It's a lovely-looking book, too. The paper and the printing process have received no less scrutiny than the cooking. In addition to his other accomplishments, Myhrvold is an award-winning photographer -- the ravening lion that illustrates the Meat chapter was photographed by him in Botswana. One of the first people hired to work on the project, back in 2007, was photographer Ryan Matthew Smith, whose vivid shots give the book its distinctive look. A recurring motif is the cutaway, a cross-section view of what exactly is happening in a piece of meat, hot wok, or microwave during cooking. Although it looks like photographic trickery, in most cases this effect was won the hard way: cutting a piece of equipment in half in the laboratory's machine shop (they even bisected a $5,000 oven), then photographing it in action, as hot oil or whatnot spattered out the missing side -- most often, it seems, onto the game Max Bilet.