A prolific food writer, cookbook author, blogger, friend of Bourdain, and accomplished cook to boot, Michael Ruhlman is an elegant and passionate stylist with the tenacity and research chops required of the best narrative journalists. His 2000 book, The Soul of a Chef, was a meditative inquiry into the ideal of culinary excellence, and in one section he introduced readers to a serious young chef of preternatural drive and focus: 23-year-old Grant Achatz, then working the fish station at Thomas Keller's famed French Laundry. Six years later Ruhlman devoted much of The Reach of a Chef to Achatz, as his star rose at Trio and then went supernova at Alinea. The two of them, who've thought more about the role of a chef in the wildly changing culinary world than just about anyone, meet up again this weekend for a live Q & A titled "The Making of a Chef," part of Steppenwolf's Traffic Jam series. a Sun 3/4, 3 PM, Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted, 312-335-1650, $15.