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"Modernist Cuisine at Home" by Myhrvold and Bilet

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#1 Chris Hennes

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 10:22 AM

Modernist Cuisine was released just over a year ago to much acclaim (we're cooking with it in this topic), but there was an immediate clamor for a more home-cook-friendly volume: as nathanm mentioned here, that clamor is being answered in October 2012 with the forthcoming Modernist Cuisine at Home (eG-friendly amazon.com page).

From nathanm's post on the book:

MCAH is basically all new material. A few of the most popular recipes from MC are carried over, like mac and cheese, but even these have been re-done to be easier to make in a home kitchen.

If you already have MC, then we think of this as being like volume 6 - i.e. a volume covering home cuisine. There is very little duplication of topics between MC and MCAH - about the only ones I can think of are some coverage of sous vide technique, and some basic recipes like stocks, but even there the MCAH versions are different and adapted for the home.


I've been doing a lot of cooking from the original Modernist Cuisine set and it has resulted in some of the very best food I've ever produced, and in some cases the best I've ever eaten: so of course another volume was a no-brainer for me. It's still not cheap, but I'm pretty stoked about it. Eater has an interview with Myhrvold here with some more details. Who's in?

Edited 6/27 to add: book homepage and table of contents.

Edited by Chris Hennes, 27 June 2012 - 06:58 AM.

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#2 avaserfi

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 10:33 AM

It is definitely on my list. The original is a great resource, I expect the home addition to be as well.
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#3 tomh

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 11:41 AM

I'm just starting to do some of the recipes from MC now but over the last months or so I have used/applyd stuff from it. I am looking forward to this next "volume". Probably looking at collecting everything that comes out of that organisation/lab

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#4 ScottyBoy

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 12:10 PM

As long as there's a good amount of original content, I'm all in.
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#5 Chris Hennes

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 12:16 PM

I wonder how many of the recipes will be of the "workable on a weeknight" variety (a la the mac and cheese) and how many will be more extensive.

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#6 ScottyBoy

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 12:19 PM

Any idea how big it is. This will be a lot easy to convince people to buy than the full version.
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#7 Chris Hennes

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 12:32 PM

Physically? No. The amazon page says 456 pages: at $140 retail I'd have to guess it's similar in size to a single volume of the original.

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#8 Dave the Cook

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 12:32 PM

Any idea how big it is. This will be a lot easy to convince people to buy than the full version.

450 pages. Looks like the same footprint as the original.

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#9 ScottyBoy

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 12:57 PM

Ah yes, then I'm in for sure.
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#10 Sheik

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 03:16 AM

Count me in, enjoyed MC very much but it's a hard sell.
I've been trying to convince other people to buy MC, but there are a few hurdles I hope MCAH will solve those:
- price
- size
- Title of the book. For most people the title is misleading. They think is purely a molecular cooking book(s). So they conclude it's a heafty price for something they will not use.
It's only when they come to my home and have a look into my MC books that they realise there so much more to it than just molecular cooking. And that's when price and size becomes less of a problem.

But when comes MCP (pastery) ? Tommorow? :wink:
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#11 Doodad

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 05:29 AM

I am in.

#12 Charcuterer

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 05:46 AM

I don't have the original (yet) but I will get MCaH when it comes out. The price is a bit easier to swallow and it would be a nice place to start and see if the big brother is something I want to invest in.

#13 Chris Hennes

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 08:55 AM

But when comes MCP (pastery) ? Tommorow? :wink:

Myhrvold has mentioned that they are at least considering it: I'd pre-order that sucker in a heartbeat. It better have a chapter on sourdough!

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#14 DanM

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 04:17 PM

I'm in too! Does anyone know yet what will be covered in this book?
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#15 Chris Hennes

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 04:29 PM

From that Eater article I gather that there are chapters on:
  • custards and pies
  • chicken wings
  • mac and cheese
  • pizza
Presumably there are more, but that's a pretty good set of home-cooking topics. I'm sensing a Modernist superbowl party next year...

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#16 Chris Hennes

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 04:36 PM

I just saw that Eater has a few brief comments up about the journalists' preview of the book.

