Books about food are an endless garden of recipes and methods and techniques, some far more complicated than others. Samrin Nosrat, in this that can act as a companion to her new Netflix show, narrates it all with a warm poise that embraces the reader and engages your interest in all the elements of cooking knowledge she shares.
Published: 22 August 2017 (originally published 25 April 2017)
Publisher: Simon Schuster Audio
Category: Food & Drink/Nonfiction/Science
Now a Netflix series!
Winner of the 2018 James Beard Award for Best General Cookbook and multiple ICAP Cookbook Awards
Samin Nosrat reads “The Four Elements of Good Cooking,” Part One of her New York Times bestseller Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking
A visionary new master class in cooking that distills decades of professional experience into just four simple elements, from the woman declared “America’s next great cooking teacher” by Alice Waters.
In the tradition of The Joy of Cooking and How to Cook Everythingcomes Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, an ambitious new approach to cooking by a major new culinary voice. Chef and writer Samin Nosrat has taught everyone from professional chefs to middle school kids to author Michael Pollan to cook using her revolutionary, yet simple, philosophy. Master the use of just four elements—Salt, which enhances flavor; Fat, which delivers flavor and generates texture; Acid, which balances flavor; and Heat, which ultimately determines the texture of food—and anything you cook will be delicious. By explaining the hows and whys of good cooking, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat will teach and inspire a new generation of cooks how to confidently make better decisions in the kitchen and cook delicious meals with any ingredients, anywhere, at any time.
Echoing Samin’s own journey from culinary novice to award-winning chef, Salt, Fat Acid, Heat immediately bridges the gap between home and professional kitchens. With a lighthearted approach to kitchen science, Samin demystifies the four elements of good cooking for everyone.
Rating: 4 Stars
Samin navigates her way through the culinary landscape of seasoning, in particular salt, educating as she goes, without becoming pretentious. Always mindful that the reader/listener may not be a professional or educated in the myriad of ways in which salt can be used, she espouses the different types and the best ways in which they can be used based on personal experience.
She lets the homecook know that their senses are the ones to be trusted. Her guidelines and the teachings of others are great bases, but it is your taste, your intuition, which is truly important if you want to make a memorable dish.
While I enjoyed the audiobook because it was narrated by Samin herself, and her voice was a truly soothing one, I would recommend picking up a physical or e-copy at the same time because there are recipes included at the back that are not read aloud in this version. Otherwise, I think the text benefits from being read aloud because it’s like being taught by the chef herself, like she’s right there in the room with you imparting all this wisdom. You can’t get that from print on the page in the same way.
Samin is an interesting chef and I hope to see more books from her in the future. Her viewpoint on cooking is a relaxing on in the face of more stuffy ones and one that I think I would like to take to heart in my own kitchen.
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