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.

For press copies, interviews, or appearance bookings, please contact Will Scarlett.


March 20th, 2016: The Guargian "The OFM50: What We Love About the World of Food in 2016"

"Managing culinary editor of Serious Eats, J Kenji López-Alt‘s scientific background makes him a perfect guide to the kitchen’s hard questions. Don’t know how to keep the structure of apple slices in pies, or the difference between temperature and heat? López-Alt does."

March 20th, 2016: NBC News "Inside the Mind Behind 'The Food Lab'"

"The real reason we cook and we eat and why we enjoy food is that it brings people together," he added. "If you can get those people there, you've already done 90 percent of your job. That extra 10 percent is nice if food is perfect, but at the end of the day, I don't think it matters that much if you mess up."

March 15th, 2016: The Globe and Mail "J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s Food Lab studies the science behind good home cooking"

"[Kenji] approaches recipe development with monomaniacal zeal, then shares the delicious results with the infectious enthusiasm of the coolest teacher you had in high school"

December 12th, 2015: The Sacramento Bee, "Science becomes delicious in ‘The Food Lab’"

"If the name J. Kenji Lopez-Alt doesn’t ring a bell, you’re probably not among the many thousands of hardcore foodies who have discovered him online and celebrated his all-out food-science geekiness, his cooking prowess and, more than anything, his ability to take classic comfort food dishes to new heights."

November 28th, 2015: The Guardian, "Best Books of 2015"

"In non-fiction, for food nerds, there’s the 900-page The Food Lab (WW Norton) by J Kenji López-Alt, who wins the contest for best auth­orial name of the year. His book is about the science of home cooking and went straight on to the New York Times bestseller list"

November 24th, 2015: Chicago Reader, "J. Kenji López-Alt's Food Lab provides ingenious innovations in home cooking"

"Reading the Food Lab column and now the cookbook has fundamentally changed the way I cook, one technique at a time."

November 13, 2015: NPR, "A Kitchen Science Savant Shares His Secrets In 'The Food Lab'" 

"All this science has led to some other seriously good recipes."

November 2nd, 2015: The Dallas Observer, "A Geeky New Cookbook Sciences Up Your Kitchen, With Delicious Results"

"If you are a moderately knowledgeable home cook, this cookbook teaches many concepts and ideas you need to be a very good one. The reading is easy, the professor is fun and the final exam is bacon jalapeño mac ‘n’ cheese. Gooey, glorious, spicy bacon jalapeño mac ‘n’ cheese."

October 20th, 2015: The Boston Glob, "He's the Modern Mr. Wizard"

"Today, Lopez-Alt, 35, has made a name for himself geeking out on the minutiae of culinary science. Don Herbert of “Watch Mr. Wizard,” Lopez-Alt’s childhood inspiration, would be proud."

October 15th: The Chicago Tribune, "The Must-Own Cookbook of the Year"

"You need "The Food Lab," as J. Kenji Lopez-Alt's magnum opus is 2015's most indispensible cookbook. The reason? Obsession. "

October 15th: American Scientist, "Parsley, Sage, Thermocouple, and Thyme"

"In his book The Food Lab, J. Kenji López-Alt captures what it must have felt like to be one of those first geeky humans who roasted a beast, tasted it, and mused, “Let me repeat this a few more times to see if I’m right.”"

October 14th, 2015: The Post-Gazette, "J. Kenji López-Alt Explores the Science of Home Cooking"

"With his conversational way of writing, the 35-year-old makes the mundane, occasionally complicated and always scientific roots of cooking seem fascinating."

October 14th, 2015: Creative Loafing Book Review

"What you'll quickly realize is that he cares as much about digging deep into the WHY as he does about the HOW that a cookbook typically tackles."

October 6th, 2015: Food52.com, "In J. Kenji López-Alt's The Food Lab, Nerds Have Their Fun"

"Kenji becomes a person you not only want to spend a lot of time with, but also someone you trust—his book the one you crack when you have a question about poaching eggs or seasoning cast iron or which cut of beef to buy."

October 3rd, 2015: The New Yorker, "Kenji López-Alt's Obsessive Kitchen Experiments"

"Kenji’s lessons are the kind you keep going back to, long after the course is over."

October 1st, 2015: The Los Angeles Times "In 'The Food Lab,' J. Kenji López-Alt turns kitchen scientist"

"The Food Lab" is a lavishly illustrated, 950-page, 61/2 -pound exploration of how science works in cooking that's sure to be one of the big books of the fall cookbook season."

