Mark Bitterman (born 1966) is an American food writer and retailer. He is the owner of The Meadow, a boutique that specializes in finishing salts and other products. The Meadow was founded in Portland, Oregon in 2006 and expanded to the West Village in New York City in 2010. Bitterman has published two books on the use of boutique salts with food. He consults with restaurateurs and lectures at culinary academies about the use of finishing salts and Himalayan salt blocks.
Bitterman was born December 22, 1966 in New York City and grew up in Southern California. He attended Reed College and Sarah Lawrence College and has worked in marketing, engineering, and food writing.
Bitterman discovered finishing salts while traveling in France as a 20-year-old. Ever since then, he has been collecting salts, visiting salt flats, and talking to salt makers throughout his travels.
In October 2010, Bitterman released his first book, Salted: A Manifesto on the World's Most Essential Mineral, with Recipes. Salted consists of three parts: 1) a brief history of salt and artisan saltmaking techniques, 2) a taxonomy and reference guide of over 150 salts, and 3) a collection of recipes making use of different salting techniques.
In June 2011 Salted won the James Beard Foundation Award for Reference and Scholarship Cookbook. It has also been nominated for the International Association of Culinary Professionals Cookbook Awards for the Food & Beverage Reference/Technical category and First Book: The Julia Child Award.
In May 2013, Bitterman released his second book, Salt Block Cooking: 70 Recipes for Grilling, Chilling, Searing, and Serving on Himalayan Salt Blocks (ISBN 9781449430559). Salt Block Cooking is a how-to guide on cooking and entertaining with Himalayan salt blocks.
Bitterman was named a tastemaker by Food & Wine and a local food hero by Cooking Light. He is credited with having coined the word selmelier, a food service professional whose area of expertise is finishing salts and salting techniques.
- "The Meadow: About Us". AttheMeadow.com. Retrieved 2013-07-29.
- Spirer, Laren (2011-04-07). "Bitterman on SeriousEats". SeriousEats.com. Retrieved 2013-07-29.
- Bitterman, Mark (2010). Salted: A Manifesto on the World's Most Essential Mineral, With Recipes. Ten Speed Press. p. 2. ISBN 978-1-58008-262-4.
- "KGW News blurb on Bitterman's win". Kgw.com. 2011-05-09. Retrieved 2013-07-29.
- "Interview with The Recipe Club". TheRecipeClub.net. 2011. Retrieved 2013-07-29.
- "Food & Wine Tastemaker". Foodandwine.com. Retrieved 2013-07-29.
- Kessler, John (June 201), "How to Find a Local Hero", Cooking Light: 198
- “Selmelier” on Michael Quinion's World Wide Words