J. Kenji López-Alt

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James Kenji López-Alt, known as Kenji, is an American chef and food writer.[1][2][3][4]


López-Alt graduated from MIT in 2002, where he majored in architecture. He is the son of Harvard geneticist and immunologist Frederick Alt, who had combined his surname with that of his wife Adriana López, a PhD MIT graduate. As of 2019, Kenji resides in San Mateo, California, after previously living in New York City and Boston.[5]


López-Alt worked with several Boston chefs including Barbara Lynch and Ken Oringer.[6] He went on to work as a test cook and editor at Cook's Illustrated magazine and America's Test Kitchen.[4] He was the Managing Culinary Director and is the Chief Culinary Consultant of "Serious Eats", a food blog,[7] where he authors the James Beard Award-nominated column "The Food Lab".[8] He is also a columnist for Cooking Light.[9]


His first book, The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science, was published in September 2015 by W. W. Norton & Company.[10] It was a New York Times Bestseller[11] and won the 2016 James Beard Foundation Award for General Cooking,[12] as well as the International Association of Culinary Professionals awards for Best American Cookbook and Cookbook of the Year.[13]

López-Alt is working on a follow-up to The Food Lab, due in 2020. He is also working with Gianna Ruggiero on a children’s picture book.[14]


López-Alt opened the Wursthall Restaurant & Bierhaus in San Mateo, California, with partners Adam Simpson and Tyson Mao.[15] A second location, in San Jose, was announced in November 2018, and is expected to open in 2019.[16]

He is an investor in Backhaus Bakery, which is owned by Anne Moser; a new location is due to open in San Mateo in 2019.[citation needed]


  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 Killingsworth, Silvia (2015-10-03). "Kenji López-Alt's Obsessive Kitchen Experiments". The New Yorker. ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  5. ^ "Mr. Wizard's Food Lab: J. Kenji López-Alt's unlikely path to stardom". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  6. ^ "Alumnus Chef One-Ups (OK, Maybe Two-Ups) KFC". slice.mit.edu. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  7. ^ "Masthead". www.seriouseats.com. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  8. ^ "The Complete 2015 JBF Award Nominees". www.jamesbeard.org. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  9. ^ "Kenji Lopez-Alt". Cooking Light. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  10. ^ "The Food Lab". books.wwnorton.com. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  11. ^ "Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous Books - Best Sellers - December 20, 2015". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  12. ^ "The 2016 Book, Broadcast, and Journalism Awards: Complete Winner Recap". www.jamesbeard.org. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  13. ^ "Winners - IACP". IACP. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  14. ^ "Website announcment". Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  15. ^ "Internet Food Guru J. Kenji Lopez-Alt Opening Real Life Beer and Sausage Hall". Eater SF. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  16. ^ Pershan, Caleb. "A Second Beer Hall From Recipe Expert J. Kenji López-Alt Is on the Way". Retrieved January 27, 2019.

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