### Author Topic: (PIZZA SECRET) 2,400 page game-changing cookbook coming out - PIZZA SECRET!  (Read 6064 times)

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#### PizzaSuperFreak

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##### (PIZZA SECRET) 2,400 page game-changing cookbook coming out - PIZZA SECRET!
« on: February 15, 2011, 08:55:50 AM »
http://finance.yahoo.com/family-home/article/112120/the-game-changing-cookbook

have you guys seen this yet? it was on yahoo just this morning. a 2,400 page game-changing cookbook developed by current chef and former Microsoft CFO Nathan Myhrvold.

wow. this is one smart dude. ...'by the age of 23, he held two master's degrees and a doctorate in mathematical physics from Princeton'... [he used] 'a team of 36 researchers, chefs and editors and a laboratory specially built for cooking experiments' ... and he came out with this.

reason i'm posting this here? well, among his experiments was how to cook Neopolitan pizza in your home oven in 1.5-2 minutes at over 800 degrees !

if you're like me and have broken your oven tricking it into heating to that temperature on the cleaning cycle, then this will be of interest to you. here ya go !......

Quote
PROBLEM #3: You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven.

SOLUTION: Make an oven out of a steel sheet.

Get a ¼-inch-thick sheet of steel from a metal fabricator (Search online for a local one), have it cut to the size of your oven shelf and insert it in the rack closest to the broiler. Preheat the oven at its highest temperature for ½ hour, then turn on the broiler and slide your pizza onto the metal plate. It should emerge perfectly cooked in 1.5 to 2 minutes.

WHAT'S GOING ON: Pizza in a brick oven cooks at about 800 degrees—way hotter than the highest setting of most home ovens. The metal sheet is more conductive than a brick oven's stone, so it can cook just as fast at a lower temperature.

sounds about right. i know this must be similar to what's going on with the 2stone product used on your grill. http://www.2stonepg.com/2stone-pizza-gril.html

enjoy and let me know if you did this and how the results were. i'm definitely going to ponder the possibility.

edited: not sure if this is the right place to post this because i want to make sure others know about this.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2011, 09:04:06 AM by PizzaSuperFreak »

#### Bill/SFNM

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##### Re: (PIZZA SECRET) 2,400 page game-changing cookbook coming out - PIZZA SECRET TOO!!
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2011, 09:02:40 AM »
With a list price of \$625 and an Amazon price of \$468, I doubt I will be buying the book:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0982761007/?tag=pizzamaking-20

Maybe in a year or two I can pick a used one up for a more reasonable price.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2014, 03:11:51 PM by Steve »

#### PizzaSuperFreak

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##### Re: (PIZZA SECRET) 2,400 page game-changing cookbook coming out - PIZZA SECRET TOO!!
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2011, 09:05:11 AM »
With a list price of \$625 and an Amazon price of \$468, I doubt I will be buying the book:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0982761007/?tag=pizzamaking-20

Maybe in a year or two I can pick a used one up for a more reasonable price.

agreed. however, i guess i was more interested in sharing the quote about the pizza oven. do you think i should post this elsewhere in the forum?
« Last Edit: March 06, 2014, 03:12:13 PM by Steve »

#### Bill/SFNM

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##### Re: (PIZZA SECRET) 2,400 page game-changing cookbook coming out - PIZZA SECRET!
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2011, 09:11:15 AM »
I think it is fine here for now. We can move and combinine it with other threads if they pop up as people try this technique. The hype that has swirled around this book over the past few years will only intensify as it makes its debut. It will be interesting to see if Myhrvold is smarter than the many fine folks on this forum who have worked long and hard on the dilemma of flash-baking pies in the home oven.

