Berkeley Chef Samin Nosrat Stars in TV Show

She got her professional start at Chez Panisse.


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Berkeley resident, renowned chef, and New York Times food writer Samin Nosrat stars in a new Netflix adaptation of her bestselling, James Beard Award-winning cookbook.

Both the book and the show — which debuts this week — bear the same title: Salt Fat Acid Heat.

While studying English as a UC Berkeley undergrad during the late 1990s, Nosrat began busing tables at Chez Panisse — where she later learned to cook. On her website, she credits that restaurant's founder Alice Waters as a life-changing mentor. 

The San Diego-bred child of Iranian immigrants, Nosrat also worked at the now-defunct Berkeley restaurant Eccolo and at restaurants in Italy.

These days she is a popular teacher and lecturer at Yale University, the Oakland Unified School District, St. Mary's College, and many other venues.

Interviewed in Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto by a reporter from the UK's Guardian newspaper, Nosrat explained that the Netflix show's director told her:

"We want this show because of you, because you’re this lovable, imperfect person who wears Birkenstocks and overalls, who lives in a messy house, whose kitchen isn’t always clean."

Each episode of the four-part series finds Nosrat interacting with local foods in a different part of the world: Japan for the "Salt" section, Mexico for "Acid," Italy for "Fat," and California for "Heat."

Her own mother appears in the "Heat" episode, demonstrating how to make Persian crispy rice. 

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