September 30th, 2015: The New York Times, "In ‘The Food Lab,’ the Science of Home Cooking"

"For avid home cooks who came of age in the digital era, there may be few voices more authoritative than that of J. Kenji López-Alt, the nerd king of Internet cooking."

September 25th, 2015: Tools and Toys

"López-Alt teaches you everything you need to know to be successful in the kitchen, and why certain techniques are better than others from a scientific standpoint."

September 25th, 2015: Tasting Table, "Blinded Meat With Science"

"Throughout the book, he questions generally accepted cooking rules and then designs a kitchen experiment to not just determine their merit, but to find the best, most efficient way to make something and yield delicious results."

September 25th, 2015: The Splendid Table, "3 Techniques to Improve Your Home Cooking."

"I usually don't rave about a book, but I have to say that if anybody cooks even once a month, this book would probably be a revelation to them."

September 25th, 2015: SFGate's "Recommendations From the Booksmith"

"Aficionados of Cooks Illustrated and a science-based approach to the kitchen will find “The Food Lab” a captivating, bright read."

September 25th, 2015: TrendHunter.com "This Book Uses the Power of Science to Enhance Traditional Recipes"

"perfect for foodies who are interested in better understanding the art of cooking."

September 24th, 2015: WIRED Magazine "The Ultimate Book for Science Nerds Who Cook"

"The Food Lab just might be the book every science-minded home cook needs"

September 23rd, 2015: Garden and Gun "Five Southern Cooking Myths Debunked"

"a years-in-the-making book likely to become an essential reference for anyone interested in the fundamentals of food."

September 22nd 2015: Kottke.org

"Instant purchase for me."

September 21st, 2015: The New York Journal of Books

"The Food Lab... is a seminal work that is encyclopedic in scope and can be used as a reference by even the most experienced home cooks."

September 21st, 2015: The New Republic "The Art of the Perfect Meal"

"Food writers like Lopez-Alt embraced blogging’s lack of constraints in order to dissect and disseminate what they learned, examining every aspect of a recipe and sometimes writing thousands of words about a fairly simple dish—a boiled egg or grilled corn. His column, and now his book, fills in the gaps left by traditional recipe books."

September 21st, 2015: TasteBook's "Speed Read"

"The Food Lab will be the well-worn, go-to cookbook in everyone’s kitchen. We will be gifting copies to new brides, college students, and all those who yearn to cook or to improve their culinary skills."

September 19th, 2015: Rose Levy-Berenbaum, "It's All Science"

"With its enormous scope and innovative techniques based on massive years of testing and scientific evidence, and excellent step-by-step photos taken by himself, he has opened my eyes to new and better ways of cooking without the need of high tech specialty equipment. This is an extraordinary and invaluable cookbook."

September 19th, 2015: Publisher's Weekly Pick of the Week

"This is a remarkable piece of work that stands up to its culinary comrades, and is a terrific starting point for home cooks interested in perfecting their techniques."

September 16th, 2015: Community Table Interview

"The long-awaited book by J. Kenji López-Alt, The Food Lab, is scheduled for release on September 21, 2015. In anticipation of the release, I had a chat with Kenji about the book, the process, and what readers can expect within the 938 pages."

September 15th, 2015: The Seattle Times, "'The Food Lab': a must-have for at-home cooks"

"An authoritative, instant-classic reference book that's also an engaging read."

September 15th, 2015: Amazon.com's Best Books of the Month

Editor's pick for Best Cookbook of September.

September 14th, 2015: The Kitchn's "10 New Cookbooks Everyone is Going to be Talking About This Fall"

"Make room on your bookshelf now, because this book is a tome. It's epic in size and information. If you want to get into the nitty-gritty of cooking and learn more about science (woo, science!), this is the cookbook you need to get this fall."

September 9th, 2015: The San Francisco Chronicle, "Mr. Wizard’s Food Lab: J. Kenji López-Alt’s unlikely path to stardom"

"López-Alt’s debut cookbook, “The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science,” comes out this month: 958 pages of recipes, cooking charts, experiments and photos that demonstrate what he’s learned about food through the scientific method. Five years in the making, it’s a culmination of the wunderkind’s unlikely ascent into a cultish figure — and the face of a new kind of home cooking."

