Behind the Scenes at James Beard Best Cookbook Winner Modernist Cuisine's Cooking Lab

A Microwave

You can see the stirrer and the magnetron in this cross section, along with a bag of popcorn (each kernel was meticulously glued into place).

Ryan Matthew Smith and J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

It's no surprise that this year's James Beard Journalism Award for Cookbook of the Year went to Modernist Cuisine, the 2,400 page tome that catalogued and codified many of the techniques that chefs and food scientists have developed over the last few decades. It was a groundbreaking and beautiful book (er, set of 5 books, that is) that shook up the entire chef community (and not just because of its $400+ price tag).

Last year we were fortunate enough to get a look behind the scenes at the labs where a team of cooks, researchers, writers, and photographers worked for years to produce the book. Now seems like a good time to dust off that old slideshow which offers a unique look at some of the food and techniques that went it it.

Visit the Modernist Cuisine's Cooking Lab with us! »