By Molly Todd
Based on the cookbook by chef and world traveler Samin Nosrat, this documentary takes you to remote locations you likely haven’t heard of and food you’ve probably never tried; but you’ll want to after seeing “Salt Fat Acid Heat.”
Many cooks may argue that their cooking is best, or they know what it takes to make the most delicious dishes. However, as great of a cook as she is, Nosrat isn’t in search of finding the best chefs, or trying the most unique dishes, she simply wants to find what makes up good cooking. As Nosrat puts it, “I’ve traveled the world to explore the elements that define good cooking.”
In each of the four episodes, we travel through Italy, Mexico, Japan and many more places. Nosrat is accompanied by locals in each destination that show her around, help translate and show her what types of food matter most to the city.
Although Nosrat is technically a tourist in these cities, she finds herself among family gatherings, personal connections and lifelong memories with those who live there. Because of her personality and her values, you can tell that this documentary and experience to travel was not only in search of good food, but good people.
Throughout the documentary, we learn a lot about the basics of cooking. Some specifics being that there are several different kinds of salt, and they help bring out the flavor of the food, fat is far better for you than most people think, acid is in more foods than you’d guess and heat can transform a dish into something magical.
Whether you’re a professional chef yourself, a chef in training, or just love good food, Nosrat’s documentary has something for everyone. Making good food accessible is what’s important to her, and sharing the love of cooking and gathering with those she loves.
Nosrat believes that cooking for others does not have to be a one-man job. When hosting friends and family, she suggests getting everyone in the kitchen to help, even if that means someone pulling apart fresh cilantro or shredding cheese. “There’s a way, if they’re involved, in just a tiny bit of the process, they take away that knowledge and they feel empowered,” she adds. That way, when it comes time to join at the table, everyone can feel a part of the preparation of the meal.
Nosrat brings her story of traveling the world with chefs full circle by reminding us how important cooking and food has been to everyone around the world since the beginning of time for humans. If we can find out how to create great food, bring others together in teaching them how to do so and in the end celebrate it all together and enjoy the company of one another, then you have accomplished something great.