Just how popular is a $450 cookbook?

Modernist CuisineIn 2011, a 36-person team organized by former Microsoft chief technology officer and avid foodie, Nathan Myhrvold, produced  a 5-volume, 2,400 page cookbook called Modernist Cuisine. Weighing 45 pounds, the book(s) concerned itself as much with food science as with recipes. There was a great deal of skepticism when it was published - just who would buy it?

The Wall Street Journal was especially curious so they tracked down the statistics. Worldwide, 45,000 copies have been purchased and the book has been translated into French, German, and Spanish; that's about $20,000,000 in sales. And that begs another question, are there any more volumes coming out? Well, apparently this version did not contain anything on baking or pastry, so it's a pretty good bet that we haven't heard the last from Mr. Myhrvold and his crew.

2 Comments

  • Jane  on  5/3/2012 at 4:11 PM

    I met one of the authors Maxime Bilet at IACP last month and asked him what's next. He hinted at fish/seafood though it could have been a red herring (hah!). I would have thought pastries/desserts was the next choice.

  • Harvestmoon  on  5/4/2012 at 11:12 AM

    Are there techniques a home cook can use without buying super specialized and expensive equipment?

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