J. Kenji López-Alt

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
J. Kenji López-Alt
J. Kenji López-Alt
James Kenji Alt

United States
Alma materMassachusetts Institute of Technology

James Kenji López-Alt, known as Kenji, is an American chef and food writer.[1][2][3]

Early life and education[edit]

He was born James Kenji Alt, the son of Harvard University geneticist and immunologist Frederick Alt, and on his mother's side, the grandson of chemist Koji Nakanishi.[4][5] López-Alt graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2002, where he majored in Architecture.[6] His first restaurant job was during his sophomore year of college. He attempted to take a job as a waiter at a local restaurant, but they needed a prep cook.[7]

Upon marriage, López-Alt combined his birth surname, Alt, with that of his wife Adriana López.[4][8]


López-Alt worked with several Boston chefs including Barbara Lynch and Ken Oringer.[9] He went on to work as a test cook and editor at Cook's Illustrated magazine and America's Test Kitchen.[10]

He was the Managing Culinary Director and is the Chief Culinary Consultant of "Serious Eats", a food blog, where he authors the James Beard Award-nominated column "The Food Lab".[11][12] He is also a columnist for Cooking Light.[13]

His first book, The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science, was published in September 2015 by W. W. Norton & Company.[14] It was a New York Times Bestseller[15] and won the 2016 James Beard Foundation Award for General Cooking,[16] as well as the International Association of Culinary Professionals awards for Best American Cookbook and Cookbook of the Year.[17]

As of 2019, Kenji resides in San Mateo, California, after previously living in New York City and Boston.[18] López-Alt opened the Wursthall Restaurant & Bierhaus in San Mateo, California, with partners Adam Simpson and Tyson Mao.[19] A second location, in San Jose, was announced in November 2018, and is expected to open in 2019.[20]

López-Alt is slated for release[21] in autumn of 2020, a follow-up to The Food Lab. He is also working with Gianna Ruggiero on a children’s picture book.[22][non-primary source needed]


  • López-Alt, J. Kenji (2015). The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science (1 ed.). W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0393081084.


  1. ^ "Fall 2015's Best Cookbooks: Cooking Pros Bring It Home". Eater. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  2. ^ Pearlstein, Joanna. "The Ultimate Book for Science Nerds Who Cook". WIRED. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  3. ^ "A SIDE OF SCIENCE - The Boston Globe". BostonGlobe.com. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  4. ^ a b Robertson, Blair Anthony (2015). "Science becomes delicious in 'The Food Lab'". The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved 2019-11-13. His father, Frederick Alt, is a professor at Harvard Medical School
  5. ^ https://twitter.com/kenjilopezalt/status/1112158393576443904
  6. ^ Morell, Nicole. "Alumnus takes food out of the kitchen and into the lab". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  7. ^ "Q&A With James Beard Award-Winning Cookbook Author J. Kenji Lopez-Alt". 7x7 Bay Area. 2016-10-03. Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  8. ^ "Alumnus Takes Food Out of the Kitchen and into the Lab". MIT Alumni Association. 2017-01-11. Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  9. ^ "Alumnus Chef One-Ups (OK, Maybe Two-Ups) KFC". slice.mit.edu. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  10. ^ Killingsworth, Silvia (2015-10-03). "Kenji López-Alt's Obsessive Kitchen Experiments". The New Yorker. ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  11. ^ "Masthead". www.seriouseats.com. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  12. ^ "The Complete 2015 JBF Award Nominees". www.jamesbeard.org. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  13. ^ "Kenji Lopez-Alt". Cooking Light. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  14. ^ "The Food Lab". books.wwnorton.com. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  15. ^ "Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous Books - Best Sellers - December 20, 2015". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  16. ^ "The 2016 Book, Broadcast, and Journalism Awards: Complete Winner Recap". www.jamesbeard.org. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  17. ^ "Winners - IACP". IACP. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  18. ^ "Mr. Wizard's Food Lab: J. Kenji López-Alt's unlikely path to stardom". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  19. ^ "Internet Food Guru J. Kenji Lopez-Alt Opening Real Life Beer and Sausage Hall". Eater SF. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  20. ^ Pershan, Caleb. "A Second Beer Hall From Recipe Expert J. Kenji López-Alt Is on the Way". Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  21. ^ "r/IAmA - I'm J. Kenji López-Alt, recipe writer, chef, author of The Food Lab and the NYT Food sections newest columnist. I'm here to help with your holiday cooking questions or anything else. AMA". reddit. Retrieved 2019-11-26.
  22. ^ "Website announcment". Retrieved January 27, 2019.

External links[edit]