Many of the comments here are from people who has not seen or read the books. Gourmet cooking at home is my hobby so I actually own both, the Modernist Cuisine
and The Modernist Cuisine at Home
. I've read them thoroughly and I've done many recipes from them, and I must say, I yet have to see another set of books as useful and complete as these. You learn the principle of things, the math, physics and chemistry associated with the processes, from smoking and grilling to sous vide and pressure cooking. It's amazing the wealth of knowledge in these books. Also, the photography alone makes it a work of art.
If you are in doubt, simply make one recipe: the Caramelized Carrot Soup
. It will blow your mind (and your guests). This recipe works because by increasing the pH under pressure you achieve the Maillard reaction before the carrots can burn. You cannot achieve this result any other way, and that's the kind of knowledge behind these books. Also, check the Hyperdecanting
trick with wine. You'll impress your friends at any party.
Nathan said in an interview that he wrote this because that's the kind of book that he'd wish he has had access to when he started cooking. There is nothing else out there like this. It's true it's not for everybody. It's for either chefs or very serious amateurs. I for one, welcome an app. As wonderful as the books are, they are complicated when you need to find something quickly. Unfortunately, I don't do iOS, so I'll have to wait for the Android version in the future or steal my wife's iPad when I need it.