11.19.2013: Modernist Cuisine / Martha Stewart


Modernist Cuisine’s iPad App: A Thing of Beauty

If you’ve heard about the six-volume, much-praised, high-priced Modernist Cuisine series, you know it’s considered to be the authority on modern cooking. If six volumes and about $500 intimidates you, there’sModernist Cuisine at Home, a one-volume cooking manual that distills techniques covered in the longer version. And now, a companion iPad app is turning heads — word on the street is that it’s the best cooking app of all time. Of all time.

The books themselves don’t have digital editions, and chances are they aren’t going to, according to its author. But the iPad version, released by a San Francisco company called Inkling, contains 1,683 photos, 416 recipes, and 37 technique videos. It’s interactive — hone your technique as you cook with video, or adjust a recipe to serve the size of your dinner party. It’s meant to be a truly interactive companion; props to author Nathan Myhrvold for insisting that any digital version of the book(s) are useful above all else.

At $80, this app isn’t exactly an impulse buy. But for the cooking enthusiast in your life, it’s money well spent. I mean, seriously. Just look at the imagery.


Instagram Account Shares Terrible Food Photos

illustration by April V. Walters
illustration by April V. Walters

In the ongoing theme of “food photography is hard,” the internet has started calling out less-than-savory photos posted by amateur “photographers.” If you’re interested in browsing image after image of ambiguously brown and decidedly unappetizing photographs, there’s now an Instagram account for that.

The account features both straight-up poor photography and straight-up disgustingness. Click at your own risk. The broccoli casserole topped with yellow Kraft singles, I can’t even.


Martha Stewart’s Instagram Food #FAIL

No one is immune to the pitfalls of online food photography, not even hostess-with-the-mostess Martha Stewart. This week, Martha posted several photos of “delicious” fancy dishes that looked anything but appetizing.Of course, the internet called her out.

But then she responded. 

Though I cover this sort of amateur food photography exhaustively, Martha’s gaffe surprises me. Authenticity on Twitter is the number-one best practice for any high-profile personality, so it’s great she’s taking and posting her own photos. But for a woman who has built an empire on perfection and pretty vignettes, I’m surprised she’d allow such… crap to pollute her Twitter feed. It really kills that perfect image she’s going for.


Again, Alton Brown with the Post-Its

I’m not supposed to like this, but I just can’t help continually shilling for Alton Brown’s unorthodox tweeting method. Regardless of the reasons behind the now-signature post-its, they’ve become a whole thing, and I can’t get enough. Apparently, for whatever reason, Food Network didn’t air Alton’s show, Cutthroat Kitchen (or, #CutthroatKitchen if you’re playing along at home). He captured the fan response on Twitter.

Sure, his Tweets may not be searchable as those that contain actual words instead of images, but the guy’s getting some serious engagement. Whatever works, I guess.


  • Anthony Bourdain to host a radical throwback dinner during South Beach that “pays homage to the bygone age of luxury transatlantic travel — Eater
  • If you post it… Bon Appetit shares Facebook reactions to its “Doritos bread” recipe — Bon Appetit
  • It’s a 3D food printer! — Smithsonian Magazine
  • Not just mobile, ChefsFeed is now on the web — Foodable

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