If you own a copy of Modernist Cuisine, now in its fourth printing, you probably already have Modernist Cuisine at Home on pre-order (to be released October 8th). For the less sous vide obsessed — or perhaps simply budget conscious — Nathan Myhrvold's follow-up title will be released in October (!).
The pros, or cons, depending on your poundage, recipe and volume expectations: Modernist Cuisine at Home is $140 versus $625 for Modernist Cuisine, 456 pages versus 2,438, 10.5 pounds versus 52.2, two sections (a 456 page book + 230 page kitchen manual) versus five volumes (2,438 pages).
The similarities? Both are hardcover, and printed on washable, waterproof paper. Meaning (before we've seen a review copy) that Modernist Cuisine at Home is basically the apartment stove version of the Beverly Hills custom Viking range — we can all afford gas stoves and washable paper, it seems. And you know, our apartment stove works fine, just fine every night. So what is promised in the everyday cookbook?
Authors Myhrvold and the Cooking Lab's head chef, Maxime Bilet (who now has 10 patents pending on his work, incidentally) caution that this is not the Groupon version of the real deal. “Although we kept Modernist Cuisine in the title, this new book is not a condensed version of its predecessor,” they clarify in the press release. “If you want to learn about food safety, microbiology, the history of foie gras cultivation, or hundreds of other topics, Modernist Cuisine is still the book to turn to.”
What is included: In Part 1, Stocking the Modernist Kitchen, we are promised an exploration of “counter-top tools, conventional cooking gear, sous vide cooking gear, modern ingredients.” In other words, expect to spend some cash upgrading both your traditional kitchen tools and adding sous vide equipment if you don't already have it. Which, if you are buying this book, is probably your intention.
In Part 2, Recipes, we get exactly that. Here, expect tips on composing and plating dishes, mastering the basics (stocks, sauces, condiments, brining, etc.), “everyday dishes” like eggs, salads, steaks, cheeseburgers, paella, chicken wings and milkshakes. Yeah, we're curious what they are going to do with plain old ice cream + milk, too.
Also promised: How to cook fish sous vide in your kitchen sink (!), how to cook steak in a picnic cooler (imagine the Hollywood Bowl possibilities), pressure-cooked vegetable soups and “dishes for the microwave.” Well, we've never been terribly big fans of the microwave, but if anyone can convince us to appreciate it, we're pretty sure Myhrvold and Bilet can. Check back in October, and we'll let you know how that microwave side of things goes.
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