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How Nathan Myhrvold's Modernist Cuisine Became The World's Most Influential -- And Profitable -- Cookbook


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The most unromantic dinner for two in the history of epic eating recently went down outside Seattle. The participants: me and Nathan Myhrvold, the legendary technologist who, armed with the tens of millions he earned helping Bill Gates popularize software at Microsoft, has reinvented himself as the world’s most renowned food scientist. The setting: his sprawling laboratory, where he deconstructs the process of cooking. Giant lathes and centrifuges surround our metallic table, and the hum of machinery fills the air. The only hint of nature–a wildflower centerpiece–sits inside a test tube.

“I was good at math and science, and I got lots of degrees in lots of things,” he says, in explaining the dichotomy. “But in a parallel universe, I probably became a chef.”

I wish he had become a chef. Imagine how much more he could have done for food science. 

When Modernist Cuisine first appeared–with a $625 price tag–it was widely viewed as a rich man’s vanity project. Myhrvold, after all, spends most of his time managing Intellectual Ventures, which buys up patents and also creates inventions for partners like the Gates Foundation (he’s perfecting a machine that zaps the wings off malarial mosquitoes). Only one publisher expressed serious interest, and it was willing to print only 3,000 copies. “I said, ‘Well, fine, I’m giving them away to in-laws as Christmas gifts for the next ten years,’” he recalls. “I’m in too far to think I’m only going to do 3,000 copies. I also had this belief that if nobody actually bought it, it would cure me of the hobby.”

$625?!?? Mother of God!

Isn't that a great recipe for scrambled eggs?

Yes, it really is.  :)  Yum.

Yes, when Geege told me about this book on a post, i went to see it and got scared about the price, but most people ranked it as 5 stars in Amazon and it made great reviews. I wish someone gives that me as a present someday :) So expensive!

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