Modernist Cuisine: Check out the epic, $625 cookbook for free
Copies of what is surely the most epic cookbook of the contemporary world--the six-volume, 2,438-page, 39.5 pound, five-years-in-the-making Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking--are currently on their way to the hands of the nearly 3,000 people who pre-ordered. The authors--three men with backgrounds in science, technology, and cooking--worked with a 20-person team at their Cooking Lab to thoroughly investigate contemporary cooking techniques, including the molecular gastronomy practiced by restaurants such as elBulli, The Fat Duck, Alinea, and wd~50.
Modernist Cuisine "The cookbook to end all cookbooks." -David Chang
The book contains step-by-step, illustrated instructions and thousands of lavish, striking science-style photographs to explain the science behind culinary processes, bust myths and offer helpful insights. Plus, there are 1,522 recipes from famous master chefs. Commercial publishers were skittish about working with the team, so lead author Nathan Myhrvold, a former Microsoft exec, produced the book himself at a cost of, he says, somewhere between 1-10 million dollars. The New York Times reviewer was "left wondering how a book could be mind-crushingly boring, eye-bulgingly riveting, edifying, infuriating, frustrating, fascinating, all in the same moment."
Pretty amazing, huh? And if you don't have a spare $625 in your cookbook fund, you can also take a look for free:
Hennepin County Library has ordered a copy for the reference section of Central Library in downtown Minneapolis (they paid the online price of $467.62). Central Library is known for its excellent cookbook collection book, so the book was something the staff couldn't pass up. The selector called it "a seminal work" and "one of a kind." They expect to have it on the shelf in a few weeks, so check the catalog for its arrival.
In the meantime, check out the Wall Street Journal's cool interactive graphic of Modernist's deconstruction of the ultimate cheeseburger:
Moderinst Cuisine Is this the ultimate cheeseburger?