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"Modernist Cuisine" by Myhrvold, Young & Bilet (Part 3)

Modernist Cookbook Reference

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#31 JBailey

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 07:22 AM

I agree about this originally being most fascinating to me as a large sous vide resource. Then came the hints it would explain the proper use of other kitchen equipment items. Now seeing the book and all the information has helped me re-think how I have used my kithen to produce even the most simple of dishes. Just the flipping of hamburgers was a great insight.

I am learning so much about food safety, different times for all the meat and vegetables discussed, how to successfully make gels, make me more adventurous about foams, properly use specialized ingredients and open my eyes to what others do and can do. It is a bit like when I was a kid and opened our World Book Encylopedia on one subject and then being drawn into another. For the most part, I probably will not replicate the recipes. However, I will use hints, strategies along with portions of recipes and further modify my own dishes by the best practices given.
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#32 Guy MovingOn

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 07:26 AM

I have to say that I don't think the book is as easy to read as everyone else has claimed.

I have started reading the book from Volume 1. Page 1. The language itself is absolutely fine and clear and I have no problems at all understanding or intrpeting what has been written. What I find difficult is the layout. The prose is so often interspersed with histories and biographies that occupy two thirds of each page. These text boxes actually occupy more space on the page than the continuous prose that I had intended to read. A lot of the time the histories and biographies are not relevant to the other text on that page. It's a bit like a book with ADD.

#33 mkayahara

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 07:49 AM

I have to say that I don't think the book is as easy to read as everyone else has claimed.

I have started reading the book from Volume 1. Page 1. The language itself is absolutely fine and clear and I have no problems at all understanding or intrpeting what has been written. What I find difficult is the layout. The prose is so often interspersed with histories and biographies that occupy two thirds of each page. These text boxes actually occupy more space on the page than the continuous prose that I had intended to read. A lot of the time the histories and biographies are not relevant to the other text on that page. It's a bit like a book with ADD.

I know exactly what you mean with this, and I think the key to dealing with it is to accept that you're going to end up reading the book more than once. When I had access to the review copy, I read through the first chapter looking only at the main text, ignoring the text boxes and such. I think that's the only way to do it if you're going to read it linearly. Since getting my physical copy, though, I've been reading individual sections on specific topics, and the text boxes become more useful at that point. But they can be very distracting if you're trying to take everything in at once.
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#34 Amida0616

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 08:08 AM

That to me is the true beauty of MC, with another cookbook you might have a recipe that contains a hot orange gel component to it.


Well if you want to make a hot apple gel, or a hot banana gel you can try it, but its going to take a ton of experimentation because you might not have a great scientific explanation of whats going on.


With MC they have a whole chart, with multiple fruits, and an explanation of the science and the Ph and the option to use different gelling agents, so it frees you to really create exactly what you want.

#35 Anna N

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 09:23 AM

I have to say that I don't think the book is as easy to read as everyone else has claimed.

I have started reading the book from Volume 1. Page 1. The language itself is absolutely fine and clear and I have no problems at all understanding or intrpeting what has been written. What I find difficult is the layout. The prose is so often interspersed with histories and biographies that occupy two thirds of each page. These text boxes actually occupy more space on the page than the continuous prose that I had intended to read. A lot of the time the histories and biographies are not relevant to the other text on that page. It's a bit like a book with ADD.

I know what you are saying and initially I had a bit of the same reaction but the more I dove into the book the more I realized that the journey was so much more interesting than the final destination. The side bars, the text boxes are so often even more interesting than the linear text. It's a bit like I pursue a google search. I know what I want but often learn a whole lot more as I take the circuitous route there. Follow the super hiways or the much more intereting rural routes. It all depends on you. Now I just relax and let the book be my guide - sort of like colouring outside the lines. :laugh:
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#36 abadoozy

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 10:28 AM

I have to say that I don't think the book is as easy to read as everyone else has claimed.

I have started reading the book from Volume 1. Page 1. The language itself is absolutely fine and clear and I have no problems at all understanding or intrpeting what has been written. What I find difficult is the layout. The prose is so often interspersed with histories and biographies that occupy two thirds of each page. These text boxes actually occupy more space on the page than the continuous prose that I had intended to read. A lot of the time the histories and biographies are not relevant to the other text on that page. It's a bit like a book with ADD.


I actually like this style of book quite a bit. Both me and my husband were giggling because Modernist Cuisine reminded us both of the World Book/National Geographic/Encyclopedias we both liked reading as kids. Lots of pictures! Interesting sidebars! Graphs and charts! The only thing missing are series of transparent pages that you can peel back to see various layers of things, like skin-muscles-organs-skeleton. I'm a bit disappointed Nathan didn't include anything like that, though the cutaways make up for it.

(and yeah, we're nerds. He wooed me over our shared childhood love of encyclopedias.)

#37 ShaneH

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 11:30 AM

Yes another encyclopedia nerd! :rolleyes:

My best friend and I used to read them and quiz eachother on facts we found in there...sort of like trivial pursuit but we were in junior high. Now I liken this book to that same experience as I share facts and such with him though via the phone now. He doesn't cook but bought the books just for sheer nerdiness....but I think he'll start cooking soon!
Science tastes yummy!

