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"Modernist Cuisine" by Myhrvold, Young & Bilet (Part 1)

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Wow. Congrats to you and your crew Nathan.


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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The photography looks even better than Under Pressure. Many of the photos feature pots, pans, and other equipment cut in half -- was that done in reality or just Photoshop?

I'm excited to read about the rotary evaporator, centrifuges, and other equipment I could not possibly ever afford.

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We really cut things in half! Lots of things...

Photoshop was also needed in some cases. For example to show a pot cut in half we usually had to glue pyrex glass over the half, then use photoshop to take out the evidence of the glass at the edges. This is like in Hollywood movies where people fly through the air supported by wires, then they digitally remove the wires.


Nathan

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The index to your book fully justifies the faith we placed in you by pre-ordering when it appeared on Amazon.

Well done! Can't wait to read and use it.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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I was interested when I first heard about it, now? Must have!

It's a shame it's releasing when it is though, I'll be staging in Australia for a month and won't have money for a while.

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Wow. This looks spectacular Nathan and will be the highest item on my Xmas list. Your team seems to have done an outstanding job. Unfortunately I might have to wait a bit before I can convince my SO of how much I NEED this as opposed want this at this price tag.


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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Wow, very nice. It looks like the book may actually live up to the hype! ;-) I'm very excited to receive my copy - it looks incredibly educational, but also a lot of fun to read.

I'm wondering if the recipes listed in ToC are just examples - are there more? I'm certainly happy with what is listed, but I'm guessing that a 66 page section like "Tough Cuts", even with the gorgeous photography, includes more than eight recipes. Of course, they could be "lessons" as much as "recipes," and be much lengthier than I'm assuming. Nathan, if you have a moment, could you resolve my confusion? Thanks!

EDIT - Ah, I think I understand a bit better. Looks like the recipe section in Vol. 5 is for special plated items, while there are recipes spread throughout a couple of the other volumes as well. So there are many (hundreds?) of recipes, just not all in Vol. 5.


Edited by RDaneel (log)

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Total recipe count depends a bit on how you count it because we have some unique types of recipes that have many possibilites. I would estimate about 1000 recipes total in the book, distributed through most of the volumes.

The plated dish recipes include side dishes and garnishes. Each one is multiple side recipes.

However, the book is not just a recipe book. We could fit a lot more than 1000 recipes in that page count if that is all we wanted to do - we have a lot of technique and "how to" photos.


Nathan

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Awesome, sounds great. My only concern, before I read the preview site in more depth, was that recipes would be limited to a few dozen. They would certainly be welcome, but I'm glad to have many more considering the length of the compendium! Can't wait for that Amazon delivery to arrive...

The book appears to be a bit of On Food and Cooking, some Complete Techniques, a dash of Under Pressure, and then a whole lot more. I don't see how it could be summed up in a sentence or with a good metaphor, so thank you for putting together the preview site.

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Hi Nathan, looks great but still no sign on Amazon UK.

Am sure I was the first to ask for a signed copy on the Sous Vide thread, any resolution there?


“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.

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It will be available for pre-order on Amazon UK soon, but I am not sure exactly how soon.

I am happy to sign copies if they are physically accessible to me, but the logistics of signing and then shipping are difficult.

The books are packaged in a shipping box at the printing plant - much like you would get a DVD player, flat panel TV or some other consumer electronics. It goes from there by ship to warehouses for Amazon, or other book distributors.

The book weighs so much that paying for shipping to ship it to me to sign is pretty expensive.

We are looking into a way for me to sign a bunch of books and then give them to Amazon or others as a special signed edition. This only makes sense if there is a lot of demand for a signed book.

Another approach is to sign bookplates which get stuck in the book.

We will look into various solutions...


Nathan

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Another approach is to sign bookplates which get stuck in the book.

I've never understood why someone would want a signed bookplate. Unless that bookplate had a personal message.

I've pre-ordered the book from Amazon and can't wait to get my hands on it. And I know it's going to cost me way more than $421.87...

