When Michael Pollan wanted to learn how to cook as part of his research for his book Cooked, he hired Samin Nosrat, then a chef at the famed Chez Panisse in Berkeley, to teach him. I tell you this because Pollan also wrote Food Rules, an illustrated edition of which featured the paintings of – can you guess who?! MAIRA KALMAN! Ok, enough!
Anyway, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat is kind of the un-cookbook, including only the most basic recipes, and then a lot of instruction (wonderfully illustrated, I might add) on how to really TASTE one’s food, breaking it down into four basic elements. I don’t recommend this for a true beginner in the kitchen, but anyone who has gotten comfortable with a handful of techniques and menus will really appreciate Nosrat’s free-form approach to building a dish.
Now is when I expose myself as a true heathen and tell you that Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat is also an extraordinary TV show on Netflix. Samin’s joy in preparing and eating food is infectious!
— Becky Dayton