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Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking [Hardcover]

Nathan Myhrvold , Chris Young , Maxime Bilet
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 635.00
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Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking + Modernist Cuisine at Home + Under Pressure: Cooking Sous Vide
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Book Description

"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. It 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

"This book will change the way we understand the kitchen." --Ferran Adrià

“The most important book in the culinary arts since Escoffier.” --Tim Zagat

“The cookbook to end all cookbooks.” --David Chang

"A fascinating overview of the techniques of modern gastronomy." --Heston Blumenthal

"Amazing! Unparalleled in its breadth and depth." --Wylie Dufresne

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.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Aug. 25 2011
Format:Hardcover
If you are a serious cook this is an amazing book. There is so much information. It is a textbook with photos that will blow your mind. It is worth the money if you really love cooking.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive. Feb. 26 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Brilliant. I shall use it for the est of my life. The most inspiring cooking course I have ever seen. All others are redundant. Only one quibble : it needs an index as complete as the books themselves. The index given is cumbersome. Perhaps a CD?
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5.0 out of 5 stars good, better, modernist cuisine Aug. 27 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Not a trivial expense, however the knowledge contained therein, gorgeous photography and an easy style of prose makes this absolutely worthwhile.This is an essential book to understand how to get the most out of your ingredients and truly elevate your cooking above the average.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!! July 21 2012
By Blu man
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I must say I didn't realize what a giant (and heavy) collection of books this is! Although I'm still working my way through the first volume, I can say they are a wonderful indulgence with lots of gorgeous pictures but best of all, the "why" behind anything to do with food and cooking. If you are an inquisitive cook and can afford them, I'm sure you'll find this set fascinating.
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