In 1997, Nosrat enrolled at UC Berkeley, majoring in English. As a sophomore, she ate dinner at Chez Panisse and immediately decided to get a job there as a busser. Nosrat eventually worked her way up to the restaurant kitchen, becoming a cook and working with Alice Waters, who described her as “America’s next great cooking teacher.” After leaving Chez Panisse, she worked in Italy and other Berkeley-area restaurants.
She later worked with Michael Pollan, and was included in his book and Netflix special Cooked as “the chef who taught Michael Pollan how to cook”.
Nosrat became a regular “Eat” columnist for The New York Times Magazine in 2017.
Nosrat’s 2017 cookbook Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat was named “Food Book of the Year” by The Times of London, and was a New York Times best seller. The cookbook also won a James Beard Award in 2018.
A Netflix docu-series based on the cookbook, also called Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, was released on October 11, 2018, with each of the four episodes based around one of the four words in the title. In episode 1, Nosrat goes to Italy to talk about fat in cooking; in episode 2, Japan for salt; in episode 3, Mexico for acid; and in episode 4, the United States for heat. The show was described by The Washington Post as “unlike any other food show on TV.”