The Food Lab
|Authors||J. Kenji Lopez-Alt|
|Published||21 September 2015 (W. W. Norton & Company)|
|Media type||Print, ebook|
|Pages||960 (print edition)|
|Award||2016 IACP Cookbook of the Year; 2016 James Beard Foundation General Cooking cookbook award|
The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science is a 2015 cookbook written by American chef J. Kenji Lopez-Alt. The book contains close to 300 savoury American cuisine recipes. The Food Lab expands on Lopez-Alt's "The Food Lab" column on the Serious Eats blog. Lopez-Alt uses the scientific method in the cookbook to improve popular American recipes and to explain the science of cooking. The Food Lab charted on The New York Times Best Seller list, and won the 2016 James Beard Foundation Award for the best General Cooking cookbook and the 2016 IACP awards for the Cookbook of the Year and the best American cookbook.
Lopez-Alt developed the cookbook over a five-year period. He described the book not as a recipe book but as "a book for people who want to learn the hows and the whys of cooking". The recipes in The Food Lab are arranged by the technique used to prepare them. The cookbook also contains charts and experiments aimed at explaining scientific concepts like the difference between temperature and energy and the Leidenfrost effect.
Emily Weinstein of The New York Times wrote that "the recipes are sophisticated in their grasp of how ingredients and techniques work" but noted that "it is Mr. López-Alt’s original, living body of work online that to many may seem like his even greater achievement". Eric Vellend of The Globe and Mail wrote that "Lopez-Alt's relentless pursuit of perfection yields hundreds of unconventional kitchen tricks". Silvia Killingsworth wrote in The New Yorker that The Food Lab resembles a "hybrid reference text" more than a cookbook, and that "Kenji’s appeal is that he channels the shameless geekery of hobbyists everywhere into inexpensive, everyday foods". Penny Pleasance of the New York Journal of Books called The Food Lab "a seminal work that is encyclopedic in scope and can be used as a reference by even the most experienced home cooks".
- "IACP Cookbook Awards Winners" (PDF). International Association of Culinary Professionals. 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 June 2016. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
- "The 2016 Book, Broadcast and Journalism Awards: Complete Winner Recap". James Beard Foundation. 26 April 2016. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
- Weinstein, Emily (29 September 2015). "In 'The Food Lab,' the Science of Home Cooking". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
- Lopez-Alt, J. Kenji (21 September 2015). "The Food Lab: The Book Has Arrived". Serious Eats. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
- Vellend, Eric (15 March 2016). "J. Kenji Lopez-Alt's Food Lab studies the science behind good home cooking". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
- "Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous". The New York Times. 20 December 2015. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
- Killingsworth, Silvia (3 October 2015). "Kenji López-Alt's Obsessive Kitchen Experiements". The New Yorker. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
- Pleasance, Penny (2015). "The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science". New York Journal of Books. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
- Pearlstein, Joanna (24 September 2015). "The ultimate book for science nerds who cook". Wired. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
- "The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science". Publishers Weekly. 20 July 2015. Retrieved 3 July 2016.