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Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking by Nathan Myhrvold
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Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking by Nathan Myhrvold

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‘Modernist Cuisine’
by Nathan Myhrvold
2,400 pages
$625

A revolution is underway in the art of cooking. Just as French Impressionists upended centuries of tradition, Modernist cuisine has in recent years blown through the boundaries of the culinary arts. Borrowing techniques from the laboratory, pioneering chefs at world-renowned restaurants such as elBulli, The Fat Duck, Alinea, and wd~50 have incorporated a deeper understanding of science and advances in cooking technology into their culinary art.

In Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young, and Maxime Bilet–scientists, inventors, and accomplished cooks in their own right–have created a six-volume, 2,400-page set that reveals science-inspired techniques for preparing food that ranges from the otherworldly to the sublime. The authors and their 20-person team at The Cooking Lab have achieved astounding new flavors and textures by using tools such as water baths, homogenizers, centrifuges, and ingredients such as hydrocolloids, emulsifiers, and enzymes. It is a work destined to reinvent cooking.

How do you make an omelet light and tender on the outside, but rich and creamy inside? Or French fries with a light and fluffy interior and a delicate, crisp crust that doesn’t go soggy? Imagine being able to encase a mussel in a gelled sphere of its own sweet and briny juice. Or to create a silky-smooth pistachio cream made from nothing more than the nuts themselves. Modernist Cuisine offers step-by-step, illustrated instructions, as well as clear explanations of how these techniques work. Through thousands of original photographs and diagrams, the lavishly illustrated books make the science and technology of the culinary arts clear and engaging. Stunning new photographic techniques take the reader inside the food to see cooking in action all the way from microscopic meat fibers to an entire Weber grill in cross-section. You will view cooking and eating in a whole new light. A sampling of what you’ll discover:

  • Why plunging food in ice water doesn’t stop the cooking process
  • When boiling cooks faster than steaming
  • Why raising the grill doesn’t lower the heat
  • How low-cost pots and pans can perform better than expensive ones
  • Why baking is mostly a drying process
  • Why deep-fried food tastes best and browns better when the oil is older
  • How modern cooking techniques can achieve ideal results without the perfect timing or good luck that traditional methods demand

Many invaluable features include:

  • Insights into the surprising science behind traditional food preparation methods such as grilling, smoking, and stir-frying
  • The most comprehensive guide yet published on cooking sous vide, including the best options for water baths, packaging materials, and sealing equipment; cooking strategies; and troubleshooting tips
  • More than 256 pages on meat and seafood and 130 pages on fruits, vegetables, and grains, including hundreds of parametric recipes and step-by-step techniques
  • Extensive chapters explaining how to achieve amazing results by using modern thickeners, gels, emulsions, and foams, including example recipes and many formulas
  • More than 300 pages of new recipes for plated dishes suitable for service at top-tier restaurants, plus recipes adapted from master chefs including Grant Achatz, Ferran Adrià , Heston Blumenthal, David Chang, Wylie Dufresne, David Kinch, and many others

From the professional chef to the home cook, Modernist Cuisine is an indispensable guide for anyone who is passionate about the art and science of cooking.

 

About the author:

Dr. Nathan Myhrvold is chief executive officer and a founder of Intellectual Ventures. Before founding his invention company, Myhrvold was the first chief technology officer at Microsoft. He left Microsoft in 1999 to pursue several interests, including a lifelong interest in cooking and food science.

Myhrvold competed on a team that won first place in several categories at the 1991 World Championship of Barbecue, including first prize in the special pasta category for a recipe that Myhrvold developed on the day of the contest.

After working for two years as a stagier at Seattle’s top French restaurant, Rover’s, Myhrvold completed culinary training with renowned chef Anne Willan at the Ecole De La Varenne. In addition, he has worked as Chief Gastronomic Officer for Zagat Survey, publisher of the popular Zagat restaurant guidebooks. Through his many visits to the world’s top restaurants, Myhrvold has become personally acquainted with many of the leading modernist chefs and the science-inspired cooking techniques they have pioneered.

Myhrvold’s formal education includes degrees in mathematics, geophysics, and space physics from UCLA, and Ph.D.s in mathematical economics and theoretical physics from Princeton University. In his postdoctoral work at Cambridge University, Myhrvold worked on quantum theories of gravity with the renowned cosmologist Stephen Hawking.

Modernist Cuisine



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