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  • FEMALE SPEAKER: Please join me in welcoming to Google New

  • York Nathan Myhrvold.

  • So Nathan, you wanted to start with a presentation about the

  • book and give an overview.

  • NATHAN MYHRVOLD: Yeah, let me show some pictures, and then

  • we can talk.

  • FEMALE SPEAKER: Sounds good.

  • And then we'll open it up for Q&A at the end.

  • NATHAN MYHRVOLD: Great.

  • So I'm going to tell you a little bit about "Modernist

  • Cuisine At Home." In 2011, we released this book, "Modernist

  • Cuisine." This is what we call the big book, which was an

  • encyclopedic treatment of all aspects of cooking and the

  • science behind it.

  • So the really interesting question is,

  • what do we do next?

  • And one next thing after that that we could do, may still

  • do, would be pastry baking and dessert, because the first

  • book didn't cover that.

  • But as our next act, we decided, in fact, we would do

  • modernist cuisine at home instead.

  • And the idea was basically that modernist cuisine was

  • about sort of the no holds barred approach to cooking.

  • There are recipes that require a centrifuge, or a rotary

  • evaporator, or all kinds of things that most people--

  • I have them at home, but most people don't

  • have them at home.

  • So we decided we would do a book that would take the same

  • ideas as "Modernist Cuisine," but apply them in a way that

  • was a smaller, little bit less daunting book.

  • It's a little pamphlet, like 700 pages.

  • FEMALE SPEAKER: It weighs more than my child, we were

  • deciding earlier.

  • NATHAN MYHRVOLD: And try to do stuff that would address

  • things that people could do at home.

  • So every recipe in here, you can do at home.

  • It doesn't require unusual equipment.

  • And it doesn't require unusual ingredients.

  • And we also tried to really focus on practical techniques

  • and use lots of photography to make it really easy to see

  • what's going on.

  • One side of these shows our step by steps.

  • The other thing shows what we call a cutaway.

  • This is where we show you the magic

  • view inside your equipment.

  • The people at Viking gave us this Viking

  • stove to cook with.

  • We cooked with it for a while.

  • And then we cut it in half.

  • It's sort of like the 4H kid that gets a little calf, and

  • raises it up, and then, oops.

  • But we cut it in half so you can see what

  • it looks like inside.

  • Like the first book, we have a washable kitchen manual.

  • It's on washable waterproof paper.

  • That's so you can take it in the kitchen, get it dirty.

  • It's a little bit smaller format, too.

  • And it folds back on itself, because it's spiral bound.

  • And we kind of consider this the next part of "Modernist

  • Cuisine," yet it's focusing on home cooking.

  • And home cooking just means two things.

  • One is what I said earlier, that it's a set of stuff that

  • you can do at home from an equipment perspective.

  • But equally important is that it's a set of cooking recipes

  • that are less formal.

  • In the first book, we've got recipes from Ferran Adria, and

  • Thomas Keller, and Heston Blumenthal, and all the best

  • chefs in the world.

  • You don't typically cook that food at home all the time.

  • In the new book, we have a chapter on mac and cheese.

  • We have a chapter on chicken wings, and

  • other skewered snacks.

  • So it's a little bit less formal style, in addition to

  • being a little bit more accessible from an equipment

  • perspective.

  • So here's uncompromising physical quality.

  • I wish I could say that about myself, but by god, I can say

  • it about my book.

  • So we tried to make the physical aspect of the book

  • kind of cool.

  • It's big, it uses great paper.

  • This is sort of nerdy, but I figured I'm at Google, so that

  • should be OK.

  • But when you typically print a picture in a book, it uses

  • half tone screen, and this is what it looks like when you

  • blow it up.

  • It's 175 line.

  • An art book would use a 200 line screen.

  • But this whole idea of using a fixed screen is sort of an old

  • analog world concept.

  • It's still done.

  • We used something called stochastic screening, which

  • uses an error diffusion algorithm, and the dots are

  • now all created digitally.

  • And you can see, it just looks a lot better.

  • Here's another thing most people don't realize.

  • The gamut is the range of colors

  • that inks can represent.

  • And most inks have a hard time with really saturated colors.

  • So here's a picture from the book where the grey shows the

  • stuff you can't actually represent in the color gamut.

  • Well, if you buy something called Chroma Centric inks,

  • you can show it all.

  • And so people will ask us, how did you get all of that color

  • in those pictures?

  • Is that because you digitally processed it?

  • And we said, no, we actually sprung for the expensive ink.

  • Because it turns it you just can't represent some colors,

  • particularly highly saturated colors.

  • You'll see it's the tomato, for example, and some of the

  • greens in the apple, or the greens in that cauliflower.

  • Those are the things that don't come across, because

  • they're highly saturated.

  • Now, of course, a good question is, why the hell am I

  • doing a book at all?

  • Why is it physical?

  • And the original answer for "Modernist Cuisine" is that at

  • the time we started, there were no tablet computers,

  • except for the first version of Kindle, which was tiny and

  • black and white.

  • There was no iPad.

  • It hadn't come out.

  • And so we had to choose a platform, and we chose print.

  • But here's the other reason--

  • here's a picture from the original book, and here's what

  • it looks like on Kindle and on an iPad.

  • And once you decide you're going to do layout for a big,

  • big high resolution display that you're going to get this

  • close to, it's hard to just change it.

  • Of course you could do it.

  • But if you just literally took the PDFs from the book and

  • just said, I'm going to move them onto a tablet, it's not

  • very usable, because you're always scrolling one way and

  • scrolling another way.

  • It also, to me, is kind of boring.

  • Because if you just took the PDFs, you don't have any of

  • the things that's magical about an interactive platform.

  • So we're talking about one possible future project is to

  • make a really interactive version.

  • But then that actually starts getting to be real work,

  • because you have to animate, and you want to have a lot of

  • things live, and you have to have a little

  • different user interface.

  • So at some point, yeah.

  • For now, actually, print is a great way to deliver large,

  • high resolution pictures to people.

  • And particularly, if I target the people in this room or in

  • the tech industry, then tablets would be even more

  • appropriate.

  • But if I want to have influence with lots of

  • traditional chefs around the world and give them an ability

  • to step up, actually print is probably a better platform

  • from that perspective at the moment.

  • So here's some fun facts about the new book.

  • Two volumes, 9.9 pounds unpacked, 684 pages, 228 of

  • which are waterproof.

  • 23 chapters, 210,000 words, 405 recipes, 114 that have

  • step by step photos.

  • And we took about 86,000 pictures, of which 1,500 are

  • in the book.

  • So here's how we can sort of put it in perspective.

  • If you took "Modernist Cuisine At Home," and you put it all

  • in one line of text at the same type size, it would be

  • 1.4 miles long, and that would stretch from 14th Street up to

  • 42nd Street.

  • So several subway stops.

  • And of course we're here.

  • That's the you are here.

  • "Modernist Cuisine," the big one, that actually would go

  • from lower Manhattan all the way up to 116th Street.