Cook’s Science

Over at I write about last night’s book launch for The Science of Good Cooking, a Cook’s Illustrated publication. Magazine founder Christopher Kimball is quite the showman and his presentation at the Smithsonian was terrific (kudos also to science editor Guy Crosby). They had an answer for every single question from the audience—on subjects such as “my grandmother’s recipe for chocolate-chip cookies” to roast gravy to freezing egg whites to the weights of different flours. The book looks daunting—it weighs over four pounds and can probably press your chicken as good as a brick—but it is written in a friendly and encouraging manner in the spirit of America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Illustrated. Kimball noticed that so many amateur cooks are gripped by fear—a fear of failing. This is why he opens his show with a dud recipe. We look at it and move on.

And incidentally, he’s not a big fan of at-home sous-vide (one machine they tested he dubbed “the trust fund model”).

Photo by Daniel J. van Ackere.

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