With 55,000 books in its library, NYU, my alma mater, has the largest collection of food books in the United States. Fales Library on the third floor of the Bobst Library houses special collections and recently amassed 21,000 food books from the private collection of restaurateur George Lang. In 2003, the director of the food studies program at NYU started the collection of food books. The first donation, consisting of 7,000 books, was that of Associated Press food editor Cecily Brownstone. Since then, they have received many donations, including the complete set of Gourmet magazines, all 3,500 of them. This collection definitely puts NYU’s food studies program on the map, and helps to show the importance of the topic that had, in the past, endured a negative stigma as “women’s work.”
The New York Times printed some pics from the Modernist Cuisine set.
OK, I definitely have to get A World of Cake by Krystina Castella because I love cake and I love trying foods from different cultures. I love the pictures on the front cover and can’t wait to take a cake trip around the world!
The cookbook on molecular gastronomy that I wrote about here back in Nov. of 2009 is finally available. The only catch is its hefty price tag at over $600. Modernist Cuisine, written by Nathan Myhrvold who is the former Chief Technology Officer of Microsoft, consists of six volumes and reaches almost 2500 pages. With my interest in intellectual property, I find Myhrvold fascinating as he is an inventor that certainly helps keep lawyers in business with his hand in many patents. I think the restaurant El Bulli in Spain made famous the foods of molecular gastronomy, a term coined by French chemist Herve This. In New York, a restaurant to try that achieves success with it is wd-50, which I recently visited and will write about. The book looks like it has phenomenal full-color photos of food science in action, and it also gives tips on how to try this at home.
Here’s a link to a book review I wrote on 97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement by Jane Ziegelman for the literary food journal, Alimentum.