Samin Nosrat

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Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking

book | Non-Fiction | Mar 2017
UK → Canongate Books (Ed. Jenny Lord)
US → Simon & Schuster

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, Heatimmediately 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. 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.


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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, author Super Natural Cooking (or Near & Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel)

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 Joy of Cooking

Everyone was impressed when Michael Pollan managed to summarize the huge and complex subject of what we should be eating in just seven words: ³eat food, not too much, mostly plants². Samin Nostrat has managed to summarize the huge and complex subject of how we should be cooking in just four words: ³salt, fat, acid, heat². Everyone will be hugely impressed.

Yotam Ottolenghi

Salt Fat Acid Heat is a must for anyone wanting to be a better cook. Samin Nosrat along with Wendy mcnaughtons fun illustrations teach 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

In this excellent, accessible cookbook, Nosrat leads readers through the cooking process… MacNaughton’s whimsical illustrations, charts, and graphs add to the experience. This exceptional debut is sure to inspire greater confidence in readers and enable them to create better meals on their own.

Publishers Weekly

Working in the trenches of Chez Panisse's gourmet kitchen, Nosrat discovered the secret behind great cooking—not memorizing recipes, but knowing the balance among four key elements: salt, fat, acid, and heat. Nosrat invites readers to learn what it takes to master these components and take their cooking from good to great…Alongside Nosrat's instructions, MacNaughton's illustrations add a touch of whimsy to the text, highlighting the techniques and skills presented in a clever manner. This is a visual story (with a heavy nod to food science) as much as a guide to healthy cooking…A fun, educational addition to all collections.

Library Journal

Trained at famed Chez Panisse, Nosrat lays out the science of cooking, but only insofar as it enhances flavors and creates gastronomic art. Culinary students and serious home cooks can discover from both text and drawings how to succeed through fundamentals of their craft.


Quite simply an essential book.

Nigella Lawson

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