What started as one former techie's quest to master sous-vide cooking developed into a hyper-ambitious, sprawling compendium of virtually every modern culinary technique. Former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold took a crew of 20 chef-scientists and holed up for years in a space-age kitchen compound, testing everything from basic omelet technique to water baths and homogenizers. The results of their toil are showcased in the six-volume, 2,400-page foodie grail Modernist Cuisine, due out on April 14. Part sophisticated talk piece, part rigorous scientific method with lush art, and endorsements from the world's finest chefs (Ferran Adrià gushes, "This book will change the way we understand the kitchen"), it's a cookbook that will find no parallel on your shelf.
Too bad about the $500 price tag. Unless you've got 20,000 quarters squirreled away in the couch cushions, the set won't likely be a "Why not?" impulse buy. Of course, if you do decide to pony up (perhaps a legacy purchase for your food-curious progeny?), SFoodie recommends you preorder from Omnivore Books on Food. Not only will you support your fabulous local bookshop, you'll also get exclusive tickets to meet Myhrvold himself on April 18. Sign your book? Heck, for this price maybe he'll wash your car.
To preorder, call Omnivore at 282-4712.