On Food and Cooking
On Food and Cooking
By Harold McGee
(Scribner, Hardcover, 9780684800011, 896pp.)
Publication Date: November 23, 2004
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Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking is a kitchen classic. Hailed by Time magazine as "a minor masterpiece" when it first appeared in 1984, On Food and Cooking is the bible to which food lovers and professional chefs worldwide turn for an understanding of where our foods come from, what exactly they're made of, and how cooking transforms them into something new and delicious.
Now, for its twentieth anniversary, Harold McGee has prepared a new, fully revised and updated edition of On Food and Cooking. He has rewritten the text almost completely, expanded it by two-thirds, and commissioned more than 100 new illustrations. As compulsively readable and engaging as ever, the new On Food and Cooking provides countless eye-opening insights into food, its preparation, and its enjoyment.
On Food and Cooking pioneered the translation of technical food science into cook-friendly kitchen science and helped give birth to the inventive culinary movement known as "molecular gastronomy." Though other books have now been written about kitchen science, On Food and Cooking remains unmatched in the accuracy, clarity, and thoroughness of its explanations, and the intriguing way in which it blends science with the historical evolution of foods and cooking techniques.
On Food and Cooking is an invaluable and monumental compendium of basic information about ingredients, cooking methods, and the pleasures of eating. It will delight and fascinate anyone who has ever cooked, savored, or wondered about food.
Harold McGee is a world-renowned authority on the chemistry of foods and cooking. He studied science and literature at Caltech and Yale, and has written two prize-winning books, On Food and Cooking and The Curious Cook, as well as many articles and reviews. He lives near San Francisco.
"I know of no chef worth his salt who doesn't keep a copy of Harold McGee's masterwork, On Food and Cooking...Simply put, it is the Rosetta stone of the culinary world...McGee flipped on the science switch, and suddenly there was light. Whereas Julia Child taught "how," McGee explains 'why.'"
- Alton Brown, Time
"Harold McGee changed our lives with his original On Food and Cooking. While we knew that many things in cooking worked or didn't work, McGee showed us why. This new edition is the most complete book on food that I have ever seen, and it is easy to read-an inconceivable amount of information made incredibly accessible. On Food and Cooking is unique, engrossing reading and a major contribution to great culinary literature." -Shirley O. Corriher, author of CookWise
"Without an understanding of basic food science and practical cooking technique, there can ultimately be no true creativity in the kitchen! Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking is the definitive treatise on this subject that both the professional and home cook will absolutely require to move their cooking forward." -Charlie Trotter, chef-owner of Charlie Trotter's
"A must-have resource for any student of the stove, On Food and Cooking synthesizes details from a wide variety of scientific disciplines and gastronomic traditions, sparking the reader's culinary imagination with every turn of the page. Harold McGee possesses that most rare combination: a scientist's skill and a cook's heart." -Rick Bayless, author of Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen and Mexico One Plate at a Time
"Having the pleasure of working with Harold McGee at The French Laundry kitchen was a dream come true. On Food and Cooking continues to be the most accurate source of information for generations of chefs. A charismatic teacher, Harold is a veritable fountain of information and without peer in our industry. His books are the most worn and dog-eared of my entire collection." -Thomas Keller, chef-owner of The French Laundry and Per Se
"Harold McGee's book is simply a monumental journey merging food and science...and a marvelous read." - Paula Wolfert, author of Mediterranean Cooking
"Nothing could be more welcome than a revised and expanded verison of Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking. This big, immensely important work, with its breathtaking scope, is the basic resource for anyone who wants to understand the way we grow our food, harvest it, store it, cook it, consume, smell, taste, and even digest it. McGee's sceintific writing is intelligent, lucid, and always to the point -- helping both professionals and serious home cooks understand what happens when they work with food, enabling them to be more enlightened shoppers, cooks, and even eaters. The first edition of On Food and Cooking has been the best selling book in the history of our bookstore. A newer and larger On Food and Cooking is a gift to all who want to know how food works." - Nach Waxman, Owner, Kitchen Arts & Letters
"McGee's immeasurable knowledge and infinite wisdom has hugely influenced the state of gastronomy. I constantly refer to On Food and Cooking and I am thrilled there's more yet to learn from the master of food and science. This book covers topics I have never ever heard of in a comprehensive end all way." - Mario Batali, chef-owner of Babbo and Otto
"I have used Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking for the last two decades whenever I've had questions on the chemistry of food or to understand some aspect of the cooking process. This extraordinary, new, expanded edition will occupy a place of prominence on my bookshelf." - Jacques Pépin, author of Jacques and Julia Cooking at Home and The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen
"On Food and Cooking is the classic that weaves together history, science, and practical advice in mesmerizing (really) discussion of every conceivable topic of interest in the kitchen...Everyone who eats can use this book. It belongs in every home." - Cheryl Mendelson, author of Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House