Years ago a friend gave me a bottle of Campari along with a recipe for a negroni. That gift cost me $250 because I had to buy martini glasses, a cocktail shaker, gin, vermouth.

I know that as a result of buying Modernist Cuisine, I'll be adding to my collection of kitchen toys.


If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe. - Carl Sagan

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Kim, just repeat after me: I don't need a Pacojet. I don't need a Rotovap. I don't need an Anti-Griddle...

haha

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Kim, just repeat after me: I don't need a Pacojet. I don't need a Rotovap. I don't need an Anti-Griddle...

haha

Why would I want to resist temptation?


If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe. - Carl Sagan

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Awesome, sounds great. My only concern, before I read the preview site in more depth, was that recipes would be limited to a few dozen. They would certainly be welcome, but I'm glad to have many more considering the length of the compendium! Can't wait for that Amazon delivery to arrive...

The full table of contents lists 48 recipes in the "Plated Dishes" volume. But as Nathan has alluded, that number is a little deceptive. The Mushroom Swiss Burger, for example, incorporates 16 subrecipes:

Methylcellulose A15C Stock Solution

Tomato Confit

Rendered Beef Suet

Short-Rib Patty

Hamburger Buns

Mushroom Broth

Freeze-Dried Shiitake

Mushroom Ketchup

Restructured Emmental Slices

Onion Stock

Onion Cracker Breading

Shallot Rings

Hamburger Glaze

Sautéed Maitake Mushrooms

Smoked Lettuce

Compressed Tomatoes

So it's easy to see how a recipe count not only multiplies, but how difficult it is to count them -- some are barely recipes in the classical sense, and some seem to be quite complicated.

Speaking of the burger, here's a larger version of what you can see on the site (this is at 100 dpi; obviously the printed version will be nice and sharp):

MC_burger.jpg


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Damn, I really want to try one of those burgers. And at 16 subrecipes, I'm really hoping I can find someone else to make it for me! (just kidding about that last part)

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I am so glad I pre-ordered this book!

Tomato confit. Mushroom ketchup. Rendered beef suet.

I am in heaven.

The more I can make from scratch, the happier I am.

I may just explode.

In a good way.


If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe. - Carl Sagan

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Nathan, can you say a bit about how you and your team developed the recipe flavor profiles, for lack of a better term? For example, in the burger above, there are some standard (cheese, tomato, smoke) and not-so-standard (crimini ketchup with fish sauce and allspice) flavors going on.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Our goal with this recipe was to make the ultimate hamburger. That isn't a very well defined thing of course because everybody has their own definition, in part shaped by their experiences. Comfort food is often heavily influenced by nostalgia.

Part of the recipe is about using state of the art techniques to execute a more or less standard hamburger. We use short rib as the meat for the burger. The meat is ground via a special technique to align the grain, which makes it seem jucier. The cheese is made using an emuslifier so that it melts perfectly, the way so-called American cheese does, but it is made of real Swiss cheeses so it has high quality cheese flavor. The bun is made using l-cystene, an amino acid that helps make buns soft. The tomato is vacuum compressed to make it denser.

At the same time we wanted to put some twists in the dish.

I ate at a restaurant in Seal Beach, California that had smoked lettuce. So we decided to add that, but we wanted the lettuce crispier than theirs so we did it by vacuum infusion of liquid smoke.

For the ketchup and mayo we wanted to do something a bit more unusual flavor wise. So we developed our own ketchup recipe. We used mushrooms as the base, and then worked some other flavors in. Now, you might think that mushroom ketchup is something new, but no it isn't, see this Wikipedia article , which includes this photo of a bottle of mushroom ketchup hailing originally from 1850. Mushroom ketchup is also discussed here

You may think that Thai fish sauce is unusual, but in fact anchovies are present in Worchestershire sauce, so it is not as odd as you may think. The same is true for allspice, which is found in many ketchup recipes.

The overall goal is to have a recipe that is both familar and different at the same time. I think we achieved that, but of course there are a lot of other things that one could do.


Edited by nathanm (log)

Nathan

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