Local Writer and Cooking Teacher Samin Nosrat Lands Her First Book Deal

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Samin Photo: KCRW

Samin Nosrat, best known lately for her Tartine Afterhours pop-ups and for the classes she's been teaching at 18 Reasons, announced this week that she landed a book deal with Simon & Schuster for a cookbook based on those classes. It will be called Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: The Four Elements of Good Cooking, due out in 2015, and it will feature illustrations by Wendy McNaughton. Nosrat, who once worked in the kitchen at Chez Panisse, has also spent the last couple of years working with one of her mentors, Michael Pollan, on his new book Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation. She was tasked with teaching Pollan how to braise, in order for him to be able to write about braising as one of the cooking techniques he delves into in the book, which also has sections on grilling, fermenting, and baking. And she'll be featured in the upcoming April issue of O Magazine with Pollan and his family in a spread about the book, which gets released April 23.

Fans of her Tartine Afterhours events will be glad to know that those are returning after a brief hiatus, with one scheduled for April 17. And because they're so popular, you will need to fill out this form here in order to enter the lottery to attend.

Nosrat says she's always wanted to write a book, and the book deal is officially a dream come true. She writes:

When I was 20 years old, interning in the kitchen at Chez Panisse and still entertaining dreams of graduating college only to start writing best-selling chapbooks of poetry, I remember being so overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information that cooks were required to know that I would go home each evening with a headache. On top of all of the techniques, the fact that the menu changes daily according to the seasons meant that i might be assigned a task one day and not repeat it for weeks, months, or even a year ... But then, one day I began to see the forest through the trees. I realized that everything we cooked in that kitchen had a few basic things in common: attention was always paid to salt, fat, acid and heat. It didn't matter where the roots of the dishes we cooked lay. Salt, fat, acid and heat were always the most important elements to attend to. I decided then and there I'd write a book elucidating these four magical variables for other novices; why didn't anyone ever tell home cooks that understanding how to use salt, fat, acid and heat was enough to get you 90% of the way to deliciousness?

Congrats, Samin!

Big News [Samin Nosrat]
Only In My Dreams [Ciao Samin]