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Modernist Cuisine; the $625 cookbook. - Page 12

post #166 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt View Post
3- The biggest problem with the recipes, I think, is that the taste level and palates of the writers are just not that high. The recipes from a book like Simply French, any Ducasse book and even the most casual Gordon Ramsey books, not to mention various books on rather casual cuisine just taste a lot better when executed as laid out by the authors. It makes sense, since it was written by a technologist and two kitchen lab guys, but I guess I am surprised by how low brow a lot of the flavors are. And disappointed.

not to dispute this or any of your other assessments, but i do believe the two co-authors are chefs ... both from fat duck, among other places.
post #167 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodguy View Post
not to dispute this or any of your other assessments, but i do believe the two co-authors are chefs ... both from fat duck, among other places.
I thought they were cooks from the Fat Duck development kitchen, not guys who were ever in charge of putting their own names on a dish for the world to evaluate. Anyway, I am sure they are great cooks, but the overall taste level of the recipes seems to be closer to, well, WAYWN than anything my eyes can handle these days.
post #168 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt View Post
I thought they were cooks from the Fat Duck development kitchen, not guys who were ever in charge of putting their own names on a dish for the world to evaluate. Anyway, I am sure they are great cooks, but the overall taste level of the recipes seems to be closer to, well, WAYWN than anything my eyes can handle these days.

they both worked at other restaurants as well and one of them opened the development kitchen at FD. that said, i'm not disputing your assessment. i do understand that there have been several recipe corrections that have been issued.
still, most of this stuff seems like it's more novelty than delicious ... not that it wouldn't be fun to do here and there in a nice dinner.
post #169 of 233
Calling the flavor profiles "barbaric" made me giggle.
post #170 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
Calling the flavor profiles "barbaric" made me giggle.
I don't know a better way to describe it. There is just such a lack of subtlety. FG- I believe you are correct about their backgrounds. Also, the recipe project may have been geared more to novelty than anything else, but if that is so, it sort of misses the point of the book which is really to explain that this is a very legitimate way of understanding food and cooking. Anyway, I still like the book. Where else I am going to find out how much hexametaphosphate I need to put into gellan in order to get this texture or another, or how much tripolyphosphate I need to make the perfect sausage. Well, I probably don't need that, but information-wise it is superb in an area where very little info exists.
post #171 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
Calling the flavor profiles "barbaric" made me giggle.

i think that means no cream or butter. and i agree with the description.
post #172 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodguy View Post
i think that means no cream or butter. and i agree with the description.
That too!
post #173 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt View Post
That too!

if god didn't want us to eat french food, he wouldn't have given us cows!
post #174 of 233
"Salt is good! Butter is good! Cream is good!"

http://www.city-journal.org/2010/20_...st-chef-x.html
post #175 of 233
I obviously don't have the book yet, or even know when my copy will arrive - june hopefully bc july is a damned long time away - but do you think you're being fair, matt? There are 1522 recipes in the book. How many have you actually tried? How many should be good in order to qualify as a good recipe book? (ignoring other merits)

It's probably true that the book is being driven by technology... I mean look at the guy's lab... I have mixed feelings about the approach. On the one hand, it provides lots of examples for techniques that are new and if I want old techniques there are hundreds of books and maybe a couple dozen good ones. On the other hand, it would be nice if it emphasized what was best, and not what was new.

From what i've seen in interviews, it seems that myrhvold's main goal was to add a degree of control and precision to cooking that has so far been lacking. The guy's a scientists after all, and being able to get repeatable results is importance in science.

I'm buying it mostly for volumes 1->4, to be honest though. I have other high-end cookbooks and they're fun once in a while - and i have learned a lot from a couple of them - but they're mostly a curiosity requiring too much effort to cook out of on a regular basis.

Still, I can't wait to get my copy.
post #176 of 233
I think I was being fair. Obviously, I have not tried the majority of the recipes, perhaps two dozen, but I can say that a significant percentage of those were disappointing, and I obviously chose them because I thought they would be among the tastiest. The book is great, I think it is good you are getting it, but if they opened a restaurant, based on the food, I don't think it would be a winner. If they opened a food consultancy, they surely would be, and that is what the book really is. I guess I don't necessarily agree with you about most high end books. The majority, in my experience, are quite usable. The "high end" recipes in this book are just masturbation, though. They make the prep time in the Fat Duck look like making nachos. Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled I have it, just not for the recipes.
post #177 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt View Post
I think I was being fair. Obviously, I have not tried the majority of the recipes, perhaps two dozen, but I can say that a significant percentage of those were disappointing, and I obviously chose them because I thought they would be among the tastiest. The book is great, I think it is good you are getting it, but if they opened a restaurant, based on the food, I don't think it would be a winner. If they opened a food consultancy, they surely would be, and that is what the book really is. I guess I don't necessarily agree with you about most high end books. The majority, in my experience, are quite usable. The "high end" recipes in this book are just masturbation, though. They make the prep time in the Fat Duck look like making nachos. Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled I have it, just not for the recipes.
Then it's only fitting that I cook for myself! Anyway, I can't say much more until i get my copy. To tide me over I received The Bread Baker's Apprentice and Larousse Gastronomique today. BBA looks really good. I went through the LG briefly but it's more of a curiosity and something i've wanted for a while but never got around to buying. Can't wait to start baking bread... What annoys me is that I tried 2 different stores that specialized in flours and grains the other day and nobody stocks french type 55 flour, or even the Robin Hood French or European Flours. No wonder all the bread in toronto tastes like shit. I'm having to order it in from L'Epicerie and the shipping costs as much as the flour.
post #178 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQgeek View Post
Can't wait to start baking bread... What annoys me is that I tried 2 different stores that specialized in flours and grains the other day and nobody stocks french type 55 flour, or even the Robin Hood French or European Flours. No wonder all the bread in toronto tastes like shit. I'm having to order it in from L'Epicerie and the shipping costs as much as the flour.

I cook bread all the time, and am moving to T.O. this fall. This is disappointing. Let me know if you end up finding anything. Also, a friend of a friend owns a bakery in TO, I'll check with them to see if they can recommend a good place.
post #179 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt View Post
Simply French, .

Robuchon's book? It is fantastic - good technique and sensitivity to ingredients.

I've probably given this book to people 6 or 8 times, its one of my favorites. Braised
post #180 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by braised View Post
Robuchon's book? It is fantastic - good technique and sensitivity to ingredients.

I've probably given this book to people 6 or 8 times, its one of my favorites. Braised

This is probably the most-used book in our house - I agree that it is fantastic. In the same vein I also recently picked up an old copy of Richard Olney's The French Menu Cookbook - it is wonderful, kind of old-fashioned in places, but a worthwhile addition to any cookbook library.
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