How much would you pay to get your hands on a cookbook?

The Globe and Mail

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How much would you pay to get your hands on a cookbook? Before you answer, know that we're not just talking about any old collection of recipes-we're talking about "the most important cookbook of the first ten years of the 21st century."

Modernist Cuisine is a six-volume, 2, 400 page book with a $626 (US) price tag that is set to hit shelves in March. The brainchild of Nathan Myhrvold, a former chief technology officer for Microsoft who trained as a chef at LaVarenne, in Burgundy, France, the book, written with co-authors Chris Young and Maxime Bilet, promises to "reinvent cooking" and that its "lavishly" illustrated pages will "make the science and technology clear and engaging."

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There's no doubt about how lavish the book's illustrations are. Check out its website or, if that doesn't convince you, its burger recipe.

It's a feast for the eyes. But if you read through that burger recipe and take a look at what's required-cheese slices made by emulsifying Emmental and Comté cheese into a base of wheat ale, then pouring onto silicone and slicing, for example-it's clear the book is also a hardcore gourmand's dream.

Which explains why the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards dubbed it the most important cookbook of first ten years of the century.

"If Leonardo da Vinci was alive today, he would write a cookbook called The Codex of Cooking," Edouard Cointreau, the President of the Gourmand Awards, is quoted as saying on the book's website. "This cookbook exists at last. It is Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking."

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