Yorkshire's Independent Restaurant Guide

Modernist Cuisine

In London recently for the Guild of Food Writers annual lecture. The guest speaker was Nathan Myhrvold, the IT billionaire, (he was Microsoft’s chief technology officer) who has self-published the world’s most expensive cookery book which he is virtually giving away at £356.90

Yes, Modernist Cuisine is pretty amazing – six volumes,  1,500 recipes, 3,200 stunning photographs, but unless you’re a chef or an extreme food fetishist you’re not really going to need breakdowns on comparative custards or the latest thinking on vacuum concentration. Of course, if you’re going to get it, please, please buy it through Squidbeak and we’ll get solvent on the commission.

A pot roast in the making from Modernist Cuisine, and yes they actually cut the pan in half to photograph

Actually, the most intriguing moment was when Myhrvold unveiled his revolutionary wine decanting technique. He puts it through a blender. Nervelessly, he took two particularly fine clarets, whizzed one up and at a blind tasting two of France’s finest sommeliers pronounced that the ‘hyperdecanted’  bottle tasted better than the conventionally decanted one. Now Squidbeak’s wine cellar is not so long on fine clarets that we were were prepared to pour one into the blender, so we subjected our neighbours to a blind tasting from two £4.99 bottles of plonk. It was a low scoring draw; it all tasted rank.

Over to you, Helen.