Posted 13 August 2010 - 08:55 AM
The book is also available from Barnes and Noble, also at $500 price point.
I don't pretend to understand the dynamic pricing algorithms that Amazon, B&N and others use, so I don't know if the price is going to stay at $500, or go up or down...
Posted 13 August 2010 - 08:58 AM
The 34% off is their standard discount that they apply pretty regular among cook books. If you search online, there are smaller stores that even beat that.
What is also happening often after the actual launch, they decrease prices further, sometimes temporary, sometimes for longer periods.
Posted 13 August 2010 - 11:00 AM
The burger certainly is feasible for any home kitchen. You need a meat grinder to grind the meat of course, but there is nothing exotic in the equipment. You don't even need sous vide for the burger if you are OK cooking it in a pan.
Sous vide tends to make burgers a bit too dense. You can cook them in a bag that is unsealed, or with low vacuum.
But you would need a chamber vacuum in order to compress the tomato, correct?
Posted 13 August 2010 - 11:09 AM
Posted 13 August 2010 - 11:37 AM
Have you think about releasing a dvd later with some of the recipes to complement the book?
Posted 13 August 2010 - 11:43 AM
Posted 13 August 2010 - 11:46 AM
Posted 13 August 2010 - 11:54 AM
Posted 13 August 2010 - 01:35 PM
Posted 13 August 2010 - 01:38 PM
Director of Operations
Posted 13 August 2010 - 04:09 PM
Posted 13 August 2010 - 04:29 PM
We just added a new feature to the web site, which is a long excerpt about the story of how we came to create the book, the photographs and the recipes. It is available here .
Who is the publisher of your book?
Confectionary Course • Confectionary Course Q&A
eGullet foodblog 2006 • eGullet Foodblog 2012
Posted 13 August 2010 - 05:28 PM
Posted 13 August 2010 - 05:50 PM
a) The yield is given as 800g, but adding the ingredients (except the water) comes to 545g. What is the other 250g?
b) What do you do with the water? 1kg (or even 250g) would make a very liquid puree - Escoffier uses about the equivalent of 50g of milk to loosen the puree
c) 250g seems like a lot of potato - one and half times the amount of fish?
d) THe illustration shows I guess the salt halibut in a different plating (no caption), rather than the recipe
Posted 13 August 2010 - 07:29 PM
The 1kg/1 liter of water is meant to be drained, not included. I suppose that could be more clear, and I will check to see if it is that way in the actual recipe (what you are seeing here is the about-the-recipe example).
In some cases a soaking or cooking liquid is not that important - that is the case with the milk used to soak the dried fish in the first steps. Since the amount is not critical we do not give a dimension and say "as needed to cover" or something like that.
In other cases the recipe works best with a certain amount even if the liquid is not included. Here, we want enough water to make it easy to get the starch out, so we call for 1kg for 250g of sliced potatoes.
The ratio of potato to dried fish is 1.6:1 in this recipe (250g potato to 160g fish). Many brandade recipes have different ratios - this example has 2:1 ratio (1 lb potato to 8 oz fish). Some brandade recipes are all fish with no potato at all, while some others are more like fish-flavored mashed potatoes. This ratio is what we liked best for our application.
The actual application of this particular recipe is that it is mixed with choux pastry batter, and injected into zucchini blossoms, which are then deep fried as a fritter. You could serve it as is however without those added steps.
Edited by nathanm, 13 August 2010 - 07:35 PM.
Posted 13 August 2010 - 07:34 PM
Posted 14 August 2010 - 01:11 AM
"So if you’re using 75 grams of egg yolks to make
the recipe, you need 35 grams of vinegar, because
75 grams times 47% equals 35. But say you only
have 65 grams of egg yolks. How much butter
should you use? This is where the scaling percentage
really simplifies things. Just multiply the same
47% for vinegar times the actual weight of egg
yolks available—65 grams—to get the answer:
30.5 grams of vinegar"
I'm pretty sure that should say vinegar, not butter.
Posted 14 August 2010 - 04:54 AM
Manager, eG Forums.
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I took my potatoes down to be mashed
Then I made it over to that million dollar bash
Posted 14 August 2010 - 08:44 AM
I'm pretty sure that should say vinegar, not butter.
You are right. We pulled this together quickly. Volume 1 will not go through final review for the printer for another 2 to 3 weeks, so we rushed this part of it out the door. Thanks for finding it, we will make the correction!
Posted 14 August 2010 - 10:02 AM
Posted 14 August 2010 - 10:08 AM
The reality is that if you want to communicate large high resolution photos, a printed book is still a good way to do it. This is particularly true when you consider the target audience - we want this book to reach food lovers all over the world. The penetration of e-book readers or tablet computers to that audience is not very high.
Those of us on eGullet are at the cutting edge - we all use computers and the internet or else we couldn't be reading this. But that does not include everybody in the cooking world who might benefit from this book.
Interactive content is also much harder to create than information for a book. So, we had to make a strategic decision as to what platform we would tackle first. We made this decision two years ago, and at that point it was obvious that a printed book was the best thing to do. It wasn't even a close call - the decision was very simple. Printed books have lots of great features, and in 2008 it was totally clear that it was the best inital target.
