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Feb 19, 2011 10:05 AM

After 2 months' wait received my "NOMA" book yesterday...

...and the photography is downright stunning. However, I was hoping for more written information. The book contains very little in addition to photography and the recipes. I also have "Alinea", "The Fat Duck Cookbook" and "El Bulli". My preference by far is Blumenthal's book as I can spend hours reading it in addition to salivating over photography. Unfortunately "NOMA" is not a book I will turn to again and again like "Larousse Gastronomique", "French Laundry", "Fat Duck" and so on. I was aware that most recipes would not be doable at home but was ok with that. I was hoping to really get into the book and read, not just drool. Sure is beautiful, though.

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  1. I kinda agree , it got great reviews but I wasnt really charmed , as many were , with it. The first El Bulli books translated.........89-92, 92-93 etc are great....they come with DV and recipes. They are pricey....although alot cheaper then I paid when they first came out. The food pics are stunning.

    1. Add Under Pressure to your list and Modernist Cuisine if you can get enough people to collect the deposit cans.

      I would actually go back to NOMA though more for ideas.

      20 Replies
      1. re: wattacetti

        Have read "Under Pressure", too, and "Modern Cuisine" is on my Amazon Wishlist. Trouble is, in Canada I will have to collect far more cans than in the US! :-D

        I know I will go back to "NOMA" at times for ideas - my point is that I hoped to READ more about it the restaurant, ingredients and so on (i.e. as I mentioned in "Fat Duck" which was far more personal). My mind is like a sponge and I love soaking up info in the written word. Challenging recipes do not put me off at all; in fact, I prefer them by far to regular recipes. That is why I lean toward these books.

        1. re: chefathome

          We're more or less at parity with the USD, so your friends will only need to collect the extra for the shipping charges required to get that 50 lb box across the border.

          1. re: chefathome

            Interesting the price difference in US and Ca on the book. You could order from Amazon US , with shipping it would probably still be cheaper.

            1. re: celeryroot

              Sad, I know - I am looking into that for my future orders as the VAST majority of the time books are substantially more on than Believe me - I check on a daily basis (yes, you can call it an obsession). I really want "Modernist Cuisine" but the price in Canada is $529.99 and $467.62 in the US. Shipping would be a killer, though, for 50 lb...

              1. re: chefathome

                I live in the US and I bought Modernist Cuisine In October on because it was $390 compared to the $525 it was at the time on in the US. Yes, you would think that the shipping would be alot, but I think they just absorb it because this book is so unusual. I paid $9.99 shipping. I wonder if the reverse is true? You could try to put it into an order on and just see what the postage is. You might be surprised.

                1. re: chefathome

                  I agree , shipping might not be bad ........... They have great deals with shippers

                  1. re: celeryroot

                    Runwestierun, what is it like? Is it packed with info or mostly photographs like "NOMA"? I am a food encyclopedia geek and love the written word - even if it is 50 solid pounds of it. Not that there is anything wrong with photography, of course, but I want to LEARN. What is the content like? Man, I am so anxious to get my hands on it.

                    I will look into shippers to Canada. Even if I could save $100 it would be wonderful!

                    1. re: chefathome

                      chefathome, I am so excited about this book. It sounds like it will be the cookbook of the century Nathan Myhrvold wrote it, he used to be chief technology officer for Microsoft. So he has disposable income, he has the resources to research and write an epic tome about food science. He also has a culinary degree and is a professional photographer. He built a 25,000 square foot kitchen lab and hired 36 people for 3 years and this is the result. It's not a "trick" book, it's a book about food science that teaches you how to incorporate modernist techniques into your everyday cooking. 80% of the recipes are for the home cook. Some aren't, but they are interesting ("Look what we can do with a centrifuge!") Yes, this is a pretty book (actually, set of 6 books) but it's also a learning book.
                      Here is an example: macaroni and cheese. Now, the best cheese to make sauce out of in America is processed cheese because it melts perfectly and doesn't break, but it isn't the best tasting (Velveeta). However, to make macaroni and cheese out of a different cheese, you have to make a bechamel first, and the flour in that deadens the flavor of the cheese. MC teaches you how to make a block of processed cheese out of any cheese and a little iota carroteenan (a flavor releaser rather than a flavor deadener) . So if you have some beautiful delicate flavored cheese, you can melt it perfectly into a sauce and still taste all it's nuances. See?
                      I will link you to the book's page:

