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Modernist Cuisine: History & Fundamentals

A REVOLUTION IS UNDER WAY IN THE ART OF COOKING. Just as Nouvelle cuisine upended centuries of traditions and revealed to a delighted world the joys of innovating in the kitchen, Modernist cuisine has in recent years blown through the bound­aries of the culinary arts. Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young, and Maxime Bilet—scientists, inventors, and accomplished cooks in their own right—have created the ultimate guide to this move­ment that embraces high-tech and science-inspired techniques for preparing food that ranges from the other worldly to the sublime.

Volume 1 begins with a historical survey that places the emergence of the Modernist cooking movement in its proper context, as just the latest in a series of transformational shifts in the culinary arts. The volume continues with a practical and authoritative walk through the basic biology of food borne illnesses, how they spread, and how careful cooks can exploit the latest slow-cooking techniques with out putting themselves or their guests at risk. Next, a provocative chapter on food and health examines many of the most com­mon beliefs about what we should and should not eat to stay healthy—and finds disappointingly few that have survived careful scrutiny by the scientific community.

The volume concludes with two chapters that every cook should read to understand the two most fundamental ingredients of all cooking: heat and water. In the kitchen, we use these every day, in every dish. Yet even the most experienced cooks find them selves occasionally frustrated or bewildered by the unexpected ways in which heat moves into and through foods, and by the genuinely odd chemical and physical proper ties of water.

Written explicitly for cooks, these chapters present the fundamental science every culinary enthusiast should master. The engaging writing and highly illustrated format bring the subjects to life.