Alice Waters Weighs in on Nathan Myhrvold’s Modernist Cuisine


Nathan Myhrvold’s Modernist Cuisine may still have a while before it hits the shelves, but Alice Waters has already offered her own informal review.

Earlier today on Stephen Dubner’s Freakonomics Radio podcast, Dubner spoke with Myhrvold about his six-volume, 2,400-page, 1,600-recipe, $625 cookbook, as well as his invention lab and its myriad toys. But amid all the feel-good talk about vacuum desiccators and liquid nitrogen came a note of dissent from Alice Waters. Unsurprisingly, the patron saint of the slow food movement has her reservations about the project:

I am so hungry for the taste of the real that I’m just not able to get into that which doesn’t feel real to me. It’s a kind of scientific experiment, and I think that there are good scientists and crazy old scientists that can be very amazing. But it’s more like a museum to me. It’s not a kind of way of eating that we need to really live on this planet together.

Of course, plenty would argue that cooking a single egg in a roaring fireplace and flying heirloom vegetables across the country for “local” dinners isn’t the kind of eating that we need to really live on this planet together, either, but to each their own.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 26, 2011

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