A visionary new master class in cooking that distills decades of professional experience into just four simple elements, from the woman declared “America’s next great cooking teacher” by Alice Waters.
In the tradition of The Joy of Cooking and How to Cook Everything comes SALT FAT ACID HEAT, an ambitious new approach to cooking by a major new culinary voice. Chef and writer Samin Nosrat has taught everyone from professional chefs to middle school kids to author Michael Pollan to cook using her revolutionary, yet simple, philosophy. Master the use of just four elements—Salt, which enhances flavor; Fat, which delivers flavor and generates texture; Acid, which balances flavor; and Heat, which ultimately determines the texture of food—and anything you cook will be delicious. By explaining the hows and whys of good cooking, SALT FAT ACID HEAT will teach and inspire a new generation of cooks how to confidently make better decisions in the kitchen and cook delicious meals with any ingredients, anywhere, at any time.
Echoing Samin’s own journey from culinary novice to award-winning chef, SALT FAT ACID HEAT immediately bridges the gap between home and professional kitchens. With charming narrative, illustrated walk-throughs, and a lighthearted approach to kitchen science, Samin demystifies the four elements of good cooking for everyone. Refer to the canon of 100 essential recipes—and dozens of variations—to put the lessons into practice and make bright, balanced vinaigrettes, perfectly caramelized roast vegetables, tender braised meats, and light, flaky pastry doughs.
Featuring 150 illustrations and infographics that reveal an atlas to the world of flavor by renowned illustrator Wendy MacNaughton, SALT FAT ACID HEAT will be your compass in the kitchen. Destined to be a classic, it just might be the last cookbook you’ll ever need.
With a foreword by Michael Pollan.
"As I write, this book hasn’t even been published yet, but already it feels indispensable. That must sound over-the-top, I know, but I honestly can’t remember the last time I read a book on cooking that was this useful or unusual. I suspect that’s because reading SALT FAT ACID HEAT feels less like being in the pages of a cookbook than at a really good cooking school..."
— from the foreword by Michael Pollan, New York Times bestselling author of The Omnivore's Dilemma
“This beautiful, approachable book not only teaches you how to cook, but captures how it should feel to cook: full of exploration, spontaneity and joy. Samin is one of the great teachers I know, and wins people over to cooking with real food—organic, seasonal, and alive—with her irrepressible enthusiasm and curiosity.”
—Alice Waters, New York Times bestselling author of The Art of Simple Food
“Everyone was impressed when Michael Pollan managed to summarize the huge and complex subject of what we should be eating in just seven words: ‘Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.’ Samin Nosrat has managed to summarize the huge and complex subject of how we should be cooking in just four words: ‘SALT FAT ACID HEAT.’ Everyone will be hugely impressed.”
—Yotam Ottolenghi, New York Times bestselling author of Jerusalem
"SALT FAT ACID HEAT is a must for anyone wanting to be a better cook. Samin Nosrat, along with Wendy MacNaughton’s fun illustrations, teaches the fundamentals of cooking and dives into the four elements that make food taste great. So do yourself a favor and buy this book. I promise you won’t regret it.”
—April Bloomfield, James Beard award-winning chef and author of A Girl and Her Pig
"Like the amazing meals that come out of Samin Nosrat’s kitchen, SALT FAT ACID HEAT is the perfect mixture of highest-quality ingredients: beautiful storytelling, clear science, an infectious love of food, and Wendy MacNaughton’s powerful art. Nosrat’s prose combined with MacNaughton’s beautiful illustrations are a perfect guide to employing the science of cooking for maximum deliciousness.”
—Rebecca Skloot, New York Times bestselling author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
“SALT FAT ACID HEAT is a very important book not because it contains many excellent recipes, although it does, or because it is written by a Chez Panisse alum, although it is. It is important because it gives home cooks a compass with which to navigate their own kitchens, and it places trust in them that they will be able to use that compass. Samin’s easygoing, cook-by-feel approach is never condescending or elitist. It is a step towards cooking without recipes and true empowerment (and joy!) in the kitchen.” —John Becker and Megan Scott,
4th generation stewards of the New York Times bestselling Joy of Cooking
“SALT FAT ACID HEAT is a wildly informative, new-generation, culinary resource. Samin Nosrat's wealth of experience comes together here in a pitch perfect combination of charm, narrative, straight-talk, illustration, and inspiration. Ticking all the boxes for new and seasoned cooks alike, this book meets you wherever you are in the kitchen, in all the right ways.”
—Heidi Swanson, New York Times bestselling author of Super Natural Cooking
Samin Nosrat is a writer, teacher, and chef. Called a “go-to resource for matching the correct techniques with the best ingredients” by the New York Times and “the next Julia Child” by NPR’s All Things Considered, she’s been cooking professionally since 2000, when she first stumbled into the kitchen at Chez Panisse restaurant. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Bon Appétit, and the San Francisco Chronicle, among other places. She lives, cooks, and gardens in Berkeley, California. Salt Fat Acid Heat is her first book.
(photo credit: Grant Delin)
Wendy MacNaughton is a New York Times-bestselling illustrator and graphic journalist whose books include Meanwhile in San Francisco (Chronicle), Knives & Ink (Bloomsbury), The Gutsy Girl (Bloomsbury), Lost Cat (Bloomsbury), and The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). She is a columnist for The California Sunday Magazine. She lives in San Francisco with her partner, several four-legged animals, and a well-used kitchen, thanks to Samin.
(photo credit: Leslie Sophia Lindell)
Alvaro Villanueva never set out to be a designer but discovered a natural and comfortable place in design at the intersection of his life-long interests: narrative, culture, vision, composition, and problem solving. Namely and above all: book design from his studio Bookish Design. With twenty years’ experience working with publishers big and small, for individuals, and institutions, his greatest hits include over 100 covers of the Believer magazine, Paul Madonna’s All Over Coffee books for City Lights, On the Edge of Your Seat for the Center for art in Wood, and now, Salt Fat Acid Heat.
Trish Richman is a freelance art director, hands-on graphic designer, and a meticulously organized project manager. Her clients include
Wendy MacNaughton, lavamae.org and an eclectic mix of entrepreneurs,non-profits, writers and misfits.