The Photography of Modernist Cuisine opens Sept. 12 at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum (1504 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., 504-569-0405; www.sofabinstitute.org).
The collection includes more than 50 photographs by Nathan Myhrvold and the team behind the popular Modernist Cuisine books, which highlight the scientific process behind cooking. Myhrvold culled through more than 500,000 images taken for the books to select shots for the exhibit. Many of the large-format photos are more than 6 feet tall and feature food subjected to various cooking techniques. Visitors can see the delicate insides of a blueberry and get a bird's-eye view of the minuscule hairs covering the stem of a ripe tomato. Myhrvold used techniques rarely employed in food photography, including panoramic stitching, focus stacking and microscopy.
Also on display are videos taken with a high-speed camera that show cooking processes, including a montage of popping popcorn and a fireball created from the essential oils of an orange.
Myhrvold and his team of scientists and professional chefs published Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking in 2011. The tome became instantly popular despite its price tag (Amazon.com currently lists the five-book set at $539). The Photography of Modernist Cuisine (2013), is available ($120) at the exhibit and includes most of the photographs on display. The exhibit is open through March 1.