#38 nathanm

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 01:24 PM

I grew up on World Book and National Geographic too... and our editor (Wayt Gibbs) and art director (Mark Clemens) were both from Scientific American.
Nathan

#39 catsrus9

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 01:51 PM

I ordered my book from Barnes & Noble back in mid February. My order kept getting delayed and today after emailing customer service they responded by saying that the shipment isn't expected until July 1st and so they canceled my order. I FURIOUSLY called B&N headquarters and asked why they cancelled my order without first consulting me. The women on the phone didn't have much information but she seemed to believe that everyone's order from B&N had been canceled. Does anyone know anything about this. Is this true? I have a feeling B&N messed up and is now trying to cover their tracks.

Did anyone else order their copy of MC from B&N, and if so, what is your current status?

If I have to reorder my book and wait another 3-4 months for this, I am going to be so upset!
Thanks,
Charlie

#40 Guy MovingOn

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 04:42 PM

I understand but if you look at Volume 1. Pages 62-71, you will see the amount of interspersed text boxes and the difficulty encountered upon trying to read the linear prose. This is just within a few hours of reading. Furthermore, this is Volume 1.

#41 Johnny Zhu

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 05:16 PM

You are correct, 24 weeks is too long. We are missing a hyphen between the 2 and the 4. The actual time is 2-4 weeks. We are preparing a complete list of corrections and clarifications, and will post that on modernistcuisine.com as soon as it is ready, probably later this week.

Johnny Zhu

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Modernist Cuisine

Johnny Zhu
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#42 Chris Hennes

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 05:39 PM

It's quite readable with a Scotch instead (though I've already spilled on it once...)

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#43 edsel

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 07:25 PM

It's quite readable with a Scotch instead (though I've already spilled on it once...)


Yikes! I'm keeping my books a safe distance from all beverages and food.

I'm skipping around in the book, using the index PDF as a means of finding areas of interest. I'll sit down and read through most of it at length, but right now I'm just getting a feel for it.

I like the terse, compact format for the recipes. (shades of Le Guide Culinaire...) But when I try to cook from them I wind up puzzling over some of the instructions, and I hit snags in the execution. There's such a staggering amount of information in these books that it will take me , quite literally, years to begin to absorb it all.

#44 derekslager

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 08:11 PM

Well, I finally caught up with DHL today. Pictured below is my copy of Modernist Cuisine, at least according to Amazon.ca. I haven't even bothered to open it, because I already know what's inside. Yes, they charged me full price, and yes, this is the only shipment listed as part of my "closed" order. Question for others who received $400 kitchen manuals -- has Amazon.ca managed to find the missing portions of our orders yet? Trying to understand my options here.

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#45 Borgstrom

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 08:19 PM

Michael Ruhlman was interviewed about Modernist Cuisine on a local NPR show today. He clarifies his statements in the NY Times a bit. It seems to me that he has immense respect for MC.

Ruhlman also plugs MC in his review of Achatz's Life, On the Line:

If you want more details on how the food is actually created, buy the Alinea cookbook and also invest in Modernist Cuisine, the awe-inspiring new multi-volume cookbook and manifesto detailing its every aspect).

It's also interesting to note that he uses "Modernist cuisine" as a generic term several times in the article -- an amazingly rapid transition from the title of a book to the label for a movement. How many years did it take Xerox or Kleenex (or Hoover for you folks in the UK) take to reach this status? MC has done it in less than a month!

#46 Chris Hennes

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 08:34 PM

It's also interesting to note that he uses "Modernist cuisine" as a generic term several times in the article -- an amazingly rapid transition from the title of a book to the label for a movement. How many years did it take Xerox or Kleenex (or Hoover for you folks in the UK) take to reach this status? MC has done it in less than a month!

It helps that more or less everyone hated the other terms available ("molecular gastronomy", "technoemotional cuisine", etc.) And the book makes a very compelling case for the term "Modernist cuisine" in volume one: I suspect the uptake of the new terminology will be rapid indeed.

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#47 Wholemeal Crank

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 08:52 PM

I've enjoyed my sessions reading the book, so far distressingly few of them, with food nearby, and while I haven't spilled on it yet, that will surely come in time. But if I wait for food-free time to read it, away from the kitchen, dining room, or midnight snacks, it will take years to get through at present rates--not due to readability issues, it's more readable than most of my trade journals, but simply due to time constraints. And I want to get through that first reading ASAP, so I can start incorporating new ideas and techniques into my cooking. Just this weekend, I made some filled cookies, that might have benefited from a better knowledge of thickening agents to help solidify the filling a bit and preserve their shape better without the inevitable flavor dilution of cornstarch.

#48 Chris Hennes

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 09:02 PM

I think the reconstructed cheeses may have changed my life. I made a grilled cheese for lunch today that might possibly have been the best I've ever had. Such a simple little thing...

