Modernist Cuisine Is Facing a (Con)temporary Shortage


Much like Christ’s second coming, the greatest cookbook ever sold Modernist Cuisine has hit another unexpected delay.

Yesterday, Nathan Myhrvold, the man behind the $625, six-volume cookbook, took to his blog with some good news and bad news.

The good news: The first copies of Modernist Cuisine are at this very moment making their way toward Seattle from China, where they have been printed and assembled.

The bad news: Thanks to Chinese New Year, which shut down the book’s printer for two weeks, only 500 copies are available for the 2,721 people who pre-ordered them. In a win for democracy, Myrhvold is eschewing the publishing world’s time-honored practice of holding all the copies until every order can be filled, and will instead dole them out first-come, first-served: “Some peo­ple put in their order way back in August. They were first in line, so it only seems fair that they should get their books first.”

However, there may be darkness on the horizon: Myrhvold cautions that “the possibility of a shortage of Modernist Cuisine looms in our future,” thanks to all of those eager-beaver pre-orders, which “are already approaching half of our initial print run” and running “well ahead” of both his expectations and those of publishing experts. Could this be molecular gastronomy’s Eggo shortage? And if so, what will a nation of bereft home cooks do with all of those rotor-stator homogenizers?

[Via Grub Street]


The Latest