Avant-garde cooking is having a very good year. The cooking style was recently canonized in Nathan Myhrvold's lavishly photographed, six-volume tome Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking. High priests of haute cooking, Ferran Adrià and Wylie Dufresne, best known for bringing laboratory techniques to the plate, traded in their whites for tweed and stepped into the classroom at Harvard. And on the Syfy channel, Top Chef alum Marcel Vigneron puts molecular gastronomy on display in Marcel's Quantum Kitchen.
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But there's another movement afoot in lay cooking circles, one that's looking backward rather than forward. Home cooks are finding inspiration in the past,