For those foodies who haven't heard of the Modernist Cuisine cookbook, I will venture to say that it is without equivocation the most detailed, interesting and downright beautiful book ever published on the subject of cooking. It is 'Le Guide Culinaire' of our times, detailing modernist cooking methods as well as classical techniques, and the science behind it all. With stunning photography, elaborate recipes, and hundreds of interesting facts and tips, it is truly a book to get lost in (if food floats your proverbial boat). Incidentally, it is on display at Waterstones on Deansgate and I recommend flicking through it if you've got an hour or two to spare.
However, it retails at a prohibitively expensive £308.10. Thus, I was delighted to hear that the Modernist Cuisine team were releasing a new book aimed squarely at the home-cook, without so many recipes involving sous-vide machines, rotovaps, dehydrators, liquid nitrogen, colloid mills, pacojets, and generally the kind of stuff even the most die-hard foodies wouldn't have in their kitchen. Not to mention the lengthy list of modified starches and hydrocolloids which are not available or are hard to source in the UK.
Anyone who has perused the 6-volume opus will have seen the necessity for a condensed, home-cook-friendly version. Behold, Modernist Cuisine At Home. If you do happen to own Modernist Cuisine, or have downloaded one of the illegal pdf copies floating around the web, this book is more than a stripped down version of its bigger brother. It features 400 new recipes, brand new photography, and tips such as how to recreate the 'sous-vide' effect on a tight budget.
Anyone looking for a gift for the foodie in their life could do far worse than purchase this. I'm going to pre-order it on Amazon and it'll probably stay eternally on my bedside table. Much to Anna's chagrin, I'm guessing.
PS: I am not on the payroll for Modernist Cuisine; however, if on the slightest chance anyone working there reads this, I would like to be :)