Samin Nosrat

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Samin Nosrat
Born (1979-11-07) November 7, 1979 (age 44)
EducationUniversity of California, Berkeley
Known forSalt Fat Acid Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking (2017)
Culinary career
Television show(s)
Award(s) won

Samin Nosrat (Persian: ثمین نصرت, /səˈmin ˈnʌsrɑːt/,[1] born November 7, 1979) is an Iranian-American chef, TV host, food writer and podcaster.[2][3]

She is the author of the James Beard Award–winning, New York Times Bestselling cookbook Salt Fat Acid Heat and host of a Netflix docu-series of the same name.[4][2][5][6] From 2017 to 2021, she was a food columnist for The New York Times Magazine.[7][8] Nosrat was also the co-host of the podcast Home Cooking.

Early life and education[edit]

Nosrat was born in San Diego, California. She was raised in University City, San Diego and attended La Jolla High School.[9] Her parents emigrated from Iran to the United States in 1976, fleeing state sanctioned persecution of Baháʼís.[10][11][12] When Nosrat was 1 1/2 years old, her older sister Samar passed away at age 3 due to a terminal brain cancer.[13]

She grew up eating mostly Iranian cuisine, and though she did not learn to cook until she was an adult, she has said that food was an important part of her childhood.[10][14]

Nosrat attended the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in English.[9]


Early career[edit]

In 2000, as a sophomore in college, Nosrat ate dinner at Chez Panisse and immediately applied to work there as a busser.[9] She eventually worked her way up to the restaurant kitchen, becoming a cook and working with Alice Waters, who described her as "America's next great cooking teacher."[2][7][10]

After leaving Chez Panisse, Nosrat worked in Italy and then other Berkeley-area restaurants.[15] She worked as a sous-chef and took catering jobs before starting to teach private cooking classes in 2007.[16] She has said that she soon felt that a television show would be a more efficient way of teaching; however, it would be years before that would happen.[17]

She later worked with Michael Pollan, and was included in his book and the 2016 Netflix documentary television series Cooked as "the chef who taught Michael Pollan how to cook".[18]

Salt Fat Acid Heat[edit]


Nosrat's 2017 cookbook Salt Fat Acid Heat, illustrated by Wendy MacNaughton and including a foreword by Michael Pollan, explains the fundamental principles of good cooking which she defines by the four pillars named in the title. Instead of focusing on recipes alone, each pillar has its own chapter where Nosrat teaches readers through stories and wisdom gained from her years as a professional chef and cooking teacher. Rare for a cookbook, it teaches readers "from the ground up, how to be a good cook,"[19] functioning more as a textbook than a recipe collection.[16] The intention is that readers can improve their every day cooking with a fundamental understanding of food, improvising instead of needing to follow recipes.[19] Published in 2017, it has remained on best-selling lists for over three years.[12]

The book was named "Food Book of the Year" by The Times of London[20] and was a New York Times best seller.[21] The cookbook also won the 2018 James Beard Award for Best General Cookbook,[22] was named Cookbook of the Year by the International Association of Culinary Professionals, and won the 2018 IACP Julia Child First Book Award.[23] In 2019, it was named one of the ten "Best Cookbooks of the Century So Far" by Helen Rosner in The New Yorker.[19]

Television show[edit]

A Netflix docu-series and travelogue based on the cookbook, also called Salt Fat Acid Heat, was released on October 11, 2018, with each of the four episodes based on one of the four elements of cooking set out in the title.[24] In episode 1, Nosrat goes to Italy to talk about the use of fat in cooking; in episode 2, Japan for salt; in episode 3, Mexico for acid; and in episode 4, returns to the United States, cooking at Chez Panisse as well as with her own mother, to discuss heat.[25] The show was described by The Washington Post as "unlike any other food show on TV"[26] and helped launch Nosrat to "household-name status."[19]

Home Cooking[edit]

In March 2020, Nosrat and friend Hrishikesh Hirway, who created the popular podcast Song Exploder, started the podcast Home Cooking, which set out to help people cook for themselves in the midst of the COVID-19 global health crisis.[27] Originally planned as a four-part mini-series, the podcast continued to publish sporadic episodes over the course of the pandemic. It currently does not have a public plan to either continue or end, though the most recent episode is from November 2022.[28]

The show is structured as a cooking advice show where Nosrat answers listener questions about cooking. It initially started as a way of answering the question, "How do I use the things I have in my pantry?" during a time when people were over-buying particular ingredients out of fear early in the pandemic and didn't have access to many other things. It later grew beyond this type of troubleshooting.[29][30]

The show won the 2021 iHeartRadio award for Best Food Show, and was named one of the best podcasts of 2020 by Time,[31] Rolling Stone,[32] Vulture,[33] The Economist,[34] and The Atlantic.[35]

Other projects[edit]

From 2017 to 2021, Nosrat was a regular "Eat" columnist for The New York Times Magazine.[7][8]

In March 2019, Nosrat announced a second cookbook, again in collaboration with MacNaughton, titled What to Cook.[23] Ten Speed Press will publish the collection of 120 recipes.[23] Similar to her first book, Nosrat's second cookbook is about helping home cooks navigate the kitchen more similarly to professional cooks. What to Cook will also cover four elements, the ones used for decision making: time, ingredients, resources, and preferences. Nosrat called them the "invisible set of constraints you face every time you set out to cook".[14]

Also in 2019, she was included on Time's list of the 100 most influential people in the world.[36]

