In 2011, Nathan Myhrvold, the first CTO at Microsoft, wrote what turned out to be the most comprehensive guide to high-tech cooking ever published, Modernist Cuisine. Myhrvold self-published the title through his Cooking Lab as a nearly 2,500-page, four-volume behemoth priced at $625. “And the book has sold over 50,000 copies around the world,” said publicist Carrie Bachman. The book, which was James Beard’s Cookbook of the Year, has been translated into French, German, and Spanish.
Now, Myhrvold, writing with former Cooking Lab head chef Maxime Bilet, is set to release Modernist Cuisine at Home, what PW calls in a forthcoming review “Popular Science on steroids.” The book, still published by Myhrvold’s Cooking Lab, but this time distributed by Ingram Publisher Services, promises to be the perfect companion for gadget-loving foodies. It includes a foreword by both Martha Stewart and Thomas Keller. Though much trimmed, MCH still comes in at 456 pages and is priced at $140.
This is the stuff for true kitchen scientists, with suggestions for digital scales, injectors, and dehydraters, as well as detailed instructions on how and when to use a blowtorch. The bulk of the book contains highly detailed, amazingly photographed recipes. “As a result,” notes PW’s review, “it is a safe bet that their turkey confit recipe is one of the very few places where the terms needle-nose pliers and duck fat can be found listed side by side.”