Modernist Cuisine: The Art And Science Of Cooking makes author Nathan Myhrvold $20m

The 'unusable' $450 cookbook makes its author $20million in a single year

A $450 cookbook that clocks in at 2,468 pages long, has drawn $20million in sales.

Penned by Nathan Myhrvold, a former chief technologist officer for Microsoft, Modernist Cuisine: The Art And Science Of Cooking is a six-volume book that was published in March 2011.

The Washington inventor's unique manual, which had been described as 'unusable' by some cooks, has been purchased around the world by more than 45,000 people.

Incredible: Modernist Cuisine: The Art And Science Of Cooking, a $450 cookbook which features the above imagery, has made $20million in sales since it was published in March last year

Incredible: Modernist Cuisine: The Art And Science Of Cooking, a $450 cookbook which features the above imagery, has made $20million in sales since it was published in March last year

It took a team of 30 scientists and inventors to create the slick product which is said to explore the science of food.

Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, the author said: 'It changes the conventional wisdom about whether people will buy an expensive book if there is value in it.

'I'm thrilled with our sales.'

The book was self-published by Mr Myhrvold who financed the entire process himself. It took the team three years to create but he has never revealed how much the visually-striking product cost him to produce.

Success: The cookbook set (above) comes in six parts in total

Success: The cookbook set (above) comes in six parts in total and took 30 people to create

It has been translated in French, German and Spanish and further interpretations are on their way.

He claimed that the project was never intended to make him such a large amount of money.

'This wasn't my big money making scheme in life,' he said. 'From the beginning, I
realised I could have lost every penny.'

It has performed in quite the opposite way.

Genius: Nathan Myhrvold, a former chief technologist officer for Microsoft, penned the book set

Genius: Nathan Myhrvold, a former chief technologist officer for Microsoft, penned the six-volume book set

The book won three International
Association Of Culinary Professionals awards including one for Visionary
Achievement. It was also inducted into the Gourmand World Cookbook
Awards' Hall Of Fame.

It is a prestigious culinary competition that evaluates international chefs.

Tom Parker Bowles, a British food writer, said: 'This is not a cook book as such, rather
a brilliant, beautiful documentation of one man's obsession with the
science of food. It's one
of the greatest works on food ever published.'

Mr Myrhvold also said he has 12 staff who are continuing research for another cookbook project.

Skills: The book set, which also features the above photograph, took three years to produce

Skills: The book set, which also features the above photograph, took three years to produce

'We haven't even started working on baking and pastry yet,' he said.

Inspired by discussions on sites such as eGullet.org, the book claims that many assumptions about food safety are simply wrong – and that chefs are ruining our food in the process.

'I resolved that my book would cover microbiology and food safety as well,' he said.

In addition to his long career with
Microsoft, and as an independent inventor, Myhrvold has also helped
complete Victorian computing pioneer Charles Babbage's Difference
Engine, a pioneering mechanical computer designed by Babbage.

He has also won the World Barbecue Championship.