Food types geek out about Modernist Cuisine, reverently turn its pages, wait for months to get their hands on a copy, keep it in places of honor around the house, and shower it with major industry awards. But few people actually have cooked, or eaten the food chronicled in this once-in-a-century, science-driven masterpiece (though an at-home sequel is due out in October).
Hence the major social media excitement that erupted this morning with news of a Modernist Cuisine Feast happening at the Palace Ballroom on Thursday, June 21. Major chefs and food writers from all over the country converged on Seattle in early 2011 for a series of invite-only preview dinners at creator Nathan Myhrvold’s Bellevue lab, but this is the first Modernist Cuisine dinner that’s ever been open to the public. Chef Maxime Bilet, who researched and authored the tome with Myhrvold and Chris Young, will lead the charge on a 30-course meal that might include Modernist staples like pea butter (made by putting peas in a centrifuge), 72-hour sous vide pastrami, and a tasting of Northwest shellfish that includes crispy squid jerky cryo-shucked oysters, and spaghetti alle vongole, with vacuum-molded geoduck serving as noodles. You know, regular stuff.
Scoring a ticket isn’t quite as complex as a Canlis special dinner, but the 25 seats are being auctioned off on eBay, with bids starting at $500 a person. Cheap? Hell, no. But as local food writer Rebekah Denn noted this morning, 30 courses at this price is “in context, a screaming deal.”
Plus, all this cash goes somewhere worthy. All proceeds to go Food Lifeline, Teen Feed, FareStart, Hopelink, Hunger Intervention Program, and McCarver Elementary Edible Schoolyard.
The 10-day auctions are happening right over here (each auction listing includes a sample menu) and a few bids have already been placed. The Tom Douglas team also promises beer, wine, and “surprise guest chefs.” But let’s be honest, you had me at vacuum-molded geoduck.