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. She lives, cooks, surfs, and gardens in Berkeley, California. Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat is her first book.
Wendy MacNaughton is a New York Times bestselling illustrator and graphic journalist whose books include Meanwhile in San Francisco (Chronicle), Pen & Ink (Bloomsbury). The Gutsy Girl (Bloomsbury), and The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). Her work appears in publications like The New York Times, Lucky Peach, Bon Appetit, AFAR Magazine, and elsewhere. She is the back page columnist for The California Sunday Magazine.
"Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat is a refreshing break from [the]
contemporary formula. Instantly recognizable as a reference book,
Samin Nosrat's definitive technique-driven tome defies convention.
This is partly because Nosrat's method of teaching via the book's
four main pillars (salt, fat, acid, and heat) is a rarity...But
what makes Nosrat's method so effective was her insistence that the
book be illustrated.--Saveur.com
"[Nosrat] writes with great wit. We need more cooks like her."
--Minneapolis Star Tribune
"A thorough but engagingly intimate graduate course in the four most transformative tools in the cook's arsenal. Understanding how the elements of a dish aid in its metamorphosis equips cooks to make the most of any ingredients. Its thoughtful explorations make it impossible to read without becoming a better cook."
"An approach to food science that's both accessible and entertaining."
--Shelf Awareness for Readers
"Beautiful, useful, and filled with illustrations from Wendy MacNaughton, whose prolific illustrations are instrumental in demonstrating the intricacies of cooking."
"Chez Panisse veteran Nosrat has reduced her cooking philosophy to her first cookbook's titular quartet of elements. The book's core 100 recipes (and scores of variations) form an intuitive tutorial that can be applied to nearly any ingredient in the pantry."
--San Antonio Express News
"For those who'd rather wing it in the kitchen than follow a recipe, this book's a great way to learn how to do this with confidence...I loved this book. I mean, I LOVED this book, so much that I couldn't put it down."
--Dallas Morning News
"From these four strands, the former Chez Panisse weaves a wholly original --- and highly idiosyncratic --- book, half of which is instruction, half recipes. The two-page spread on pasta alle vongole, for example, is both "a lesson in layering acids" and an exacting recipe. The whimsical but hardworking illustrations, by Wendy MacNaughton, are every bit as original."
"I talk about Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat the way people talk about beloved pets or newborn babies; like I was a different person before I read it - and I was. I liked to eat, but hated to cook. I was a huge proponent of what I called "snack dinner," basically whatever I had that didn't require a cooking implement. Samin Nosrat (and illustrator Wendy MacNaughton) set me straight. Together they debunk the concept of recipes, instead teaching you how to build food (and flavor) from scratch and by instinct. Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat uses its eponymous guiding principles to chart a very delicious course toward never eating snack dinner again."
"If you're only going to buy one cookbook this year, let it be this so-much-more-than-a-recipe-book by Chez Panisse alum Samin Nosrat and illustrated by Wendy MacNaughton, guaranteed to turn even the most culinarily inept among us into kitchen proficient."
"In her excellent first cookbook, Nosrat distills what she learned into a manual for intuitive and improvisational cooking, focused on the four key components in her title. In this vital book, Nosrat demystifies the kitchen, explaining in friendly, confident terms why and how salt and fat enhance and build flavor, respectively; the effect of acidity in balancing out a dish; and knowing how to control heat and thus, the finished dish. You'll be empowered to cook bravely."
"Just reading Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat will make you a better cook, adept at seasoning, balancing, understanding what it really is you're doing and why... Make room on the bedside table--and the countertop."--Bon Appetit
"My favorite metacookbook...[Nosrat] offers a beautifully simple checklist for ensuring a dish ends up in a good place...This is the book of cooking grammar that so many novices would benefit from...Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat is written smoothly and casually, and kept breezy via charming watercolors by the perceptive Bay Area artist Wendy MacNaughton...Nosrat's book would be of value both to people who don't consider themselves cooks and to people actively striving to become better ones."--Atlantic
"Salt, Fat Acid, Heat bridges the gap between home and professional kitchens. With charming narrative, illustrated walkthroughs, and a lighthearted approach to kitchen science, Samin demystifies the four elements of good cooking for everyone. Featuring 150 illustrations and infographics that reveal an atlas to the world of flavor by illustrator Wendy MacNaughton, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat will be your compass in the kitchen."
"Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat is like going to culinary school through the pages of a book, learning from a really fun, smart, and brilliant teacher who imparts kitchen wisdom to last a lifetime. Once you read this special cookbook, your confidence level in the kitchen will skyrocket."
"The best cooking primer since Julia Child's famous tomes."
"The perfect tool for ushering the culinarily curious but timid into the world of badass home cooking."
"This book is basically a bible for novice chefs."
"With Nosrat's sharp insights and Wendy MacNaughton's playful illustrations as a guide, the readers of this book will develop essential cooking instincts."
"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
"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
"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
"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 authorof The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks--Rebecca Skloot, New York Times bestselling author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
"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