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The Kitchen as Laboratory: Reflections on the Science of Food and Cooking (Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History) Hardcover – January 31, 2012
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Behind today's celebrity chefs and starred restaurants is a mostly unsung army of dedicated food and science lovers working to uncover the scientific principles that make our modern gastronomical marvels possible. In offering thirty-three highly readable and often amusing essays by warriors in this multinational kitchen army, the editors of this anthology have accomplished the great service of filling a much-needed gap in the public's understanding and appreciation of twenty-first-century culinary 'magic.' Where else can one have fun pondering the acoustics of crunchy foods or the texture of an ice cream that stretches like a rubber band?(Robert Wolke, former Washington Post food columnist and author of What Einstein Told His Cook: Kitchen Science Explained)
The editors of The Kitchen as Laboratory provide not just intimate and fascinating anecdotal insights but also the scientific principles that inspired them. They have created a new altar for chefs and gourmands to worship: the poetry of science.(Will Goldfarb, creator of Willpowder, Experimental Cuisine Collective)
The Kitchen as Laboratory provides good perspective on the scientific approach to cooking while reflecting the interests and passions of each essay's author. Readers are likely to come away with a lot of new ideas to use in the kitchen, as well as some recognition of the breadth of contemporary applications of science in the kitchen.(Peter Barham, author of The Science of Cooking)
The Kitchen as Laboratory is not only an in-depth study of many areas of food science, but also an entertaining read. For someone like me, who relishes understanding more about cooking from the inside out, it's heartening to see this area of literature expanded.(Chef Wylie Dufresne, wd~50)
Nothing is more difficult to master in the world than science itself. The Kitchen as Laboratory creates a beautiful synergy between food and science while amazingly representing difficult concepts in colloquial language. It is a powerful book.(Chef José Andrés, James Beard Foundation's Outstanding Chef)
Cesar Vega, Job Ubbink, and Erik van der Linden have assembled a complete document that seamlessly bridges the inherent connection of the science of cooking and the art of cooking. They have created a testament to the fact that precise understanding and open minded observation are invaluable tools for creative cooking. Kitchen as Laboratory: Reflections on the Science of Food and Cooking is a thought provoking, insightful and approachable resource for professional chefs and home cooks alike.(Maxime Bilet, head chef for recipe research and development at The Cooking Lab, co-author of Modernist Cuisine)
serious and substantive anthology(Harold McGee Nature)
Refreshingly, the Kitchen conveys simple and attainable advice...(Scientist)
Engaging, thought-provoking and accessible(Yum.fi)
More than fifty international chefs, scientists, and cooks experiment with the physics and chemistry of the ideal meal.--This text refers to the Digital edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
These questions are answered using the scientific method, but not in an intimidating way! The authors' use everyday language to explain their experiments and results. In fact, included are microscopic pictures of the air bubbles inside sponge cake, diagrams of pork belly to show where the variety of bacon comes from, tables that show the conditions that speed up or slow down the Maillard Reaction (browning), and my favorite part, each chapter comes with a recipe that you can make in order to prove the authors' findings to yourself. The book has been designed to not only teach you, but to also help you become a better cook.
Some basic background knowledge of chemistry is needed in order to understand much of this book. Topics that the reader is assumed to know are things like the difference between amino acids and carbohydrates, pH, catalysts, metric measurements, and basic atomic attraction.Read more ›
Worth a read, but not the best. The McGee books are a lot meatier
Does the consumer gain so much here? Not so when it comes to the plate in any case and many people are sceptical to overt scientific manipulation of their foodstuffs. Yet in more recent times there has become a growing amount of interest in the science of gastronomy with many talented chefs around the world tackling this subject and looking at ways of pushing the envelope. It is no longer good enough to use good ingredients to make tasty food. A wow factor is often desirable and what better way to do that then through fooling the senses in a positive way and making the absolute best of the ingredients at hand! Some chefs such as Heston Blumenthal have managed to carve themselves a niche through their reputation as a good chef and as a talented gastronomic or molecular cook.
This book is a collection of 33 standalone chapters or essays looking at different elements of molecular gastronomy, as the subject has been labelled. Good science if you will differentiate it from the sometimes-controversial scientific manipulation of foodstuffs. Much of this work is still relatively new and developments are constantly being made as techniques are trialled and refined and knowledge becomes more commonplace.
This is not a dry scientific book that will only appeal to people with many letters after their name! Of course, it is going to be science-heavy and not an overly light read but the information contained within the essays is engaging, thought-provoking and accessible.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
a collection of very interesting and informative approach to cooking by different authorsPublished 6 months ago by Hermes
A thorough book, well written and explained. A scientific mind is required to fully grasp some of the concepts and terminology. Great read for those who want to know "why."Published 13 months ago by joseph vainisi
I bought it brand new. It came in perfect condition. Was just the most boring book ever ! Unless you're into chemistry ....Published 15 months ago by CELIA
I was all set to be fascinated - this ought to be the kind of book I love, from the blurbs. I love learning new things and am knowledgable about cooking so this should be... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Mary loves Murder
Excited and willing to experience all by myself! Looking, hearing and smelling everything un the kitchen. Hoping to use some ideas with my studentsPublished on March 30, 2014 by Lorena Donoso