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Renn

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

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It is back at 420 on amazon. These fluctuations really happen to me all the time.

Thanks for the tip, I pulled the trigger. Now just the waiting begins.

One thing I hope: I'ved noted in the past that books which publish an errata online get a lot of flack for have some many recipes "wrong". This is idiotic, on the whole, because the huge majority of cooks books have errors, it is only the ones which actually *help* you by telling you the errors that get the grief. I hope that the publishers here publish the revisions and get good compliments for it, instead of grief. Rant over for today :)

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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.

You did achieve it.

Familiar: aligning the strands of meat for burgers, mushroom ketchup and the cheese slice concept all made appearances in Heston Blumenthal's "In Search of Perfection" books.

Different: the compressed tomato, infused lettuce and the mayo/glaze.

I'm not implying anything negative. I'm sure the way the "familiar" ideas were executed was unique, they're just ideas that are more familiar to me than the stuff in the "different" category. It's looking like this is going to be one of those "must have" books regardless of price.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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The Chinese printers use very advanced technology like stochastic screening to give us printing superior to virtually all other books - even to art books.

Slightly off topic, but I am curious--is the Artron color process you mention on the web site a six-color process or four-color? I seem to dimly recall from my days as a print buyer in the 90s when stochastic, hexachrome, and waterless printing were going to take over the world, the actual uptake of the technology was slowed by patent complications. And of course, cost and inertia. Nobody wanted to actually pay for it. I had some book covers printed waterless, and they looked real nice, but no one really noticed the difference.


"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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Slightly off topic, but I am curious--is the Artron color process you mention on the web site a six-color process or four-color? I seem to dimly recall from my days as a print buyer in the 90s when stochastic, hexachrome, and waterless printing were going to take over the world, the actual uptake of the technology was slowed by patent complications. And of course, cost and inertia. Nobody wanted to actually pay for it. I had some book covers printed waterless, and they looked real nice, but no one really noticed the difference.

I am embarassed to say that I don't recall at the moment - I will check and post. We discussed both but I don't recall where we came out...


Nathan

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I'm in. I preordered it. Nathan's right, even though it's $500 now, you get the lowest price at Amazon between now and the day it ships.

I was happy to see that when I typed "modernist" into Amazon's search window, the top of the "search suggestion" list was "Modernist Cuisine". I think that bodes well for an early success.

I am so damn excited I could sphericate the cat.

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We'll see how life changing any one book can be, especially a $500 one. I find a "definitive reference book" to be unrealistic because if you ask something like "how do I make stock" to 10 different chefs, you'll get 10 different answers. Even with Sous Vide, a method where you can attain cooking "perfection", you'll get different times and temperatures from many chefs for a single protein.

But I do think this is a good time to put out such a cookbook given that cutting edge gastronomy has plateaued and people are starting to reach their culinary limits in terms of "WTF can you possibly do to your food".


austinlinecook.com

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... people are starting to reach their culinary limits in terms of "WTF can you possibly do to your food".

Unfortunately we can now genetically modify it, so think of this as an area potentially resembling a dangerous blank slate.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

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

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Will ther be a launch event/party/conference?

Maybe an opportunity to re-establish the equivalent of the Erice conferences, with chefs and scientists.

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We are still planning what we do about the launch. We don't have plans for a conference at this point.


Nathan

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A brilliant decision to place modernist techniques within the context of the familiar....And on that note, mind sharing more of the burger recipe? Sure, I can guess a good amount of it, but since precision seems to be central to the book, I'd love to give it a go verbatim.

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I heard you guys were all going to get into a food truck and cross the country cooking BBQ and burgers, is this just a rumor/dream?


h. alexander talbot

chef and author

Levittown, PA

ideasinfood

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I heard you guys were all going to get into a food truck and cross the country cooking BBQ and burgers, is this just a rumor/dream?

Sounds like fun, but my day job may get in the way!

An even better idea would be to take the team and go across the country EATING great BBQ than cooking it. I bet we'd learn something, and it would be a change of pace from writing the book. However, all of that is indefinite future, right now our focus is on proofreading the galleys and telling the world about the book. This weekend I speak at a conference of food bloggers, and it will be interesting to see what they think.


Nathan

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Well I'm excited and I'm looking forward to the release.

An article about the book along with a demonstration of how to cook the perfect duck breast with dry ice, re-ignited my interest in food last year. Following on from that article/video I discovered Herve This, McGee and Blumenthal - my bookshelves and pantry have been filling up ever since and I've done more cooking in the last year than I have over the previous 5 or 6 years combined.

Awesome work!

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The enthusiastic Mr. Hennes just indicated that, for a mere $4/volume additional fee, you can get the book shipped overnight. (If you have Prime, which I don't, it's $4 flat.) At $421-500, this seems a pittance, so I'm going for the luxury of getting it PDQ.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Some news about the cookbook. We have had to delay publication by a couple months due to a number of factors. The new date is in March but we expect that the book may be available a bit before then.

Also, the current issue of Food Arts magazine (subscribers should be getting it now) has a big article on the book.


Nathan

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No...! :( I hope some edits and additions are added, with the extra four months. Missing a Thanksgiving launch will definitely put a dent in sales.

More recipes -- say, modernist versions of mac 'n cheese, pot roast, Thanksgiving dinner, ice cream cake -- or more details on specific ingredients would be stellar. Wish list: the deep skinny on glutamates and how they affect foods, dishes, and eaters as a whole; differences on every type of commercial cooking oil and type of fatty acid from culinary and nutritional perspectives; cooking differences between all common cuts and offal of beef, pig, chicken, duck, lamb, assorted fish. That's a start. :)

I guess the delay will give me more time to play around with my new Nikon D7000.

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I just noticed that the Amazon page now says six volumes, where it used to say five... not sure if this means there is more content, or if the volumes have simply been re-formatted to simplify publishing?

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There are 5 hardcover volumes, plus the spiral bound kitchen manual (about 350 pages) which is printed on waterproof paper. So there are six volumes.

That hasn't changed for the last 3 months, but about 3 months ago we had to split one of the hardcover volumes - it got too big. When you get too many pages in one volume, you get potential binding issues (the binding doesn't last as long, spine can crack. Also given the large format of the book it gets too heavy to be convienent for people. So yes, we went from 5 to 6 volumes, although not recently.

Nevetheless, the Amazon page had originally been written for the earlier 5 volume set.

Also, there is some lingering confusion between the fact that the 5 hardcover volumes are in one set, and then there is kitchen manual which we consider to be volume 6.


Nathan

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The NYTimes cites longer-than-usual time required for proofreading (understandable), and troubles with the shipping package (for the books) for the delay.

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Think positive!

The delay leaves us more time for lively discussions before the book arrives and everything has been said and the answer to any question will be RNMB (to avoid the vulgar RTFM).


Peter F. Gruber aka Pedro

eG Ethics Signatory

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