By Nathan Myhrvold with Maxime Bilet
The Cooking Lab, $140.00
It's not just because Modernist Cuisine at Home by Nathan Myhrvold with Maxime Bilet is huge and expensive that I want it for Christmas (I swear). It's because I can see myself poring over its 456 pages for a very long time. Every spread is filled with cool cooking information and mind-blowing photography. As opposed to the authors' ground-breaking, six-volume Modernist Cuisine, this book is geared for the home cook, applying the authors' innovations to such homey fare as chicken wings and macaroni and cheese. Would I ever cook from it? I'm not sure. The recipes themselves lack the visceral descriptions that usually compel me to try a dish. (And I can't picture myself making scrambled eggs with a whipping siphon anytime soon.) But I'd love to incorporate some of the lessons found in the book to advance my own far less modern cooking.