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$644.14 for the world’s “most ambitious cookbook”

The food world is in high anticipation of a new cookbook by—wait for it—Microsoft’s former chief technology officer, Nathan Myhrvold. Calling it a “book” may be a bit of an understatement, though. As one would expect from a dinosaur-loving, patent-seeking super-nerd, it’s more a compendium of all things cuisine-related than a simple kitchen handbook. Case in point: the 48-pound, six-volume work runs $625 U.S. ($644.14 Canadian), comes with an acrylic case and includes a waterproof kitchen manual.

Myhrvold described the book—underwhelmingly, or perhaps aptly, titled Modernist Cuisine—to the L.A. Times as “an encyclopedic treatment of modern cooking.” Topics include the physics of food and water, culinary history, emulsions, barbecuing, food poisoning and much more. Of course, there are also about 600 pages dedicated to recipes. Publishers are calling it the most ambitious cookbook they’ve ever seen.

Now all Myhrvold has to do is finish the book. It’s been in the works for four years and has grown exponentially in scope during its progression (it started at 150 pages and last year was described as a work of 1,500 pages in three volumes). The original December release date on Amazon has been pushed back to mid-March, which is unfortunate because we need to master the intricacies of sous-vide ASAP.

• The extremist: Nathan Myhrvold and ‘Modernist Cuisine’ [L.A. Times]