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Modernist Cooking Made Easy: Getting Started: An Introduction to the Techniques, Ingredients and Recipes of Molecular Gastronomy Paperback – November 23, 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 91 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jason Logsdon is a main contributor to ModernistCookingMadeEasy.com and CookingSousVide.com. He is the author of 3 sous vide cook books and the developer of a molecular gastronomy and 2 sous vide iPhone apps. Jason is a home chef who is passionate about new cooking methods and making great tasting food in everyday kitchens. You can follow him on Twitter at @jasonlogsdon_sv.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1481063316
  • ISBN-13: 978-1481063319
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have been trying to get into molecular gastronomy some lately but all the information out there was way too vague and confusing. I had mixed results with some of my prior attempts so I decided to give this book a shot to see if it would help out.

It really has helped to clarify how stuff works and what proper techniques are. I have had several successes now and feel a lot more confident in what I am doing.

I gave it only 4 stars because the images in it aren't that great. They are all online though so you can see them in full color but I would have like better ones in the book itself. I guess that's why this book is $75 less than the other ones, a small trade off in my mind.
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I've been interested in applying new and interesting techniques to my cooking for some time. Although I have a copy of "Modernist Cuisine at Home" and highly recommend it, I was excited to see that Jason has done this book. I have been a devotee of his for the really phenomenal work that he as done in the application of sous vide techniques. This book definitely does not disappoint. It is really a clear, concise instruction manual that allows you to explore some pretty neat techniques without having to invest in a lot of expensive equipment and ingredients. What I particularly like about this volume is that the recipes are more or less templates that can be easily used to develop your own dishes.

He gives a really nice overview of modernist cooking that defines it, provides a high level view of the basic principles, and discusses the equipment that you really need and that you probably really want, but can do without.

He has well-written sections about a number of newer cooking techniques divided into emulsification, gelling, foams, low temperature cooking, spherification and thickening. Each is defined and there is an explanation of how the process works, the type of equipment and ingredients used in each, and then some representative recipes that show you how you might apply the technique.

There is a very useful section of the book that discusses a number of newer ingredients and how they work and how you might use them. Its a very helpful part of the book that you can refer to quickly when you are cooking and forget the proper ration of an ingredient.

There is also a helpful section that gives sources for ingredients (which used to be pretty hard to find in quantities for the home cook, but now are readily available from the sources that he lists).

I highly recommend that you get a copy if you are interested in expanding your cooking technique repertoire. I know that I refer to mine frequently.
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Format: Paperback
This book is aptly titled. If you already own cookbooks from Alinea or El Bulli, this might give you a place to start so you'll have the confidence to try those. On the other hand, if you have those cookbooks, this will pale in comparison.

On the good side, the book contains excellent descriptions and examples of the terms of modernist cuisine: airs, gels, liquid gels, foams, and so on. For example, I now understand the practical application differences of spherification and reverse spherification, which is significant. For practical applications, it also has generous tables in the back for sous vide timing. ("Cooking for Geeks" can tell you how to hack a slow cooker to do this.) It has also over 80 recipes, so you can try your hand.

But don't think of it as a cookbook. First of all, as mentioned elsewhere, the photos are black-and-white and fairly inelegant, sometimes unappetizing (and therefore discouraging). Second, some of the recipes are for things like a thickened vinaigrette (so it will suspend the ingredients better). I'm guessing that many interested in modernist cuisine would simply find them too ordinary for their interests, and these recipes are otherwise nothing special. Also, at least one recipe for a bourbon sauce (which looks delicious)is essentially included three times, with very minor variation. I guess you should also know that it's not a very big book, and has a lot of white space, at that.

Overall, I guess the audience for this book would be for ambitious cooks without a ton of experience, or those who really want to start slowly and get very good at the basics before moving on. Since I've been cooking for a long time, it's a little too slow for me.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a cookbook author, and it has been a few years (ahem) since I went to culinary school. I was searching for a book with the basics of modernist cooking. I found the other books (especially the famous ones, which I dutifully bought) to be overwhelming. But this one is just right, and, very importantly, easy to work with IN the kitchen. It has a good amount of recipes that clearly explain why a dish is using the required ingredients for the desired effect. The glossary in the back is invaluable. I am thankful that they used black and white photos to keep the costs down, and there is a full gallery of color images from the book at modernistcookingmadeeasy.com. If you are a culinary teacher working in the modernist style, I couldn't think of a better textbook. I admit that I haven't cooked from it yet (and that I hate amazon cookbook reviews that neglect to do so), but I learned so much just flipping through the book, I couldn't keep quiet.
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