As an undergraduate studying English at UC Berkeley, Samin Nosrat took a detour into the kitchen at Chez Panisse restaurant that happily determined the course of her life and career. Since 2000, she pursued her twin passions of food and words with equal vigor, aiming to create work that inspires, creates community, and raises cultural, social and environmental awareness.
Nosrat learned to cook at Chez Panisse, in Italy alongside Benedetta Vitali and Dario Cecchini, and at (the no longer existing) Eccolo in Berkeley. She studied poetry with Robert Hass, Shakespeare with Stephen Booth, and journalism with Michael Pollan. She has said that Alice Waters and farmer Bob Cannard taught her more about land stewardship than anyone else.
Her book, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking was illustrated by Wendy MacNaughton. It is a New York Times bestseller, and also 2018 James Beard General Cookbook of the Year, 2018 Fortnum & Mason Debut Cookbook, 2018 IACP Cookbook of the Year, 2018 IACP Julia Child First Book Award, and Sunday Times Food Book of the Year 2017. A documentary series based on the book is now streaming on Netflix. In 2018 she was named the Eater Chef of the Year. She is a former food columnist for the New York Times Magazine. In April 2019 she was named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2019 in the Pioneers category. Also in 2019, Nosrat's Netflix series, Salt Fat Acid Heat, received the 2019 James Beard Award for Television Program, on Location.
Samin Nosrat has spoken about food, art, culture and cooking at venues as diverse as the Oakland Unified School District Nutrition Services, UC Berkeley, Yale University, SFMoMA, St. Mary's College, University of San Francisco, the Orange Institute, the Headlands Center for the Arts, the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP), and Artechef, the Cuban national cooking school. Nosrat is the editor of The Best American Food Writing 2019 (Mariner Press, October 1, 2019). She is currently working on her next book titled What to Cook (Ten Speed Press). In early 2020, during the Covid-19 national shutdown she started a podcast titled Home Cooking with Hrishikesh Hirway to offer suggestions and answer questions related to home cooking.
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Photo Grant Delin