« Last Edit: February 15, 2011, 09:16:21 AM by Bill/SFNM »

#### PizzaSuperFreak

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##### Re: (PIZZA SECRET) 2,400 page game-changing cookbook coming out - PIZZA SECRET!
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2011, 09:14:32 AM »
I think it is fine here for now. We can move and combinine it with other threads if they pop up as people try this technique. The hype that has swirled around this book over the past few years will only intensify as it makes it debut. It will be interesting to see if Myhrvold is smarter than the many fine folks on this forum who have worked long and hard on the dilemma of flash-baking pies in the home oven.

yep. good point. i know people have made strides here to produce high-quality high-temp pizzas from their ovens and succeeded. i do question Myhrvold's epiphany. not sure how a metal tray is going to produce the crispness and moisture-wicking properties of a pizza stone or similar. seems like a metal sheet would trap moisture and make it a bit more soggy.

#### Pete-zza

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##### Re: (PIZZA SECRET) 2,400 page game-changing cookbook coming out - PIZZA SECRET!
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2011, 10:21:58 AM »
Our own scott123 commented recently on the Myhrvold steel plate suggestion, at Reply 21 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12263.msg126897.html#msg126897. scott123 has also challenged the idea of a pizza stone having much of a "wicking" effect. See, for example, Reply 22 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11994.msg123518/topicseen.html#msg123518.

Peter

#### PizzaSuperFreak

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##### Re: (PIZZA SECRET) 2,400 page game-changing cookbook coming out - PIZZA SECRET!
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2011, 10:52:52 AM »
Our own scott123 commented recently on the Myhrvold steel plate suggestion, at Reply 21 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12263.msg126897.html#msg126897. scott123 has also challenged the idea of a pizza stone having much of a "wicking" effect. See, for example, Reply 22 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11994.msg123518/topicseen.html#msg123518.

Peter

thanks pete! i'm not sure that Myhrvold was commenting on exacting specs and 'quality of toppings' according to scott123. he was just making a simple starting point on where to look when trying to acheive high temps of Neopolitan pizza. perhaps leaving the further experimentation up to nerds like me.

#### TXCraig1

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##### Re: (PIZZA SECRET) 2,400 page game-changing cookbook coming out - PIZZA SECRET TOO!!
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2011, 04:47:42 PM »
agreed. however, i guess i was more interested in sharing the quote about the pizza oven. do you think i should post this elsewhere in the forum?

Andre posted it here earlier this morning:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13018.0.html

"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

#### scott123

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##### Re: (PIZZA SECRET) 2,400 page game-changing cookbook coming out - PIZZA SECRET!
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2011, 10:50:00 PM »
Since the steel plate idea has been addressed elsewhere in the forum, I'm going to elaborate on my feelings on the book. The first thing I'm going to do is take a look at the price.  To do this, I'll compare it to another Food Science juggernaut.

On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

896 pages
Kindle
\$29

Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking

2,400 pages
no kindle
\$467

Now, although MC hasn't been released yet, so I don't know it's dimensions, I have spent considerable time with On Food and Cooking (OFC). OFC is a physically broad book with relatively small text/quite a lot of information per page.  On a page by page basis, I'm certain that MC will contain as much or less information than OFC.

So....

On Food and Cooking: 3.2 cents per page
Modernist Cuisine: 19.4 cents per page

That's almost six times the cost. And this by an author with no previously published work.  None, whatsoever.  McGee (OFC) has 30 years of writing experience.

And then there's the no kindle edition thing.  Sure, a lot of books start off as hardcover and then later go digital, but a 2,400 page behemoth by the ex-CTO of Microsoft that can't be digitally searched?  Really? With his background and the sheer amount of information that he's presenting, it boggles the mind that he's only putting this out on paper.  An electronic version already exists- members of the press are accessing it online. Why not sell it?

Lastly, there's the scope.  Nathan's obsession with sous vide is insane.  Think about all the people you know who are pizza obsessed and multiply that level of obsession by 10- that's how crazy Nathan is with sous vide.  I read every food science tome I can get my hands on and I'm as nerdy as they come, but, you know what? Sous vide doesn't really do it for me, and I'm sure I'm not alone. How much of this book will be sous vide?  Considering his fetish, it would be pretty dumb of him to write about much else.  I'm thinking it has to be at least 1/3 and most likely more than 1/2.

Summing up, between the insulting price, the lack of an electronic edition and the expectation that sous vide is going to play a major role in this book, pardon me if I'm not all that excited.

