Modernist Cuisine

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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.

imageA 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 250 pages on meat and seafood and 144 pages on fruits, veg­eta­bles, and grains, includ­ing dozens 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;
  • Some 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.