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 other-worldly 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. Modernist Cuisine 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:
Many invaluable features include:
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.
[Modernist Cuisine] will change the way we understand the kitchen.Ferran Adrià
The most important book in the culinary arts since Escoffier. Tim Zagat
A fascinating overview of the techniques of modern gastronomy.Heston Blumenthal
Amazing! Unparalleled in its breadth and depth.Wylie Dufresne
The cookbook to end all cookbooks.David Chang
Modernist Cuisine is a landmark contribution to the craft of cooking and our understanding of its underlying principles. Its scale, detail, and eye-opening graphics are unmatched by any other book on the subject. [Modernist Cuisine] will be an invaluable resource for anyone with a serious interest in cooking techniques, whether the professional innovations of the last few decades or the long traditions on which they build.Harold McGee
A breathtaking new benchmark in understanding cooking, Modernist Cuisine is destined to be as important a work for the 21st century as Escoffier's Ma Cuisine was for the 20th century.David Kinch
Dr Nathan Myhrvold is chief executive officer and a founder of Intellectual Ventures, a firm dedicated to creating and investing in inventions. In addition to stimulating the invention of others, Myhrvold is himself an active inventor, with nearly 250 patents issued or pending, including several related to food technology. Before founding his invention company, Myhrvold was the first chief technology officer at Microsoft. He established Microsoft Research, and during his tenure he oversaw many advanced technology projects. He left Microsoft in 1999 to pursue several interests, including a life long 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 is himself an accomplished practitioner of Modernist cuisine. He has contributed original research on cooking sous vide to online culinary forums, and his sous vide techniques have been covered in the New York Times Magazine, Wired, and PBS's 'Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie' television series.
Myhrvold's formal education includes degrees in mathematics, geophysics, and space physics from UCLA, and PhDs in mathematical economics and theoretical physics from Princeton University. In his post-doctoral work at Cambridge University, Myhrvold worked on quantum theories of gravity with the renowned cosmologist Stephen Hawking.