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Myhrvold Responds to Ruhlman's Modernist Cuisine Review

Modernist Cuisine author Nathan Myhrvold wrote a pretty remarkable response on eGullet criticizing Michael Ruhlman's review of the cookbook in the New York Times. Is Myhrvold just bitter about the negative portions of the review? Maybe.

But there's a lot more to it. Myhrvold thinks Ruhlman "panders to the natural food movement" when he wonders if we should embrace the techniques and ingredients from Modernist Cuisine "at the very moment industrially processed food is being blamed for many of our national health problems." Myhrvold also points out a factual error.

Ruhlman, in his review, wrote that aside from a recipe for beer-can chicken, "I saw not a single recipe involving meat where the meat is not cooked sous vide." According to Myhrvold, this is "totally wrong" (and we agree, for we have seen the cookbook in person). Wrote Myhrvold. "We have a chapter on combi-ovens, CVAP ovens and microwaves and have meat recipes for each of them." (There are also sections on smoking meats, curing meats, and even serving meat raw.)

Isn't that the sort of factual mistake that would normally require a correction? Or is it just obtuse sarcasm, or a setup for a totally weak joke that there's no pastry section because "you can't cook a pie crust sous vide"?

Myhrvold also points out that Ruhlman's one to talk, considering he wrote a book on sous vide: "We certainly have more non-sous recipes than Under Pressure does." Burn.

· Myhrvold's Response [eGullet]
· Cook From It? First, Try Lifting It [NYT]
· All Modernist Cuisine Coverage on Eater [-EATX-]