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#17 ChrisZ

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 05:01 PM

I just had a look at the Cooks Forum over at the Modernist Cuisine website, and it looks like only 79 recipes have been commented on. Out of the 1500+ in the books, this is not many at all suggesting that most of the recipes in the books are not attempted, even by those keen enough to sign up for the website (which demonstrates a certain level of enthusiasm in itself...)
The recipe with the most comments by far is the caramelised carrot soup- this recipe is simple, carrots are cheap, the only piece of equipment needed is a pressure cooker, and it tastes delicious. The comments on the forum about the soup are overwhelmingly positive.
If there are more recipes in MC@home that are as accessible as that one, and that tick the same simple, cheap & tasty boxes, then the book is sure to be a hit.

#18 avaserfi

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 05:20 PM

The real purpose of MC isn't the recipes, but the techniques. I use what I've learned from Modernist virtually every time I cook. That said, I've attempted a number of recipes from the series and have not documented all the work which means I haven't posted about my experiences with them.
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#19 KennethT

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 06:33 PM

The real purpose of MC isn't the recipes, but the techniques. I use what I've learned from Modernist virtually every time I cook. That said, I've attempted a number of recipes from the series and have not documented all the work which means I haven't posted about my experiences with them.

+1. My sentiments exactly.

#20 ChrisZ

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 08:27 PM

Oh I also agree- I often pick up the volumes and re-read chapters. I've attempted less than 10 recipes in the whole series, yet I read and re-read it more than any other "cookbook" I've ever owned. Volume 1, which doesn't contain any recipes at all, has possibly been the most influential for me with the way it covers hygiene.

There is no doubt that the original 5 volumes have been a huge success - I think they've sold more than 10x the number they thought they would, based on their initial print run of 5000 vs current sales figures close to 50,000. So I would hate to be mis-interpreted as suggesting the books are not successful because not everyone is attempting every recipe.

My point was that the caramelised carrot soup recipe (and the mac & cheese recipe) show a lot of demand and interest in recipes that are more accessible. I can't wait :-)

#21 Charcuterer

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 04:27 AM

On the Modernist Cuisine website they have a preview of the book with an index that lists all of the recipes. Now I am really excited.

#22 Shalmanese

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 04:52 AM

On the Modernist Cuisine website they have a preview of the book with an index that lists all of the recipes. Now I am really excited.


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#23 rotuts

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 05:38 AM

this book looks fantastic.

#24 Charcuterer

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 06:06 AM

Thanks Shalmanese! I should have included the link.

#25 Chris Hennes

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 06:55 AM

Nice: here's the main table of contents they list there—

Chapter 1: Countertop Tools
Chapter 2: Conventional Cooking Gear
Chapter 3: Cooking Sous Vide
Chapter 4: Ingredients
Chapter 5: Basics
Chapter 6: Breakfast Eggs
Chapter 7: Salads and Cold Soups
Chapter 8: Pressure-Cooked Vegetable Soups
Chapter 9: Steak
Chapter 10: Cheeseburger
Chapter 11: Carnitas
Chapter 12: Braised Short Ribs
Chapter 13: Roast Chicken
Chapter 14: Chicken Wings
Chapter 15: Chicken Noodle Soup
Chapter 16: Salmon
Chapter 17: Shellfish
Chapter 18: Pizza
Chapter 19: Mac and Cheese
Chapter 20: Risotto and Paella
Chapter 21: Cornmeal
Chapter 22: Dishes for the Microwave
Chapter 23: Custards and Pies

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#26 JBailey

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 11:58 AM

Ordered day 1 and after seeing the list of chapters from Chris, very happy I did so! Now comes the wait...
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#27 jmolinari

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 01:59 PM

The index/recipes look awesome. Can't wait

#28 ScottyBoy

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 02:00 PM

Oh, what's this? A little desert in the end eh?
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#29 Chris Hennes

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 02:08 PM

Yeah, they thought a cookbook for home cooks seemed odd without it, so they expanded on their custard work from the original Modernist Cuisine.

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#30 Charcuterer

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 02:14 PM

I think the chapter on carnitas has me the most excited. All of those recipes look like something I would love to try. The item for "frozen steak" has me intrigued too.





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