Michael Ruhlman (born 1963 in Cleveland, Ohio) is an American writer. He is the author of 11 books, and is best known for his work about and in collaboration with American chefs, as well as other works of non-fiction.
Ruhlman grew up in Cleveland and was educated at University School (a private boys' day school in Cleveland) and at Duke University, graduating from the latter in 1985. He worked a series of odd jobs (including briefly at the New York Times) and traveled before returning to his hometown in 1991 to work for a local magazine.
While working at the magazine, Ruhlman wrote an article about his old high school and its new headmaster, which he expanded into his first book, Boys Themselves: A Return to Single-Sex Education (1996).
For his second book, The Making of a Chef (1997), Ruhlman enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America, completing the course, to produce a first-person account -- of the techniques, personalities, and mindsets -- of culinary education at the prestigious chef's school. The success of this book produced two follow-ups, The Soul of a Chef (2000) and The Reach of a Chef (2006).
Ruhlman has also collaborated with chef Thomas Keller to produce the cookbooks The French Laundry Cookbook (1999) and Bouchon (2004); with French chef Eric Ripert and Colombian artist Valentino Cortazar to produce the lavish coffee-table book A Return to Cooking (2002); and with Michigan chef Brian Polcyn to produce Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking and Curing (2005). On television, he has acted as a judge on the PBS reality show Cooking Under Fire and appeared on an episode of Anthony Bourdain's TV series A Cook's Tour joining Bourdain and Eric Ripert for a meal at Thomas Keller's The French Laundry restaurant.