J. Kenji López-Alt

The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science is On Sale Now!

J. Kenji López-Alt is the Managing Culinary Director of Serious Eats, author of the James Beard Award-nominated column The Food Lab, and a columnist for Cooking Light. He lives in San Francisco. A New York native, Kenji cut his cooking chops the old-fashioned way by working his way up through the ranks of some of Boston's finest restaurants. With an education in science and engineering and as a former Senior Editor at Cook's Illustrated and America's Test Kitchen, Kenji is fascinated by the ways in which understanding the science of every day cooking can help improve even simple foods. His first book, The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science will be released this September, followed by a second volume in September of 2017.

Hey folks, welcome to my modern webzone. I update this place from time to time but not with regularity. If you’d like to reach me about something small Twitter is the fastest way.

I’m currently working on a children’s picture book about a young girl named Pipo. It is not a cookbook, but there is plenty of cooking involved. My partner in that project is Gianna Ruggiero, an amazing illustrator and wonderful human being.

The Food Lab Volume II is coming SOME TIME I WILL LET YOU KNOW, OK? though it will not be called that. The book will aim to teach how incorporating simple techniques and ingredients from around the world can make your home cooking both more delicious and more efficient. These days in the kitchen we have access to this vast toolset of techniques and tools, so why don’t we use them? This books aims to answer that question in the most delicious way possible. If the first book was about American food and how to cook these big project dishes, the second book is more about how I cook at home EVERY DAY. Not just when I’m entertaining.

Stay tuned and sign up for the newsletter for details as soon as they're released!

A grand tour of the science of cooking explored through popular American dishes, illustrated in full color.

Wildly popular from its inception in 2009, the Food Lab column on SeriousEats.com has explored the science of home cooking with recipes and experiments every week. Now it's coming to you in a gorgeous new book form with all-new material and recipes lavishly photographed in over 900 full-color pages.

Ever wondered how to pan-fry a steak with a charred crust and an interior that's perfectly medium-rare from edge to edge when you cut into it? How to make homemade mac & cheese that is as satisfyingly gooey and velvety-smooth as the blue box stuff, but far tastier? How to roast a succulent, moist turkey (forget about brining!)―and use a foolproof method that works every time?

As Serious Eats's culinary nerd-in-residence, J. Kenji López-Alt has pondered all these questions and more. In The Food Lab, Kenji focuses on the science behind beloved American dishes, delving into the interactions between heat, energy, and molecules that create great food. Kenji shows that often, conventional methods don’t work that well, and home cooks can achieve far better results using new―but simple―techniques. In hundreds of easy-to-follow recipes with over 1,000 full-color images, you will find out how to make foolproof Hollandaise sauce in just two minutes, how to transform one simple tomato sauce into a half dozen dishes, how to make the crispiest, creamiest potato casserole ever conceived, and much more.

With a foreword by Jeffrey Steingarten

The Food Lab explains the mysteries of cooking in real-life terms. I devoured Kenji’s book, fascinated and engrossed in every single page—and you will be too.
— David Lebovitz, author of My Paris Kitchen








Advance praise for The Food Lab

Chemistry and physics underlie all cooking. In this book, home cooks will learn techniques to make new recipes, and, more important, they will understand why these techniques are successful.
— Nathan Myhrvold, coauthor of Modernist Cuisine
Rare is the work that combines extraordinary passion with such obsessive scientific rigor. The Food Lab is an uncommon and invaluable contribution to our food literature.
— Michael Ruhlman, James Beard Award-winning author of Ruhlman's Twenty
With this book—precise and serious, witty and relaxed—Kenji joins the glittering constellation of men and women who have, over the past thirty years, brought the ancient human art of feeding ourselves into the scientific age.
— Jeffrey Steingarten, food critic, Vogue
Kenji has long been a go-to resource when we are working in the kitchen and want to gain a better understanding of what we are doing. His extensive research on everything from getting the most from a pressure cooker to the science behind a better burger makes him an invaluable asset. His writing combines thorough analysis with a sense of humor, which is why we consult him all the time!
— Wylie Dufresne, chef, Alder, New York
This opus is a kitchen necessity. I’m putting mine on my shelf right next to my Julia Child books.
— Alex Guarnaschelli, chef, Butter, New York, and host of the Food Network’s Alex’s Day Off
Every time I think I’m an expert on an ingredient, a dish, or a technique I’m inevitably schooled all over again after reading Kenji’s thorough and detailed writing.
— Tony Maws, chef/ownder of Craigie on Main, Cambridge, MA
Kenji is the most important recipe developer to come along in a generation.
— Ed Levine, founder of SeriousEats.com
The Food Lab is inventive, enthusiastic, and a true joy to read and use in the kitchen.
— April Bloomfield, chef, the Spotted Pig, New York
The Food Lab successfully (and unpretentiously) helps the reader navigate the world of food science without sounding textbook-y or overly professional.
— Mark Ladner, chef, Del Posto, New York
The Food Lab is a monumental achievement. This is sure to become a must-read for anyone who cares about cooking better food.
— Dave Arnold, author of Liquid Intelligence and co-owner of Booker & Dax