source: The New York Times
The New York Times’ Michael Ruhlman reviewed the just released Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, the 6 volume encyclopedia of molecular gastronomy self-published by Nathan Myhrvold. It was a labor of love costing a reported $1 to $10 million and taking 5 years to assemble.
I hope to get a look at it, though I doubt I would be able to replicate any of the 1500 recipes involving the laboratory style cooking techniques and industrial tools.
Michael Ruhlman describes Modernist Cuisine as a manifesto of the revolution that is the molecular gastronomy movement:
Ultimately, it is a manifesto declaring that the new form of laboratory-inspired cooking — led by Grant Achatz in the United States; Heston Blumenthal in England; and Ferran Adrià, the father of this cuisine, in Spain — is a cultural and artistic movement every bit as definitive as Impressionism in 19th-century France or Bauhaus in early 20th-century Germany. It proclaims a revolution “in techniques, aesthetics and intellectual underpinnings of gastronomy.”
You don’t have to be a kitchen wizard to appreciate the fantastical and beautiful photographs of food featured in the book set, as excerpted in the slide show linked here:
There are beets and carrots that look like they belong in Alice in Wonderland; cross-sectioned tomatoes that look like skeletal x-rays, an orange peel snowing pectin dust, and a lobster that looks like it’s steaming another lobster. A true feast for the eyes and fodder for the imagination.
- You: Book Review: Cook From It? First, Try Lifting It (nytimes.com)
- Grant Achatz, the superstar chef who couldn’t taste (Salon.com)