One of the latest books to get cooks excited is not a cookbook. Not exactly. It’s an updated version of Bay Area local Harold McGee’s groundbreaking book, On Food and Cooking, The Science and Lore of the Kitchen. The new version has been revised and updated, twenty years after originally published.
This book has long been a favorite of professional chefs in part because it is easily digested, making food science accessible and practical. After training and a vocation in physics and astronomy, McGee came back down to earth, first teaching literature then writing a book on the most practical science, that of the kitchen. Stanford and Berkeley Universities may be filled with Noble prize winning scientists, but McGee is surely the most popular scientist among cooks.
While professional chefs are innovating, home cooks may simply be trying to perfect a favorite recipe. Curious about the history of chocolate or how to more safely prepare a rare hamburger? Want to know the five different techniques for making hollandaise sauce? McGee is your go to guy. Not just a book about science, there is plenty of history and tips and health information to feed your hunger for knowledge. It may just be the ultimate kitchen resource book.
Click here to hear Michael Krasny’s interview with Harold McGee that aired on Forum last month.