Among the many author appearances at this year’s Bay Area Book Festival will be Chef Samin Nosrat and illustrator Wendy MacNaughton talking with Davia Nelson of NPR’s Kitchen Sisters. The theme of Nosrat and MacNaughton’s new book is salt, fat, acid, and heat: the four elements needed to make meals truly delicious. It’s open seating at this talk, and no tickets are necessary. The 2017 festival highlights literary activism, with a focus on social justice, inclusion, and environmental sustainability. More than 200 authors and speakers from the Bay Area and far beyond take part in the two-day event. Info: here
Saturday & Sunday, June 3–4
Bay Area Book Festival
Various Downtown Berkeley locations
Samin Nosrat and Wendy MacNaughton
in Conversation with Davia Nelson
Saturday June 3, 1:45–3pm
SF Chronicle Stage in Civic Center Park, Berkeley
Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking
By Samin Nosrat with illustrations by Wendy MacNaughton
(Simon & Schuster, 2017)
Chef, writer, food visionary, Chez Panisse alum, and Berkeley resident Samin Nosrat says it up front in her new book: “As you can probably tell, this isn’t your typical cookbook.” And she’s right. With a foreword by Michael Pollan, a charming layout, 150 illustrations (no photographs), lots of personal stories and anecdotes, and more narrative than recipes, Nosrat instructs readers on how to master four basic elements essential to good cooking: salt, fat, acid, and heat. Salt enhances flavor, fat delivers flavor and generates texture, acid balances flavor, and heat determines food texture. With the right balance, whatever you cook will be delicious.
Weighing in at over 450 pages, it’s a detailed book that includes 100 recipes and dozens of variations for putting the lessons into practice while preparing essentials like dressings, roasted vegetables, braised meats, and light, flaky pastry doughs. Especially engaging is the way Nosrat weaves together her cooking education and philosophy with her personal history—family outings, overseas travels, and work in the Chez Panisse kitchen. In Nosrat’s words, “This book will change the way you think about cooking and eating, and help you find your bearings in any kitchen, with any ingredients, while cooking any meal.”
Edible East Bay’s book editor Kristina Sepetys is eager to share her ideas and book recommendations with our readers.