2 minutes with Samin Nosrat – who adores Mexican food and is the queen of buttermilk roasted chicken

3rd Jun 19 | Lifestyle

The chef and presenter of hit Netflix series Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat shares her food likes and dislikes with Ella Walker.


Samin Nosrat might just be the most enthusiastic person on television, especially when it comes to food.

Author of cookbook (and culinary bible) Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat and presenter of the docu-Netflix series of the same name, the California-based chef has true passion for produce and cooking.

This is what happened when we grilled her on her eating habits…

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Home sweet fava paste home.

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Your death row meal would be… Mexican food, the most delicious variety of tacos and tamales and all the sauces, and then ice cream. My most very favourite ice cream, the most magical, delicious ice cream I’ve ever had is mulberry ice cream that they make every year at [Berkley restaurant] Chez Panisse, but honestly, I’ll eat any ice cream.

The thing you still can’t make is… At this point I feel I can figure my way out of anything, it might take a little trial and error. But something I’m always a little bit nervous to cook is six steaks, or anything I have to gauge the temperature and get it exactly medium-rare, or cook it to a particular temperature.

Your favourite store-cupboard essential has to be… Delicious extra virgin olive oil, Maldon salt and Parmesan cheese.

The kitchen utensil you couldn’t live without has to be… I usual say a cast iron pan, but you guys don’t really use those in England, do you? I mean the uncoated black ones, because that makes the best crust whenever you’re searing something. Here, they’re the least expensive thing.

If you get hungry late at night, the snack you’ll reach for is… Popcorn. I eat popcorn with nutritional yeast and butter, oh my god, it’s my favourite. It’s a classic hippy snack. Guess what? It’s because the nutritional yeast tastes a lot like Parmesan.

Your signature dish is… Probably buttermilk roast chicken, that’s the thing I always do, it’s my favourite. It’s what I love to teach other people to make, it’s so easy and delicious.

You like your eggs… Oooh, over easy.

Your favourite childhood dinner was… It’s such a classic home cooking Persian dinner: Lentil rice. The lentils are cooked and then stirred into the rice, and then they get cooked with the traditional crisp bottom, the tahdig, but it’s a double starch thing. Then my mum would make saffron poached chicken and then she fries raisins, so there’s a little sweet bomb.

If you’re ordering takeout, it has to be… Mexican food! Haha! I really do [love it]!

The ultimate hangover cure has to be… I don’t really drink, I know! I’m a bad, bad cook. I so don’t drink, but when I was in New Zealand, I met these people and I was hanging out with friends, and the thing there is, you don’t meet for coffee, you go meet for a glass of wine. So there was one day when I had three glasses of wine, and that kept happening, and then one day I woke up and I felt so nauseous, and I wondered if it was jet lag – I had no idea what it was. I started googling ‘constant nausea’ – am I ill? Am I going to die? I finally realised I was hungover, but I had to google it! Haha. It was so funny.

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I’m writing a new book! It’s called WHAT TO COOK and it’ll help you decide, well, what to cook! My creative collaboration with the wonderful, inimitable @wendymac will happily continue, meaning that this book will be filled with the same sorts of beautiful, instructive, and funny illustrations and infographics that make #saltfatacidheat so special. I’m thrilled to be working on this book with the editorial and publishing dream team of @andyward15 and @tenspeedpress. I’ve been stalking Andy since 2013. @aaronwehner, Ten Speed’s publisher, was the first person I ever met in publishing in the early 2000s. Together, we are going to make a book that’s beautiful, educational, functional, smart, and most importantly, very, very fun! Sign up for my mailing list (link in profile) to receive periodic book-making updates, to sign on as a recipe tester when I get deeper into the process, and (one day, eventually) to be first to preorder a copy! We all know I am a painfully slow writer, so please do not write to ask me when the book is coming. I promise everyone will know when I know! And finally, thank you to @ayabrackett for this lovely photo and @karistuart for being the best of the best. ❤️

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You cannot stomach…
I don’t love oysters, [but] I’ll eat them.

When it comes to hosting a dinner party, you always cook… Anything braised, because you can do it ahead and heat it up, and also vegetables that you can serve at room temperature.

SALT, FAT, ACID, HEAT by Samin Nosrat is published by Canongate, priced £30. Available now.

© Press Association 2019