The Cooking Lab Reception

Last night, the authors of Modernist Cuisine hosted a small demonstration and reception at The Cooking Lab, where the book was created. (I say “created” rather than “written” because the book contains more original art and research than some universities — but that is for another post). In attendance were approximately 30 food bloggers, many in town for the International Food Bloggers Convention (IFBC) which kicks off later today. I will leave the coverage of the reception itself to the other bloggers for now, but you can see a copy of the menu here. I personally am still thinking about the ultrasonic fries and pressure-cooked grits.

The authors — Nathan, Chris, and Max — clearly enjoyed the passion and energy of the assembled group. Nathan was constantly surrounded by a group three people deep, who barraged him with questions about everything from metallurgy to physics. Chris engaged in detailed and thoughtful conversations with smaller groups and individual bloggers. I overheard a few guests ask, “You did WHAT to that cherry?” (You probably had to be there to really appreciate that, but the authors created a delicious foie gras that looked like a cherry.) Max, who happily conversed and entertained from the kitchen side of the lab, said of the evening, “Every conversation I had was meaningful.”

Don’t get me wrong. This wasn’t a social gathering of the book’s or the authors’ fans; they were food writers and connoisseurs. They asked some tough questions and pressed for their answers. But they did so out of what appeared to be genuine interest. The conversations I saw struck me as in-person analogues of the sincere and bidirectional online interactions on which the IFBC is based.

But you needn’t take my word for it. If you are in Seattle and happen to be registered for IFBC, stop by the Modernist Cuisine display on Friday night and see for yourself. The first 50 or so attendees to stop by for a taste of our caramelized carrot soup with young ginger, licorice root, and carotene butter, will also receive a sample booklet to take home to the family. See you there!

New Excerpt!

We have made a 20-page excerpt from Modernist Cuisine available for download. This section tells the story of the book and provides insight into why we created it and the philosophy that guided us in designing and writing it. The excerpt also discusses how we made the photographs and offers a few illustrations of the recipes to explain how our recipe formats work. We hope you enjoy it.


Welcome to our web site!

It is very exciting to have our web site go online so that we can share our project with the world. We have been working away for years on the project, and are nearing completion. The web site is a great milestone. It lets us show off a tiny bit of what is in the book.

The site is a work in progress, so expect that we’ll add features and content over time. We have been putting so much effort into the book itself that it was hard to find time for the web site. As the book heads off to the printers, we’ll have some more time to lavish on the site, but we’re pretty tied up for the next few weeks.

Right now, we have a lot of pages to proofread! Galley proofs are coming in, and a million last-minute details need to be handled. This will consume most of our energy, but I will try to post updates here as I find the time.

Modernist Cuisine in the News

New York TimesAfter Microsoft, Bringing a High-Tech Eye to Professional Kitchens

WiredFormer Microsoft Genius Masters the Culinary Art of Sous-Vide

XconomyFive Things Nathan Myhrvold Taught Us About Cooking

Investors DigestNathan Myhrvold’s Got a Brand New Bag

Star ChefsSecrets from Food Scientists

Seattle Food GeekInterview

Seattle MetInterview with Chris Young