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    • September 2011
    • 9780231144674
  • 152 Pages
  • Paperback
  • $14.95

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    • March 2009
    • 9780231144667
  • 152 Pages
  • Hardcover
  • $19.95

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    • March 2009
    • 9780231513531
  • 152 Pages
  • E-book
  • $13.99

Building a Meal

From Molecular Gastronomy to Culinary Constructivism

Hervé This; Translated by Malcolm DeBevoise

An internationally renowned chemist, popular television personality, and bestselling author, Hervé This heads the first laboratory devoted to molecular gastronomy—the scientific exploration of cooking and eating. By testing recipes that have guided cooks for centuries, and the various dictums and maxims on which they depend, Hervé This unites the head with the hand in order to defend and transform culinary practice.

With this new book, Hervé This's scientific project enters an exciting new phase. Considering the preparation of six bistro favorites—hard-boiled egg with mayonnaise, simple consommé, leg of lamb with green beans, steak with French fries, lemon meringue pie, and chocolate mousse—he isolates the exact chemical properties that tickle our senses and stimulate our appetites. More important, he connects the mind and the stomach, identifying methods of culinary construction that appeal to our memories, intelligence, and creativity. By showing that the creation of a meal is as satisfying as its consumption, Herve This recalibrates the balance between food and our imaginations. The result is a revolutionary perspective that will tempt even the most casual cooks to greater flights of experimentation.

About the Author

Hervé This is a physical chemist on the staff of the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique in Paris. He is the author of Kitchen Mysteries: Revealing the Science of Cooking and Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor, among other books.

M. B. DeBevoise has translated almost thirty works from French and Italian in every branch of scholarship, including Hervé This's Molecular Gastronomy and The Columbia History of Twentieth-Century French Thought, edited by Lawrence D. Kritzman.

Hervé This takes virtual cliché dishes and tells you what scientific principles go into their successful preparation. His book, while erudite, allusive, precise, and full of cultural insights, also has charm, wit, and brevity.

Albert Sonnenfeld, translator of Food Is Culture and Culture of the Fork: A Brief History of Everyday Food and Haute Cuisine in Europe

Hervé This's major contribution is that food is an act of love and is linked to the pursuit of happiness. Building a Meal is the book of a 'bon vivant' and provides an excellent antidote to despair and depression. Its pages celebrate food and life.

Jeanine P. Plottel, Hunter College

[A] wide-ranging, deeply engaging scientific deconstruction of classic dishes.

A beautifully written treatise on the tenets of molecular gastronomy and cooking's role in modern society.

Natalie Fasano

This wonderful book by chemist/chef This continues the exploration of this profound way of looking at eating, cooking, and science.

Anyone with a passion for cooking or science is sure to find this a captivating and effortless read.

For those who have heard the term 'molecular gastronomy' but don't really know what it entails, this is a highly recommended book that will serve as a great starter to a relatively new subject. For everyone else it is is just highly recommended.

PrefaceIntroduction The Complexity of the World1. Hard-Boiled Egg with Mayonnaise2. Simple Consomme3. Leg of Lamb with Green Beans4. Steak and French Fries5. Lemon Meringue Pie6. A New Kind of Chocolate MousseLooking AheadNote-by-Note CookingReforming EducationCulinary ConstructivismConstructing a MenuThe Unending ConversationArtisans and ArtistsIndex