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Here’s the Wild Idea

Samin’s Wild Idea: To share the power of food with the world and inspire everyone to get in the kitchen and cook with confidence using salt, fat, acid and heat.

If you have been anywhere on the internet lately, you’ve probably seen something about Netflix’s new series, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. The show follows today’s guest, Samin Nosrat, around the world as she teaches the importance of cooking with each of these four elements. On the show, she travels from Italy to Japan to Mexico and back to Berkeley, California working with internationally known foodies to discover how things like miso, soy sauce, corn tortillas and parmesan cheese are made. The whole series is beautifully documented, and she makes cooking and eating accessible and fun for everyone.

Samin’s cookbook of the same name came out just a year ago, and it quickly became a New York Times bestseller and won a James Beard Award (which is like an Oscar of the food world). She has been cooking since 2000, when she started working in the kitchen at the world-renowned Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California and has been called the next Julia Child by NPR’s All Things Considered. 

I actually know Samin from high school where we were on the same cross-country running team. I remember her being very nurturing, making cookies to share and always bringing people together. As the daughter of immigrant parents, food has always been an important part of her life and identity. She didn’t always feel like she fit in, which taught her some important life lessons about failure and self-acceptance. It was a joy to talk to her about her success and her journey. We get into her upbringing, her mother’s cooking and the impact our cross-country coach had on her life. She also talks about how author Michael Pollan became her mentor and the work that went into creating her Netflix series. Plus Samin shares a few tips on how to make your Thanksgiving or holiday meal the best one yet. Listen to this one through to the end.

Presented by REI

Listen to this Episode if

  • You love to cook or want to learn how. 
  • You love to eat and are passionate about food.
  • You are an immigrant or come from an immigrant family.
  • You need some inspiration to be persistent and go after your goals.
  • You want to hear from one joyful storyteller.

Key Takeaways

  • 3:30 – What Samin loved about our high school cross-country running team.
  • 5:50 – How being on the cross-country team impacted her upbringing.
  • 13:00 – Being part of an immigrant family and the role food played in her life.
  • 18:30 – Samin’s first time at a world-class restaurant, Chez Panisse.
  • 22:45 – How she got a job bussing tables at Chez Panisse.
  • 25:10 – How hard work pays off.
  • 26:30 – Why she is more willing to fail and make mistakes. 
  • 29:00 – How she thought about her insecurities while making the show.
  • 35:40 – How she met Michael Pollan and the influence he had on her career.
  • 41:30 – The creation of the Netflix series Salt Fat Acid Heat.
  • 44:00 –  The funny requests that come with fame
  • 46:50 – What adventures she went on while she was making the show.
  • 51:10 – Samin’s tips to enhance your Thanksgiving meal (hint: bring some acidity!)
  • 53:05 –  How to make fried sage salsa verde.
  • 54:50 – What Samin would tell her fifteen-year-old self.

Episodes to listen to

Eric Wolfinger


Salt Fat Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat

Awesome book Samin recommends

Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan


Chez Panisse
Salt Fat Acid Heat
Marketplace Grille, La Jolla

Connect with Samin




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