September 8th, 2015: The Gastropod Podcast

"He has boiled hundreds of eggs in the quest for breakfast perfection. He has expended hundreds of words on the divisive subject of mashed potatoes. And he is the only one who cares enough to test absolutely every possible shape of pan you could ever cook with. In this episode of Gastropod, we interview the ultimate food nerd: J. Kenji López-Alt."

September 4th, 2014: The Wirecutters "Inner Vision"

"Serious Eats’s J. Kenji López-Alt’s new book The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science approaches cooking from an obsessive scientific angle, demystifying the intuitive into a reproducible process for anyone to follow"

September 3rd, 2015: CRAFT by Under My Host Magazine's Cookbook Field Test

"J. Kenji López-Alt doesn't just share anecdotes about the origin of a dish or the farmer from whom he buys his ingredients. He teaches how the actual process of cooking turns that collection of ingredients into a beautiful dish. Science has never been so delicious."

September 3rd, 2015: Eater's Fall 2015's Best Cookbooks: Cooking Pros Bring It Home

"When I need to make sure I'm using the best possible technique, my usual m.o. is to google the thing I'm trying to figure out, plus the word "Kenji." I know for a fact I'm not the only one... In this book — massive in both scope and size — he's making a move to get out of our browsers and onto our bookcases."

September 2nd, 2015: Fine Cooking Magazine

"Does he think he has all the answers? Absolutely not. He encourages readers to test his theories, try their own, and even email him about their findings. I'm thinking that most may be too busy scarfing down his Super Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits to bother."

September 2nd, 2015: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Scientifically Speaking, a Great Cookbook"

"I’m in love. I can’t stop talking about it; I want to tell the world. It’s pure, this love of mine. It’s true. It’s forever. It’s a cookbook."

August 28th, 2015: Discover Magazine's "What to Read in October"

"Whether you want to make a foolproof Hollandaise or stop fretting about how often to flip your burger, James Beard Award-nominated columnist Lopez-Alt serves up nearly a thousand pages of practical advice and information with a side of snark."

September 2nd, 2015: KPLU Radio

"Kenji, an M.I.T. graduate, takes a scientific approach to cooking, and through experiment has debunked any number of cooking myths. He's shown why it's actually better to cook pasta in a small amount of water,  why starting a steak on the colder side of the grill is the way to go, and why New York City's water is not the reason NYC  pizza is so great... It's The Joy of Cooking for food geeks."

August 25th, 2015: Shelf Awareness's Maximum Shelf

"And with a no-fuss, no-frills approach to cooking, The Food Lab promises to become essential for the cookbook shelf, with thoughtful, reasoned explanations for how to make classic American dishes the best they possibly can be."

August 26th, 2015: People Magazine's Best Fall Cookbooks of 2015

"J. Kenji Lopez-Alt takes a fresh (and molecular) look at America's favorite comfort foods, offering recipes – and over 1,000 images – of your favorite dishes, perfected."

August 24th, 2015: KQED's 10 Fall Books to Anticipate

"López-Alt, who got his start at the equally obsessive Cook’s Illustrated, is ruthless; he ignores common wisdom in favor of unexpected ingredients and techniques (sour cream for the ultimate fluffy, tangy pancakes) while dissecting every recipe to show readers how they too can get perfect results every time."

August 25th, 2015: Food52's "The 10 Best New Fall Cookbooks Worth Making Shelf Space For"

"You'll like this book if: “Why” is your favorite of the 5 Ws. You want to know everything about cooking in an effort to make every dish the best it can be—because blasé scrambled eggs just won’t do."

September 2015: Publishers Weekly Starred Review

"Lopez-Alt’s writing style is friendly and informative; he’s genuinely interested in his material, and that enthusiasm shines through. Given the book’s breadth and depth, this is a remarkable piece of work that stands up to its culinary comrades, and is a terrific starting point for home cooks interested in perfecting their techniques."

August 24th, 2015: NYC Talon's 8 Books to Pre-Order in The Fall

"As Serious Eats’s culinary nerd-in-residence, J. Kenji López-Alt focuses on the science behind beloved American dishes, delving into the interactions between heat, energy, and molecules that create great food. If you’re a fan of Serious Eat’s, food-science (or that Alton Brown show, Good Eat’s), food, recipes, and amazing photography, then you’ll want to get your hands on this cookbook."