The Flavor Equation–Nik Sharma’s follow-up to Season—was dubbed one of the best cookbooks of 2020 by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, Food & Wine, Serious Eats, Epicurious, Eater, and then some. But calling it a cookbook is complicated. There are over 100 recipes, yes, but there’s also a deep—deep—dive into the science of good food. It’s this rare blend that makes The Flavor Equation the sort of book I’ll grab from the shelf for years to come, whether it’s for a tangy, saucy cauliflower dish or an explanation on how taste buds work. Keep reading for a Q&A with the author—and if you have yet to check out Nik’s column, The Kitchen Scientist, here on Food52—well, what are you waiting for?
EMMA LAPERRUQUE: The very weight of this book (almost three and a half pounds!) speaks for itself. From start to finish, how long did it take to create The Flavor Equation?