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#49 Sharif

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 10:00 PM

Well, I finally caught up with DHL today. Pictured below is my copy of Modernist Cuisine, at least according to Amazon.ca. I haven't even bothered to open it, because I already know what's inside. Yes, they charged me full price, and yes, this is the only shipment listed as part of my "closed" order. Question for others who received $400 kitchen manuals -- has Amazon.ca managed to find the missing portions of our orders yet? Trying to understand my options here.


Well, since there have apparently been reports of shipments without a kitchen manual (anyone here?), it seems likely the slipcases that were supporting our kitchen manuals were sent out to others and aren't just gathering dust in the warehouse. So, resolving it through Amazon.ca will probably mean waiting for them to get another shipment (are they even due to get another in the first printing?). I'm not sure if it will be faster, but you can e-mail info@modernistcuisine.com as per Wayt's post on missing kitchen manuals. Although that post relates to the inverse situation, they seem to be willing to help me out (though I don't know what form this will take yet - maybe just assistance dealing with Amazon.ca). In any case, getting help from the publisher can't hurt and could end up putting pressure on Amazon.ca from both ends.

#50 AaronM

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 10:09 PM

Found an error on page 45 of volume 2. The fourth paragraph begins "Certainly a thin the pan made from less..."

Don't worry.

I've alerted the proper authorities.

#51 lesliec

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 10:23 PM

Well well - whatever can this be, sitting by my back door?

MC.jpg

IT'S HERE!!!

Excuse me, just had to post this before I opened it. Talk amongst yourselves; I may be some time.

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#52 jackal10

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 12:04 AM

WHats happening at Amazon UK? Any idea when they will have stock?
I ordered last October, and there is still no delivery date. Did the consignment get lost?
Jack Lang

#53 adey73

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 04:18 AM

Finally got hold of mine, after a long day at work and 30 minutes carefully unpacking the tomb, didn't have chance to thumb more than 10 of the 2500 pages.

Anyone any idea where the ultrasonic chips are and the chicken with the golden brown skin that was cooked sous vide? (I think they cooked the skin in peking duck kind of way). And the bullet proof Bernaise sauce?

..............You can see what's first on the menu.

Edited by adey73, 12 April 2011 - 04:25 AM.

“Do you not find that bacon, sausage, egg, chips, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and a cup of tea; is a meal in itself really?” Hovis Presley.

#54 blackp

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 04:49 AM

Finally got hold of mine, after a long day at work and 30 minutes carefully unpacking the tomb, didn't have chance to thumb more than 10 of the 2500 pages.

Anyone any idea where the ultrasonic chips are and the chicken with the golden brown skin that was cooked sous vide? (I think they cooked the skin in peking duck kind of way). And the bullet proof Bernaise sauce?

..............You can see what's first on the menu.

Sounds like you're after an up-market KFC experience :rolleyes:

#55 adey73

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 05:05 AM

Am always up for even a down market KFC experience!

Edited by adey73, 12 April 2011 - 05:06 AM.

“Do you not find that bacon, sausage, egg, chips, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and a cup of tea; is a meal in itself really?” Hovis Presley.

#56 Rebecca Dalton

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 05:47 AM

I ordered March 2 from Amazon and was told to expect the order April 15. Today my "open order" on Amazon is marked as SHIPPING SOON and says that I no longer can change or cancel my order. Not that I want to! Can barely believe it's on its way!!!

#57 Anna N

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 06:12 AM

Finally got hold of mine, after a long day at work and 30 minutes carefully unpacking the tomb, didn't have chance to thumb more than 10 of the 2500 pages.

Anyone any idea where the ultrasonic chips are and the chicken with the golden brown skin that was cooked sous vide? (I think they cooked the skin in peking duck kind of way). And the bullet proof Bernaise sauce?

..............You can see what's first on the menu.



Check the on-line index
Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

"It either works fine or not, but what the heck. This is bread, not birth control." Susan of Wild Yeast blog
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#58 miketerry

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 06:40 AM

WHats happening at Amazon UK? Any idea when they will have stock?
I ordered last October, and there is still no delivery date. Did the consignment get lost?
Jack Lang



My delivery date was due 8-11 April,had the email from Amazon to say they would let me know when it would be available...

#59 FoodMan

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 06:46 AM

Woohoo. A good morning to me! Just got this note in my inbox. Hopefully it will arrive with all volumes accounted for...might have to work from home on Friday

We thought you'd like to know that we shipped your items, and that this completes your order. Your order is being shipped and cannot be changed by you or by our customer service department.

The following items have been shipped to you by Amazon.com:
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Qty Item Price Shipped Subtotal

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Amazon.com items (Sold by Amazon.com, LLC) :

1 Modernist Cuisine: The Art...
Shipped via UPS


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#60 ajnicholls

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 07:46 AM


WHats happening at Amazon UK? Any idea when they will have stock?
I ordered last October, and there is still no delivery date. Did the consignment get lost?
Jack Lang



My delivery date was due 8-11 April,had the email from Amazon to say they would let me know when it would be available...



We all seem to be in the same boat here. I'm still waiting.....





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