instructors. Me — I’m a writer. I learned how to cook at the Culinary Institute of America (to write a book about it) and cooked at a restaurant for a short time, but I’m not a chef. A chef is someone who leads a kitchen. My day is divided between writing, creating, and testing recipes, and setting up photo shoots for my wife, Donna.

What is your favorite dish to cook for a family dinner? What’s your favorite cuisine?

Fried chicken. I love the dynamism of Vietnamese cuisine.

You’ve written a variety of books on cooking and the life of a chef. Of all your publications, is there one you are most proud of? 

Ruhlman’s Twenty because it distills so much of what I’ve learned, and it was my first true and satisfying collaboration with my wife, who did the photography.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering going to culinary school and writing about their passion for cooking?

Do what you love because of the love, and don’t expect to make any money.

What has been the most rewarding part of being a chef?

The most rewarding part of working in the chef world are the people I get to hang out with. Cooks are the best, most life-loving people I know.

What’s been the most rewarding part of being an author?

Being able to make money at the activity I love most.

We are a reading glasses store, after all, so we have to ask: What is your favorite pair from

I wear contacts and have no sense of style, so feel free to choose for me!

We accept the challenge, Michael! He’d look good in The Actor Bi-Focal or The Morris  — don’t you think?

Be sure to stop by Michael’s website to learn more about food, cooking, recipes, techniques, and the life of a chef, and be sure to follow him on Facebook. A special thanks to Michael for taking the time to talk to! 

Photos courtesy of