A six-volume, 2,400-page reference work examining the scientific basis of cooking is not something the casual cook or harried homemaker is likely to pick up, but MODERNIST CUISINE is not just for professionals and scholars either. It is a riveting and beautifully presented exploration (with instructive graphics and stunning photographs) of a few deceptively simple questions: What happens when we cook food? How does it happen? And why? The volumes on "Techniques and Equipment" and "Ingredients and Preparations" provide a definitive examination of the most advanced culinary experiments of our time. Even if you've only read about high-end restaurants such as elBulli, Alinea, or The Fat Duck, where emulsifiers, foams, gels, and enzymes are part of the everyday vocabulary, and equipment includes centrifuges and liquid nitrogen, you can easily become fascinated by the wondrous possibilities taking place in the most advanced corners of world gastronomy. Over 300 pages of illustrated step-by-step recipes are included, and home cooks can (with a little time and effort) share in many of these adventures. The authors have produced a singular contribution to the understanding of both gastronomic science and craft. "Instant classic" may be an oxymoron, but it fits this exceptional, groundbreaking work.
An overview of the techniques of modern gastronomy. 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. The authors and their 20 person team at The Cooking Lab have achieved new flavors and textures by using tools such as water baths, homogenizers, centrifuges, and ingredients such as hydrocolloids, emulsifiers, and enzymes.