The Art of Modernist Cooking
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Author:  PeterScott [ Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Art of Modernist Cooking

It seems to me that a canteen of the kind used in backpacking would be both far stronger under pressure and have the wide mouth you want, e.g.:
The screw top lid should be good to at least a couple atmospheres, I'm thinking.

Author:  PeterScott [ Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Art of Modernist Cooking

Just finished volume 4. It's remarkable how this work combines thorough culinary research with outrageous excursions in industrial food chemistry. When I first saw the title I thought "Modern... cool, a fresh approach to the tired old Julia Childs territory." I wasn't thinking what "modernist" means. So while there's a 2-page spread on what happens to eggs at a dozen different temperatures, there are also bizarre recipes like Melon Caviar, Pistachio Cream (non-dairy), Bacon Jam, and many other odd juxtapositions that can be achieved when your kitchen is populated with devices like rotor-stator agitators, vacuum dessicators, and liquid nitrogen (which is handy for peeling boiled eggs, apparently). And many ingredients that come only in packaging more appropriate to a research lab.

I'd like to experience some of those concoctions some time, because it's evident that they have no parallel in conventional cuisine, but someone else is going to have to make them because I'm not about to take out a mortgage to outfit our kitchen with a cryogenic centrifuge. Or to take the time required to create one of these exquisite works of art. (The perfect boiled egg requires two sous-vide heating phases and a blowtorch. The perfect fried egg requires separating the yolk and white and heating them independently before recombining them.) Maybe I'll make it into one of these restaurants some day. I can't shake the impression that this field was developed by bored and hungry grad students waiting for experiments to conclude late at night in the lab.

Regardless of whether you're ever going to make any of these recipes, the books are a feast for the eyes. They spare no expense in, say, slicing many things in half (from a soufflé to a whipped cream siphon) to expose the innards. Simply gorgeous photography, quite aside from the mind-expanding recipes.

Author:  RobertPearson [ Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Art of Modernist Cooking

Saw a television special on him and the books just days ago. Lots of footage of the crew hacksawing things in cross section...

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