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"Modernist Cuisine" by Myhrvold, Young & Bilet (Part 2)


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I would not say that the blurring the lines of sweet and savory is one of the "main characteristics" of modernist cuisine. Yes, that trend did occur. Very specifically it was a phase that Ferran experimented with during a specific time period. Heston also has some savory ice creams.

However, these are just a few examples of MANY things that occured in the cuisine, so I would not call it a "main characteristic". We discuss that a bit. However, our book is not a pastry book, so we don't cover modernist pastry.

I also disagree that use of pastry techinques is a "main characteristic". I think that it is more accurate to say that pastry has a mindset of careful measurement and strong reliance on technique. Modernist cuisine shares that philosophy. However, modernist cuisine did not simply appropriate traditional pastry technique for savory food.

The modernist revolution section traces the many threads that are woven into what we call modernist cuisine. In terms of chefs the earliest instigator of modernist cuisine was Ferran Adria, and yes he is from Europe - more specifically Spanish, and more specifcally than that Catlan.

Ferran was a young Catlan chef, cooking under a French chef at a French restaurant owned by a German doctor in Northern Spain (Catlunya). He initally sought to learn French Nouvelle Cusine. When the chef left Ferran started innovating on his own.

I suppose that makes his cooking European, but then what do you say to the many Asian influences that he has used over the years? Is soy sauce, or Kobe beef or kombu seaweed "genuinely European"? He uses them....

Mostly his cuisine is deeply original. It draws from European culinary traditions, but not exclusively so.

Due to Ferran and others, many of the early modernist techinques were developed in Europe. However there were some developments that were done first in the US. Harold McGee championed science in the kitchen with his book in 1984. Sous vide started in a Swedish hospital system, but the first sous vide food served to a restaurant guest was in the US.

More generally I don't know what "genuinely European" means. It is a strangely nationalistic way to look at this.

I actually am going to be in Spain the end of this coming week. However, we won't have PR events until we have a Spanish edition. We are working on a deal to make that happen but I don't have a date yet.

Nathan

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I have big news - we have signed a deal with the international publishing company Taschen to publish Modernist Cuisine in multiple languages. The first three are French, German and Spanish and we expect that these will be released by the end of 2011. Here is the press release that Taschen put out.

Other languages are planned for the future. I'm not sure what we will decide but we are thinking of perhaps six or more languages over time.

I have really enjoyed publishing the book myself in English. Among other things, it's been a way for me to learn a lot about the book busines. I will remain the publisher in English. However, the task of getting the book translated into multiple languages, and then distributed into book stores around the world can be better handled by a firm like Taschen. They publish so many large beautiful books that MC won't seem that unusual in their line up, except for one thing. It is their first cookbook.

It is very exciting to have the book be accessible to people who don't read English. Cuisine is an international phenomenon, and we needed to have the book translated in order to make it accessible to people.

Edited by nathanm (log)

Nathan

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congratulations on the Taschen deal! I just got the press release in my inbox. One of my all time favorite publishers (and an astounding success story as well!) this company always surprises with extremely well made and wonderfully printed art books for very little money. They also published the ONE book that I WANT to have but can't afford, the limited edition of Moonfire with an actual piece of the moon in a box.

Some might also remember the gigantic edition of Helmut Newton's Sumo, a book so large it came with it's own table size stand. A highly priced collector's item now, though you can get a new edition of the book.

I presume they won't be going through the same extreme printing process though, or will they? You never know with Taschen. It'll be interesting how it will be priced.

That's really a great deal, that it's their first cook book is interesting, but from what I've seen of MC, it just as well qualifies as a photography art book.

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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Congratulations, Nathan! I'm amazed at the publication date for these editions. Accurate technical translations and the layout problems they present can be daunting -- the Romance languages, for example, usually take 20 to 30 percent more space to say the same thing as English.

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

Eat more chicken skin.

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Most of our layouts were sized so that langugages that need a bit more space than English will fit.

The translated editions of the book will be just that - translated. The content will be indentical.

Fast food is a worldwide phenomenon, but businesses like Kentucy Fried Chicken did start in the US, but many started elsewhere. We already profile the French/Greek/Spanish founder of Danon yoghurt, for example.

