It's not every day that you pick up a cookbook that totally changes your perception of food and cooking. As a child foodie, I can just remember when Cuisine Minceur by Michel Guerard hit the bookshelves in the 70's; after the butter-laden recipes of the 60s, its low-fat cooking was a relevation (hard to believe nowadays) and the food and flavour combinations - now commonplace - shocked chefs, home cooks and my parents alike. (It's still a classic.)
Under Pressure is somewhat of a misnomer. Sous vide means 'under vacuum', and it is this combined with cooking the food at below boiling point that is the revolution. No longer do you have to overcook the outside to ensure the interior is not raw. And no longer does the colour leach out, along with the flavour that our new generation of farmers work so hard to capture, and (presumably) the vitamins.
However, even the sous vide method was developed in the 1970s, by one Georges Pralus attempting to cook foie gras without losing its shape or fat. (Similarly, Cuisine Minceur was born of the necessity for a healthier way of cooking - to lure figure-conscious Parisiennes 800 km to his new wife's spa hotel in South-West France). But like many radical changes, they take time to find broader acceptance - and a creative adventurer like Thomas Keller to bring them to public notice.
Under Pressure condenses the past ten years of experimentation with sous vide techniques at The French Laundry into one book. A warning - do not attempt the recipes at home, unless you have a near commercial kitchen, a team of uncomplaining sous-chefs/kitchen slaves, and unlimited time. Further warning - read the section about food safely very closely - bacteria can multiply fast at temperatures of 65 C. The recipes are more for professional chefs.