The media blitz for the world’s most epic cookbook, Modernist Cuisine, is in full effect. (And it looks like it’s working: Pretty much everyone is writing about it, and the first printing of the book is reportedly sold out.) One of the most interesting PR tactics from Nathan Myhrvold and his team are the dinners they’ve been hosting for journalists and chefs at the Bellevue, Washington, lab where much of the research and cooking for the book was done.
A few weeks ago, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt gave us a look at everything he had at one such dinner. And today, Saveur’s Helen Rosner (Grub Street alum alert!) discusses the dinner she had there, and wonders why outsiders are so down on the book. Do yourself a favor and go look at all the pictures.
The book itself contains plenty of techniques pioneered by other chefs — for example, Wylie Dufresne’s aerated foie, and Heston Blumenthal’s licorice-poached salmon — but the thing is packed with original techniques and recipes, too. (The official site says nearly 300 pages are devoted to original recipes for plated dishes.) And with chefs everywhere getting their hands on the first copies any day now, all of those ideas will soon be dispersed to the masses.
So which technique is going to grab hold of those chefs and start popping up on menus around the world, à la the once-loved, now-loathed foam that Ferran Adrià is credited with inventing?
The striped “omelet” that Myhrvold made for Martha Stewart is pretty awesome. But our bet is on the super-creamy, spreadable vegetable “butter” made in a centrifuge. Hey, chefs have to top all that toast with something.