In 2021, Nosrat made a guest appearance on Michelle Obama's children's cooking show called Waffles + Mochi on Netflix.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Nosrat lives in Oakland, California[12] with her dog, Fava.[16]


  1. ^ "Learn to Cook Without Recipes using Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat". Retrieved Dec 13, 2019 – via
  2. ^ a b c Colin, Chris (April 26, 2017). "Cooking With Samin". The California Sunday Magazine. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  3. ^ Fontoura, Maria (2020-05-07). "'RS Interview: Special Edition' With Samin Nosrat". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2021-12-26.
  4. ^ "Salt Fat Acid Heat". SALT FAT ACID HEAT. Retrieved 2021-02-03.
  5. ^ Polis, Carey (10 October 2018). "'Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat' Is the New Netflix Series That's Very Much Worth Your Time". Bon Appétit. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  6. ^ "Salt Fat Acid Heat". Archived from the original on September 2, 2019. Retrieved Dec 13, 2019.
  7. ^ a b c "NYT Mag's New "Eat" Columnist: Samin Nosrat". The New York Times Company. June 28, 2017. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  8. ^ a b Nosrat, Samin (2021-02-03). "Saying Goodbye With Beans". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-02-03.
  9. ^ a b c Cowan, Jill (2019-01-29). "An Interview With Samin Nosrat: I Identify as a Californian". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
  10. ^ a b c Hensel, Kelly (May 2017). "Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking". Food Technology. Vol. 71, no. 5. Institute of Food Technologists.
  11. ^ "Meet Samin Nosrat: Netflix Series Host, Star Chef, and Bestselling Cookbook Author". Kayhan Life. 2020-05-05. Retrieved 2020-05-05.
  12. ^ a b c Rosner, Helen (23 February 2020). ""I Fail Almost Every Day": An Interview with Samin Nosrat". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2020-05-05.
  13. ^ "Freakonomics Radio: Extra: Samin Nosrat Always Wanted to Be Famous on Apple Podcasts". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved 2023-01-16.
  14. ^ a b c Harris, Molly (2021-04-13). "Samin Nosrat Talks Waffles + Mochi And Why Cardamom Will Always Have A Special Place In Her Spice Rack - Exclusive Interview". Retrieved 2021-12-26.
  15. ^ Druckman, Charlotte (April 8, 2016). "An Herby Persian Frittata From Michael Pollan's Chef Teacher". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  16. ^ a b c Kahn, Mattie (2019-10-15). "At Samin Nosrat's Table, There's Always Enough to Go Around". Glamour. Retrieved 2021-12-26.
  17. ^ Morabito, Greg (2018-10-10). "Samin Nosrat Turned Her TV Dream Into a Reality With Netflix's 'Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat'". Eater. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
  18. ^ Oatman, Maddie (April 21, 2017). "This simple advice completely changed the way I eat". Mother Jones. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  19. ^ a b c d Rosner, Helen (2019-07-14). "The Best Cookbooks of the Century So Far". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2021-12-26.
  20. ^ Angelini, Francesca (November 19, 2017). "Books of the year: Food". The Times of London. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  21. ^ "Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous Books - Best Sellers". The New York Times. June 18, 2017. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  22. ^ Yadegaran, Jessica (April 30, 2018). "Chez Panisse alum Samin Nosrat wins James Beard cookbook award". The Mercury News.
  23. ^ a b c Phillips, Justin (2019-03-05). "Berkeley author Samin Nosrat to follow 'Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat' with new book, 'What To Cook'". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2019-03-09.
  24. ^ Polis, Carey (10 October 2018). "'Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat' Is the New Netflix Series That's Very Much Worth Your Time". Bon Appétit. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  25. ^ "'Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat' Changes the Rules for Who Gets to Eat on TV". Eater. Retrieved 2018-10-28.
  26. ^ Judkis, Maura. "Review | Netflix's new 'Salt Fat Acid Heat' is unlike any other food show on TV". Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-10-28.
  27. ^ Adrian-Diaz, Jenna (7 April 2020). "Samin Nosrat on Stocking Your Kitchen, Comfort Food, and Her All-New "Home Cooking" Podcast". Vogue. Retrieved 2020-06-23.
  28. ^ "Home Cooking". Home Cooking. Retrieved 2021-12-26.
  29. ^ "Samin Nosrat's 'Home Cooking' Podcast Will Make Your Quarantine Cooking Better". 27 March 2020. Retrieved 2021-12-26.
  30. ^ Hallinan, Bridget (March 27, 2020). "Samin Nosrat's New 'Home Cooking' Podcast Is Exactly What We Needed". Food & Wine. Retrieved 2021-12-26.
  31. ^ "The 10 Best Podcasts of 2020". Time.
  32. ^ Marks, Andrea; Garber-Paul, Elisabeth; Ehrlich, Brenna (December 18, 2020). "The Best Podcasts of 2020". Rolling Stone.
  33. ^ Quah, Nicholas (December 10, 2020). "The Best Podcasts of 2020". Vulture.
  34. ^ "The best podcasts of 2020". The Economist. December 16, 2020.
  35. ^ Standley, Laura Jane; McQuade, Eric (December 26, 2020). "The 50 Best Podcasts of 2020". The Atlantic.
  36. ^ Hallinan, Bridget (April 17, 2019). "Massimo Bottura, Chrissy Teigen, and Samin Nosrat Make the 2019 Time 100 List". Food & Wine. Retrieved December 24, 2021.

External links[edit]