Unlike most other disciplines, cooking doesn’t have, like, textbooks per se. There’s no end all be all, everything you need is in this tome kinda tome. There’s plenty of sort of close ones and plenty that focus on one specific thing but nothing else. Harold McGee’s On Food & Cooking is probably one of the best in dispelling myths and teaching the fundamental physics and chemistry behind the complex processes involved in cooking. Herve This also presents a few books where he does similar things and there are others as well. There’s these dense and extremely complicated food science books for food scientists but no proper complete textbook for chefs.

Modernist Cooking is probably going to be that textbook though. It will be 6 volumes in total and run for US$500 preordered at Amazon, releasing in the winter. There will be 2400 pages filled with lots of text, pictures and all of it will be gospel. Written by Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young and Maxime Bilet, this going to tell you everything from the various culinary movements to traditional cooking techniques, modern ones, animals, plants and ingredients as well as recipes. It is insane in its scope and depth.

Myhrvold, of course, is famous for being today’s modern renaissance man, being an accomplished chef as well as physicist, all round scientific genius, paleontologist, photographer, idea generator…