                      I think the press page says it all:

                      Our very own Tim Zagat has been quoted as saying that the tome would be “The most important book in the culinary arts since Escoffier.” After his visit to the Cooking Lab, he offered an update – “You can drop Escoffier. It’s simply the most important book in the culinary arts ever.”

                      Here is a link to the press page:

                      Nathan has been a regular contributor to eGullet, there are many thoughtful discussions of the book over there:

                      If you scroll down this page to post #259, you will see the reactions of people who were supplied advance copies.

                      The first copies of the book should arrive this week. I've seen this book as high as #84 on the sales list, which is insane for a $625 book. If you order one, let me know. I'd be so interested to see your impression.

                      1. re: runwestierun

                        All I can say is WOW. Seriously. The link to the press page you provided is new to me. Talk about informative! This guys is insanely brilliant. How much have you had a chance to read thus far?

                        Escoffier has been one of my heroes for ages so it is simply amazing to me that this is the new "most important book in the culinary arts ever." This has convinced me even more than ever that I MUST get my hands on this.

                        Is it possible to even focus on daily life with these 50 lb packed with absolute goodness sitting in your house? I would cocoon for as long as it took to get through it, ignoring the rest of my life and responsibilities. It would have that much of a profound effect on me I am certain.

                        Thanks for sharing information about it. I will let you know when I receive it.

              2. re: chefathome

                Well, so much for being able to receiving the pre-ordered copy of Modernist Cuisine to lord over you. reports a revised shipping date to second week of April, meaning a delay of yet another month.

                1. re: wattacetti

                  Oh, shoot. I was just going to check it right now. Perhaps now you and I will receive ours at the same time so you don't get to lord it over me! ;-D

                  1. re: chefathome

                    It hasn't been released yet due to delays. I think the only copies out there are reviewer loaner copies and some copies Nathan had airmailed in from China. There is a digital version that has been made available to some previewers, too. But, alas, mine is also delayed another month.

                    1. re: chefathome

                      Here is another good article on Modernist Cuisine from Wired Magazine. It's long but interesting.


                      1. re: runwestierun

                        Oh, my. Can you imagine seeing the cooking lab? I would be in tears. OK. That does it. I MUST get that book collection!

                        Interestingly I did poorly in both Physics and Chemistry in High School but did so much better in university when I related the subjects to food. So, this article was intriguing to me - thank you for posting it! If you have any others in the same vein I would LOVE to read them, too.

                        1. re: chefathome

                          Ok chefathome. You read all the articles on the book's press page, right? Those are good. Here's the link again, in case it slipped past you:


                          Otherwise, you can follow the evolution of the book's release on this thread to which the author contributes:


                          There are many press links there.


                  2. re: chefathome

                    Hey Chefathome: just an update. My copy of Modernist Cuisine arrived this morning; all 46.3 pounds of it is sitting on my desk, so I guess it'll soon be time to lord it over you :-)

                    Back to the serious stuff:

           USD$461.62 + shipping
           CAD$529.99 with free shipping (only 10,600 empty soda cans to collect)

                    Both lists as out of stock but .ca indicates that it will become available again in "2 to 5 months".

                    1. re: wattacetti

                      Mine arrived , I havent opened it yet. Need to figure out how.

                      1. re: wattacetti

                        You got it? Wow - this must really make your day/week/month/year! How awesome! I've been keeping my eye on the availability and price. Please let me know all about it - I can't wait to hear details...

                        1. re: chefathome

                          Im not ignoring you . I will comment on content soon......the packaging is incredible.........never saw anything as well done. If you are female it takes two people or time and big effort to get it out of boxes. The biggest problem is where to start reading. Very stunning photos. More to come