Nathan

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I would not say that the blurring the lines of sweet and savory is one of the "main characteristics" of modernist cuisine. Yes, that trend did occur. Very specifically it was a phase that Ferran experimented with during a specific time period. Heston also has some savory ice creams.

However, these are just a few examples of MANY things that occured in the cuisine, so I would not call it a "main characteristic". We discuss that a bit. However, our book is not a pastry book, so we don't cover modernist pastry.

I'd argue that it was something that altered for good the menus and the structure of a meal --in Occident-- as we knew them. Also, you can still find it at elBulli as recent as barely a month ago, not to mention places like Klein's or Roca's. It is certainly remarked in one of elBulli's books --one of the first was Albert's "Los postres de El Bulli" (El Bulli desserts)-- in the evolutive analysis section.

I agree that it's one of the many things that occurred in the cuisine. Certainly not the main one, which to me would be the new look at food, bringing playfulness as well as intellectuality to the plate, being technique a necessary development --and a new degree of freedom too.

I also disagree that use of pastry techinques is a "main characteristic". I think that it is more accurate to say that pastry has a mindset of careful measurement and strong reliance on technique. Modernist cuisine shares that philosophy. However, modernist cuisine did not simply appropriate traditional pastry technique for savory food.

No, it did not simply appropriate traditional pastry technique. And probably the transition from pastry to modernist pastry has been as remarkable as the savory. Jordi Roca's or Stupak's creations rapidly come to my mind.

The modernist revolution section traces the many threads that are woven into what we call modernist cuisine. In terms of chefs the earliest instigator of modernist cuisine was Ferran Adria, and yes he is from Europe - more specifically Spanish, and more specifcally than that Catlan.

Ferran was a young Catlan chef, cooking under a French chef at a French restaurant owned by a German doctor in Northern Spain (Catlunya). He initally sought to learn French Nouvelle Cusine. When the chef left Ferran started innovating on his own.

I suppose that makes his cooking European, but then what do you say to the many Asian influences that he has used over the years? Is soy sauce, or Kobe beef or kombu seaweed "genuinely European"? He uses them....

Mostly his cuisine is deeply original. It draws from European culinary traditions, but not exclusively so.

Due to Ferran and others, many of the early modernist techinques were developed in Europe. However there were some developments that were done first in the US. Harold McGee championed science in the kitchen with his book in 1984. Sous vide started in a Swedish hospital system, but the first sous vide food served to a restaurant guest was in the US.

More generally I don't know what "genuinely European" means. It is a strangely nationalistic way to look at this.

"Genuinely" is --definitely-- a poor choice of word. Originated in Europe and with more followers in Europe would have been a better way to express what I intended. Nonetheless, Europe not being a nation, it's also strange to describe the idea as a "strangely nationalistic way to look at this". Not more nationalistic way than saying that Nouvelle Cuisine started in France. Which I'd say is relevant when talking of history.

I wasn't referring to European as something directly traceable in the dishes or giving some sort of common background to them, purely a geographical reference.

I'm curious about the modernist developments which were done first in the States. Not challenging your assertion, it's simply that I don't know them.

PS: congratulations on the deal with Taschen!

PedroEspinosa (aka pedro)

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Not sure about Canada but just got email from Amazon US that my book shipped, ETA April 6th.

I keep hoping to wake up one morning and see that same email in my inbox. :-(

Our of curiosity when did you place your order?

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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Hopefully posts like these are allowed...?

For anyone who was on the fence at the current Amazon price, you can get it for 50% off at B&N in-store if you don't mind waiting an extra month or two...

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/email/nav.asp?r=1&PID=37767

Goto the service center and ask them to ship to your home (or work or some other address). Downside is, you have to pay upfront instead of waiting until shipment. Had a $20 giftcard so total came to $230 after california tax :) Expires at close of business this Sunday.

so they took 50% off the online discount price, not the list price?!! That is odd and unusual. They usually take it off the list price.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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For anyone who was on the fence at the current Amazon price, you can get it for 50% off at B&N in-store if you don't mind waiting an extra month or two...

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/email/nav.asp?r=1&PID=37767

Goto the service center and ask them to ship to your home (or work or some other address). Downside is, you have to pay upfront instead of waiting until shipment. Had a $20 giftcard so total came to $230 after california tax :) Expires at close of business this Sunday.

