View food as you've never seen it before.
From the intricate inner details of a blueberry, the time-frozen chaos inside a spice grinder and a magical view of a boiling pot of vegetables in canning jars sliced through the middle, the photography of the groundbreaking Modernist Cuisine redefined our understanding of food and cooking.
Celebrate the release of The Photography of Modernist Cuisine with Adam Gopnik and author Nathan Myhrvold as he shares the stories, techniques and science behind each photo. Simple ingredients, eclectic dishes and the dynamic phenomena at work in the kitchen are transformed into vivid, arresting art.
This event is part of our Kitchen Arts & Letters series. In partnership with the esteemed culinary bookstore, we present talks, demos and tastings with leading cookbook authors, chefs, food historians and farmers. See the complete line-up here.
Dr. Nathan Myhrvold, author of The Photography of Modernist Cuisine and co-author of Modernist Cuisine and Modernist Cuisine at Home, has had a passion for cooking and photography since he was a boy. By the age of 13, Myhrvold had already cooked the family Thanksgiving feast and transformed a bathroom into a darkroom.
Unlike many childhood hobbies, his fascination in food and photography did not fade—it intensified. He consumed cooking books and invested in new cameras and lenses even while doing postdoctoral cosmology work with Stephen Hawking. While working as the chief technology officer of Microsoft, he took a leave of absence to earn his culinary diploma from École de Cuisine La Varenne in France.
Even as he worked as founder and CEO of Intellectual Ventures, Myhrvold published his photography in America 24/7 and Washington 24/7, began writing Modernist Cuisine and launched The Cooking Lab. Myhrvold developed many of the photographic concepts featured in the book, such as cutaway views of cooking setups and stacked-focus supermacro close-ups. As the demands of writing the book increased, the photography team at The Cooking Lab expanded, but Myhrvold shot a large fraction of the photos in The Photography of Modernist Cuisine, Modernist Cuisine and Modernist Cuisine at Home, and he also supervised the photo editing and selection.
Following the publication of Modernist Cuisine in 2011, the book won top honors for visual design from the International Association of Culinary Professionals, and the photography of the book has been exhibited at The Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of Natural History in Le Havre, France and at Hong Kong’s Landmark. The Photography of Modernist Cuisine reflects Myhrvold’s passion for innovation in both photography and food.
Adam Gopnik has been writing for The New Yorker since 1986, and his work for the magazine has won both the National Magazine Award for Essay and the George Polk Award for Magazine Reporting. He’s also the author of many books including The King in the Window, Americans in Paris, Paris to the Moon, Through the Children’s Gate, Angels and Ages, Steps Across the Water and Table Comes First, his culinary manifesto.
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