We considered being partially digital, and having a CD ROM (like the elBulli books do) or a thumbdrive, which contained recipes. However we ultimately decided that a spiral bound kitchen manual on waterproof paper was an even better way to get the recipes in a form that people could use in a messy kitchen.
Another interesting thing as that even as people say that paper books are dead, there has never been a better time to make them in terms of the infrastructure. We lay out files in Seattle, where they are adjusted, color corrected and sent to China digitally for printing. The Internet makes this all vastly easier. The Chinese printers use very advanced technology like stochastic screening to give us printing superior to virtually all other books - even to art books. Using the internet (including eGullet!) we can reach a wide audience to let them know about the book, and via online companies like Amazon and others we can sell the book. Our web site for Modernist Cuisine got hits from people in 91 countries within its first three days.
This makes it difficult for the big publishing companies beacuse they used to take advantage of the fact that they had huge advantages over individual authors. That is much less true today, which is one of the reasons they are having a hard time.
I am hoping that this book will have many editions in the future, and be a standard reference book for many years. If that happens then we will certainly make an electronic form at some point, but I think that is a minimum of a couple years away. It will take a big effort to really take advantage of interactive features. We also need the hardware platforms to evolve and improve.
A lot of people are asking about an e-book version because they want a cheaper book. While I understand that, the thing that is most important to me is the potential to make a better book. E-book platforms are unlikely to be as good as paper in terms of resolution or screen size, at least in the near future, but interactivity can compensate by adding new features, like video, animation and calculation (scaling recipes, converting temperatures). It would take a lot of effort to make a cookbook that uses video and computer animation extensively. There were some CD-ROM based cooking titles that tried this back in the mid 1990s, but the internet basically snuffed those efforts out. I am not aware of a really successful effort in this direction.
On the topic of cheaper, it is far from clear to me that a truly interactive, video heavy version would be cheaper than a paper book. It is true that if you have a simple text-only book like a novel, then making an e-book version is easy, and ought to be cheaper. In that case the main benefit of being electronic is eliminating paper (weight, printing, shipping cost, shipping delay...). I really love my Kindle for that.
I have a bunch of cookbooks for Kindle, and frankly they do not provide a very satisfactory reading experience. A novel or non-fiction trade book on Kindle is a very good reading experience - I think as good as paper for legibility, and better for things like weight and convenience. Math books, on the other hand, are usually a very bad experience on Kindle because the equaitons are not handled well - they are treated as pictures, and Kindle does not do pictures very well. Cookbooks are somewhere in between. The recipes don't format all that well, and pictures don't come out well.
However, if you make a e-book version by shooting video, making computer animations, and adding other interactive features, then it may well be more expensive. Indeed if you look at cooking DVDs, they are typically $20 for an hour or two of content. That is very expensive in terms of the cost per hour, or per recipe, or per topic.
Finally, we won't make a e-book or interactive version if the print version isn't popular. While I have every expectation that the paper form is going to be a great success, only time will tell. If nobody likes it, then we won't have a e-book edition. If people do like it then an e-book will be one thing to consider. However, we also have to think about spending the resources on other topics. Modernist Cuisine is savory only - we don't do pastry, dessert or baking. It may make more sense to do a pastry book than to sink effort into an e-book, especially if the hardware platfroms continue to evolve.
Posted 14 August 2010 - 10:12 AM
THANK YOU! I particularly appreciate the vote of confidence when you haven't seen the book yourself yet. I'm confident that you won't be disappointed.
Well I'm telling every other cook I know so we're gonna try and get some serious demand for this book going. BTW too bad you couldn't tie it to the Bay Area in some way and work with my friend at KQED.
We'd be happy to talk to your friend at KQED (and I think that may be in process). At the moment I am putting all of my efforts into finishing the book - we will turn to promoting it once that is done.
Posted 14 August 2010 - 11:35 AM
I also have a question for you. Will you supply review copies? We would love to index the book on Eat Your Books, a huge task, and if we can get an advance review copy we can have it indexed for when the book goes on sale.
Co-founder of Eat Your Books
Posted 14 August 2010 - 11:43 AM
Some books have a relatively large print run of galley copies for reviewers. We decided that was impractical for our book - it was just too expensive, but even more important it would delay the real copies. So our galley proofs are only a single copy, and unbound.
Once the book actually arrives and starts to ship, then we will have some more copies. However our policy for reviews is to do loaners - the reviewers must return the books (or buy their own). This loaner policy is typical of expensive art books.
Posted 14 August 2010 - 01:46 PM
Co-founder of Eat Your Books
Posted 14 August 2010 - 05:49 PM
As an aside, actually the two primary things I like about e-books for reference is (a) portability (eg I surf them here and there and bring my collection with me) and (b) Searching. Cheaper is a bonus when it happens, but just that, a bonus. However, I can certainly see why a project started 2 years ago would go paper, or even one started today for that matter.
Posted 14 August 2010 - 10:12 PM
Could it be that Modernist Cuisine will be another voice in the growing criticism of the lipid hypothesis? Judging by the generous use of suet in the ultimate hamburger recipe upthread, Modernist Cuisine seems happily free of lipophobia, the irrational fear of fat. If so, more cheers for it.
Posted 15 August 2010 - 07:41 AM
Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Modernist, Cookbook
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