I happened to be in the vicinity of the Pacific Place BN store in Seattle this afternoon so I stopped in and asked about this. They pulled up the book on their computer and next to the $461 price it said, "no further discounts available," in big red letters. I showed them this post on my phone and they told me it was up to the store manager's discretion whether to allow the discount. In the case of this particular store the answer was no.

My Amazon shipping window begins this week, so I'm hoping I don't get the dreaded email pushing it back.

Chief Scientist / Amateur Cook

MadVal, Seattle, WA

Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code

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Amazon Canada's still showing 14 April for me (ordered October).

Can my stress levels survive this? I'm sure it's worse than the approach of Christmas for a six-year-old.

Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
Host, eG Forumslcraven@egstaff.org

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relatives ~ Oscar Wilde

My eG Foodblog

eGullet Ethics Code signatory

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Amazon Canada's still showing 14 April for me (ordered October).

Can my stress levels survive this? I'm sure it's worse than the approach of Christmas for a six-year-old.

Ditto - ordered October - Amazon.ca still shows 14 April.

Let's hope that these are among the first (only?) 250 en-route by slow train.

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I happened to be in the vicinity of the Pacific Place BN store in Seattle this afternoon so I stopped in and asked about this. They pulled up the book on their computer and next to the $461 price it said, "no further discounts available," in big red letters. I showed them this post on my phone and they told me it was up to the store manager's discretion whether to allow the discount. In the case of this particular store the answer was no.

My Amazon shipping window begins this week, so I'm hoping I don't get the dreaded email pushing it back.

Interesting...I asked to order, for which they gave me a printout of the order itself, took it to the register, and paid without so much as having a manager being called.

Hope your copy ships this week :) Cancelled my Amazon order since it seems like my B&N order didn't get cancelled...

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I placed my order February 12 and my status just changed to shipping soon! Expected to receive it on April 6. I am in New York. It does feel like Christmas; I can't wait!

Anne Napolitano

Chef On Call

"Great cooking doesn't come from breaking with tradition but taking it in new directions-evolution rather that revolution." Heston Blumenthal

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Delivery of my copy should occur in a few hours. (Yay!)

However, after downloading the index from their website, I discovered that is is not printable (by design.) (Boo!) I'm not keen on looking at the index on my PC, netbook or phone. I WILL have my own copy of the index on dead trees, even if I have to go through a low-fi route to get it. Then I can annotate, highlight, or whatever.

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Delivery of my copy should occur in a few hours. (Yay!)

However, after downloading the index from their website, I discovered that is is not printable (by design.) (Boo!) I'm not keen on looking at the index on my PC, netbook or phone. I WILL have my own copy of the index on dead trees, even if I have to go through a low-fi route to get it. Then I can annotate, highlight, or whatever.

I wonder what the reasoning was behind that or maybe it was just a mistake? If I have to I'll set the view to 75%, screen grab and then print all 60 pages but hopefully Nathan wasn't aware of this an the Modernist team can release a printable version

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Why would you want to print it if you have a printed copy?

Not sure I understand the question. The book set has an index, but I don't want to keep swapping large heavy books to refer to it. Nor do I want to mark up the original index, but I definitely want to annotate my own personal copy of that index (highlighting various items, for instance.)

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Woo!!! Happy day!

Although I will believe it when I see a tracking number.

Shipping Soon

Delivery Estimate: April 6, 2011

Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking

Nathan Myhrvold, et al

Sold by: Amazon.com, LLC

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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Delivery of my copy should occur in a few hours. (Yay!)

However, after downloading the index from their website, I discovered that is is not printable (by design.) (Boo!) I'm not keen on looking at the index on my PC, netbook or phone. I WILL have my own copy of the index on dead trees, even if I have to go through a low-fi route to get it. Then I can annotate, highlight, or whatever.

I wonder what the reasoning was behind that or maybe it was just a mistake? If I have to I'll set the view to 75%, screen grab and then print all 60 pages but hopefully Nathan wasn't aware of this an the Modernist team can release a printable version

The other PDFs released by the publisher don't seem to have this limitation, so I'd presume it was intentional.

The publishers have the right to protect their Valuable Intellectual Property, and any discussion of methods to bypass their protection are a violation of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (in the US, at least.)

I wish I were just kidding...

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