#### PizzaSuperFreak

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##### Re: (PIZZA SECRET) 2,400 page game-changing cookbook coming out - PIZZA SECRET!
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2011, 08:34:54 AM »
Quote
Nathan's obsession with sous vide is insane.  Think about all the people you know who are pizza obsessed and multiply that level of obsession by 10- that's how crazy Nathan is with sous vide.

does boil-in-a-bag rice count as sous vide? cuz i luv me some bag-o-rice

#### Bill/SFNM

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##### Re: (PIZZA SECRET) 2,400 page game-changing cookbook coming out - PIZZA SECRET!
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2011, 09:07:50 AM »
Sous vide doesn't really do it for me, and I'm sure I'm not alone. How much of this book will be sous vide?  Considering his fetish, it would be pretty dumb of him to write about much else.  I'm thinking it has to be at least 1/3 and most likely more than 1/2.

If the price ever becomes more reasonable, I would buy the book for the SV info alone. I run my SV cooker pretty much 24/7. Like everything else, it takes some time to figure out the best uses and times and temps - resulting in some spectacular failures that I wouldn't feed to my dogs. But now, there are certain cuts of meat I wouldn't cook any other way. Today we are having short ribs in a port reduction sauce; not the same result as braising, but much better in IMO. Until I got Keller's book, Under Pressure, I was lukewarm about SV. Much of it is counter-intuitive. Anyway, I have been anticipating this book just for the SV.

#### scott123

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##### Re: (PIZZA SECRET) 2,400 page game-changing cookbook coming out - PIZZA SECRET!
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2011, 09:53:05 AM »
does boil-in-a-bag rice count as sous vide? cuz i luv me some bag-o-rice

Do you cook the rice at very precise temperatures well below boiling point for many many hours?  Then sure, that counts

#### scott123

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##### Re: (PIZZA SECRET) 2,400 page game-changing cookbook coming out - PIZZA SECRET!
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2011, 10:25:54 AM »
If the price ever becomes more reasonable, I would buy the book for the SV info alone. I run my SV cooker pretty much 24/7. Like everything else, it takes some time to figure out the best uses and times and temps - resulting in some spectacular failures that I wouldn't feed to my dogs. But now, there are certain cuts of meat I wouldn't cook any other way. Today we are having short ribs in a port reduction sauce; not the same result as braising, but much better in IMO. Until I got Keller's book, Under Pressure, I was lukewarm about SV. Much of it is counter-intuitive. Anyway, I have been anticipating this book just for the SV.

As I was typing up my thoughts on sous vide, I was thinking to myself, "Bill will probably like this book."  I've seen at least one of your SV creations and, like everything you make, the results looked magnificent.  I think if I could afford duck more, I might warm up to SV, but chicken thigh confit doesn't get my blood pumping.

One thing to bear in mind with this volume is that it appears to contain a large number of recipes. The chefs he's collaborating with might have a different temperament, but, as far as Nathan goes, he's a very left brain kind of guy.  Left brainers tend to be pretty horrible artists/chefs.  For instance, I love the science that Alton Brown shares, but, imo, most of his recipes leave a lot to be desired.  Harold McGee is one of the few balanced food scientists- intelligence and artistry combined. Ferran Adria, I'm not sure I'd classify him as a scientist, more of a mad scientist, but he's got plenty of right brain activity. Anyway, long story short, take the recipes in MC with a huge grain of salt.

Even with the exclusion of the recipes, this tome will increase your SV knowledge a thousandfold, so definitely, keep your eye out for a used copy.  There's an obscene amount of hype around these volumes. I have no doubt that a lot of people will buy it without really knowing what it is. With this much hype, a few buyers are bound to be disappointed, which will hopefully create good deals on used copies.

#### Meatballs

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##### Re: (PIZZA SECRET) 2,400 page game-changing cookbook coming out - PIZZA SECRET!
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2011, 11:55:26 AM »
I'd be interested in the sous vide info in it but the price will pretty much keep this book on professional/educator shelves for a long time.  I'd rather have a good 1947 issue of Wenzels Menu Maker for that price (my copy is in really poor condition).

Ron

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