Surely, somewhere within the 2,000-odd pages, there must be simple, accessible techniques to make real food taste better — or at least easier to cook.
So I issued Mr. Myhrvold a challenge. Which of his modernist dishes could I whip up for a dinner party without having to buy any new equipment or bizarre ingredients (like low-acyl gellan and sodium tripolyphosphate, which are sprinkled throughout the book’s recipes like so much salt and pepper). Mr. Myhrvold would teach me the dishes, then I would recreate them for my guinea pigs — I mean, party guests.
They also make gin-infused celery, pan-seared, oven-baked steaks, and pressure-cooked squash.