Anyone else excited about Modernist Cuisine (book)?

Modernist Cuisine is a new set of cookbooks coming out in a couple weeks that has all the food nerds excited. It’s been covered by a lot of press (NY Times article here) and from all reports, should be pretty darn cool.

And it’s huge. 2438 pages, 6 volumes. $625 retail, but Amazon has it for a mere $467.

I’m sorely tempted. So much so that I put it on pre-order. I don’t have a spare $500 lying around… but boy oh boy do I want it.

I have a couple weeks to cancel the order if I decide against it. But it sure looks cool!

I read about this in an article somewhere. It does sound exciting, but there’s now way I can come up with that kind of money. Good on you that you’re going to be able to get it though. Post and let us know what you think!

Adam Gopnik recently did a New Yorker article on “modernist cuisine” in desserts, particularly in the work of one of the book’s authors (Ferran Adrià):

:dubious: :dubious: Errr… yum, I guess.

Nitpick: Adrià, though one of the world’s foremost experts in modernist cuisine, isn’t one of the authors of these books.

But yeah, his food can be really out there. From what I’ve read of the books, though, they don’t just detail strange, way-out-there kinds of food. They delve into the science behind the food, and come up with more modern (but not always more complex) ways of making really good food. The people over at eGullet, for example, are really crazy over a technique to make Macaroni and Cheese that uses real, high-quality cheese bound together with a couple not-common-but-not-horribly-expensive ingredients (Carrageenan and sodium citrate) to create a cheese sauce that melts smoothly (like Velveeta) but tastes like real cheese. Looks easier and faster than standard Bechamel-based Mac & Cheese, and the uncommon ingredients are available from Amazon. Sure, it’s a new “modernist” technique, but you end up with better-tasting, easier food.

Of course, not all of it is like that - there’s plenty of recipes/techniques that most home cooks won’t want to delve into. But it’s not just a cookbook, it’s also a reference, and supposedly contains oodles of info that makes food nerds like me happy.

The price, though… <sigh> I do have issues justifying it. That’s a lot of cash for a cookbook.

Whoops, you’re right, thanks.

It’s true that that part is tempting. I adore Harold McGee’s Curious Cook books, Shirley Corriher’s CookWise, Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Cake Bible, and all that ilk.

Still, at 600+ bucks I think I’m going to resist the temptation. FFS, that’s a new dining room set there.

oh drool … and it will probably get ‘out of print’ and the price will skyrocket :frowning:

I’d be more interested in the ‘food as art’ thing if it were something replicable at home without purchasing a nuclear reactor and a mad scientist’s lab. :stuck_out_tongue:

Oh! There we go, I’ll buy it as an investment. Yeah, that’s the ticket!

Dude! That’s the fun of it! You get to justify buying toys!

Just from reading the pre-press, I realize I need a centrifuge, and a colloid mill, and a homogenizer. I mean, come on! I’ll starve without a centrifuge, right?!?

So, those of you who bought it…

Have you read it?
Are you using the recipes and techniques?

I read all of the first book and most of the second, and am planning on reading the rest. Got very busy work-wise, and it’s summer, the time of year where I don’t usually do a lot of experimental cooking. (I prefer to eat a lot of fresh fruit/vegetables while they’re in season, and grill meats).

That said, I’ve made a few things. Just last week I made two of the 8-9 BBQ sauces, and they were both incredible easy and delicious. Not at all fancy or difficult, just really good high end sauces.

I’ve also made the Mushroom Ketchup and used the technique to make just about any cheese into melty Velveeta-like consistency. Great for hamburgers, mac & cheese, and the like.

Probably a few more things as well, plus I’ve used them as reference for various cooking techniques. I’ll be going through them with more detail once the fall comes, I’m sure.

Oh, I also scored some Meat Glue. Haven’t used it yet, but if anyone needs a ribeye glued to a chicken breast, I’m your girl.

Not heard of that one. Is it a simple secret, or does it involve a huge pile of expensive equipment?

I was reminded of this when I saw a TED talk delivered by Nathan about it.

Now that could come in VERY handy for filet minion, getting the bacon to stay put.

I work at Myhrvold’s company, and got an employee price. It should be delivered this week. I am very excited!

A huge discount?

Not sure whether I’m supposed to tell you the amount. I didn’t personally pay anything, anyway, since my husband ordered it for me for Christmas.

Nope, but you do need a couple ingredients (carrageenan and sodium citrate) that you’ll probably have to order. Other than that, it’s next to no work. Just grate cheese, heat with some liquid and the above ingredients and stir.

If you’re interested, let me know, I’ll post the recipe.

Yup! I’m also thinking chicken cordon bleu with absolutely no cheese leaking out.

If you work for his company, perhaps you can tell me the status of the project he demonstrated last year to kill mosquitoes using a small laser. Has there been any further progress on this?

Here’s the latest blog post from the IV lab on that project. I don’t know much about what the lab is doing with it right now.

Cool. I know their interest is in reducing the incidence of malaria, but it’s something that would appeal to Americans to reduce a backyard annoyance.