Browsing through books published in the last year (+ some from 2012), these are the ones I found particularly interesting in the field of food and science:
Craft Cocktails at Home: Offbeat Techniques, Contemporary Crowd-Pleasers, and Classics Hacked with Science
by Kevin K Liu
254 pages, 2013
Ever stumbled across the blog Science fare? If not make sure to add it to your RSS feed. One of its authors, Kevin Liu has been working on a the project for a while – and here’s the results – a complete book on cocktails! Think of it as Jeff Potter’s Cooking for geeks applied to cocktails.
The Cocktail Lab: Unraveling the Mysteries of Flavor and Aroma in Drink, with Recipes
by Tony Conigliaro
224 pages, 2013
Where Kevin Liu’s book on cocktails is of the type “scientist ventures into cocktails”, Tony’s book is more of the opposite: “bartender ventures into science”. Tony Conigliaro has established himself as one of the most innovative mixologists in the world. He works at 69 Colebrook Row and blog about his experiments at Drink Factory. Highly recommended!
Cooking Innovations: Using Hydrocolloids for Thickening, Gelling, and Emulsification
by Amos Nussinovitch and Madoka Hirashima
384 pages, 2013
Written by two scientists in the field, this is a comprehensive introduction to all the common hydrocolloids used in modern cooking. It’s not a book you buy only for the recipes (frankly speaking there are probably more recipes in Texture), but it’s a book you get for a thorough introduction to the history, properties, correct use and some of the science behind the hydrocolloids. If you cook professionally with hydrocolloids you should certainly get this book.
Maximum Flavor: Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook
by Aki Kamozawa and Alexander H. Talbot
256 pages, 2013
RenÃ© Redzepi: A Work in Progress
by RenÃ© Redzepi
648 pages (three books in total), 2013
Noma has claimed the no. 1 spot on World’s best restaurants list 3 years in a row. I was lucky to eat there in 2012 (thanks to a fellow food blogger who “won” a table in the table reservation lottery). I decided not to blog about it (because there would be no way I could capture the experience in a blog post), but it’s still my most amazing eating experience ever – and I’m sure the glimpse into how RenÃ© works (as the publisher promises) is worth reading. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on these books!
The Photography of Modernist Cuisine
by Nathan Myrvold
312 pages, 2013
If you enjoyed the superb photographs of Modernist Cuisine or Modernist Cuisine at home, and wonder how they did it – well, then this book is for you. If you were simply amazed by the photographs, I’m quite sure you’ll still enjoy the book.
Molecular Gastronomy at Home: Taking Culinary Physics Out of the Lab and Into Your Kitchen
by Jozef Youssef
240 pages, 2013
A short introduction to a range of different techniques associated with molecular gastronomy: use of hydrocolloids and transglutaminase, umami, playing with liquid nitrogen, carbonating grapes, sous-vide, dehydration, smoking, centrifuges and food pairing. The book is written by a well-known chef and focuses on what is important for avid home cooks. If you have followed the field for a while you may very well also have stumbled across his blog/website Kitchen theory.
Taste What You’re Missing: The Passionate Eater’s Guide to Why Good Food Tastes Good
by Barb Stuckey
416 pages, 2012
The publisher claims the book will “demystify the science of taste” and that Barb Stuckey does for the science of taste what Harold McGee did for the science of cooking. The published notes suggest she has covered a good portion of portion of the primary academic literature. Sounds interesting to me!
Taste Matters: Why We Like the Foods We Do
by John Prescott
208 pages, 2012
Why do we like the foods we do? What happens when our eating is not related to survival, but is more about sensory pleasure? With a background as a professor of psychology and sensory science John Prescott provides scientific explanations for a lay audience.
The America’s Test Kitchen DIY Cookbook
by Editors at America’s Test Kitchen
368 pages, 2012
Few cook books are so worked through as those coming from America’s Test Kitchen. With a scientific approach to experiments and parallel testing the do all the work and present you with the results. Their The New Best Recipe is wonderful with its explanations of what was tested to arrive at the best recipe. Their new DIY book delineates a number of exiting projects: ketchup, mozzarella, brewing, canning, potato chips etc. In fact I’m a great fan of America’s test kitchen – but why, oh why, can’t they include metric units in their otherwise excellent books? This would make their books so much more accessible for the rest of the world…
Any books you think I missed? Let me know by dropping a comment or a tweet to @tastymolecules.