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In the spirit of books like Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat and Food Lab, an informative, entertaining, and essential guide to taking your kitchen smarts to a higher level—from two food world professionals (a chef and a writer). A Publishers Weekly bestseller and one of the top cookbooks of 2022 (Food & Wine, The Sporkful, CBS Saturday Morning, Today Show).
When food writer Matt Rodbard met chef Daniel Holzman while covering the opening of his restaurant, The Meatball Shop, on New York's Lower East Side, it was a match made in questions. More than a decade later, the pair have remained steadfast friends—they write a popular column together, and talk, text, and DM about food constantly. Now, in Food IQ, they're sharing their passion and deep curiosity for home cooking, and the food world zeitgeist, with everyone.
Featuring 100 essential cooking questions and answers, Food IQ includes recipes and instructions for a variety of dishes that utilize a wide range of ingredients and methods. Holzman and Rodbard provide essential information every home cook needs on a variety of cooking fundamentals, including:
Why does pasta always taste better in a restaurant? (The key to a perfect sauce is not pasta water, but a critical step involving . . . emulsification.)
When is it okay to cook with frozen vegetables? (Deep breath. It's very much OK, but only with certain types.)
What is baker's math, and why is it the secret to perfect pastry every time? (It uses the weight of flour as the constant and . . . we have a handy chart for you.)
Rodbard and Holzman also offer dozens of delicious recipes, such as Oyakodon--Chicken and Eggs Poached in Sweet Soy Sauce Dashi, The Cast Iron Quesadilla That Will Change the Way You Quesadilla, and 40 Minute Red Sauce. Throughout this culinary reference guide and cookbook readers can expect to find both wisdom and wit, as well as stunning photos and illustrations, and illuminating conversations with notable chefs, writers, and food professionals such as Ina Garten, Roy Choi, Eric Ripert, Helen Rosner, Thérèse Nelson, Priya Krishna, and Claire Saffitz.
From grilling to sous vide, handmade pasta to canned fish, and deconstructing everything from salt and olive oil to organic produce and natural wine, Food IQ is a one-stop shop for foodies and home cooks, from novices to the most-adventurous culinarians. You don't know what you don't know.
Daniel Holzman started his cooking career at the age of 15 at Le Bernardin in New York City before attending the Culinary Institute of America with a full scholarship from the James Beard Foundation. In 2010, he opened The Meatball Shop on New York City’s Lower East Side, which now boasts locations in Williamsburg, the West Village, Chelsea, the Upper East Side, and Hell’s Kitchen, and is the co-author of The Meatball Shop Cookbook. Daniel has appeared frequently in the media, including Good Morning America, the Today show, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and has been featured in an array of publications such as the New York Times, Food & Wine, Saveur, People, Food Network Magazine, and GQ. He lives in Los Angeles.
Matt Rodbard is a writer, editor, and author of food and culture books with more than two decades of experience working in television, magazines, book publishing, and online media. He’s the author of the New York Times bestseller Koreatown: A Cookbook, and the Founding Editor of the two-time James Beard Foundation Award–winning online food and culture magazine TASTE. He has written for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Travel + Leisure, Bon Appétit, Saveur, GQ, and Fodor’s. He lives in New York.
"Food IQ is a book for how we eat right now, filled with good advice, great recipes, and information that will fascinate even the most experienced cook. And I can't think of a better gift for someone who's new to the kitchen." — Ruth Reichl, author of My Kitchen Year
“I’ve known Daniel since he was seventeen and from literally ‘hello’ he was a million questions, with a million answers, running a million miles an hour. When I later met Matt, he was the exact same way. So when I heard that these two had come together to answer one hundred questions in the most thorough and explorative way, it made perfect sense. I can’t wait to learn from them both, and I bet there’s already a thousand more questions they are trying to figure out together right now.” — Roy Choi, chef and TV host
"Consider this book required reading. Packed with fresh food facts, expertly articulated research, and delicious, unique recipes (not to mention lots of witty banter!), Food IQ is the ultimate resource for the modern home cook. Matt and Daniel’s beautiful work won’t just sit on my shelf, it will be hauled endlessly between my bedside table and ingredient-laden kitchen counter for years to come." — Gail Simmons, food expert, TV host, and author of Bringing It Home: Favorite Recipe from a Life of Adventurous Eating
“Food IQ has everything you've always wanted to know about food, but was afraid to ask. From deep dives into fancy salts and olive oils to the crispiest strategy for cooking boneless chicken breasts, Matt and Daniel answer the hows and whys of cooking, and provide plenty of recipes, to give home cooks the savoir-faire to take their kitchen skills to the next level…and beyond!” — David Lebovitz, author of Drinking French and My Paris Kitchen
“A modern manifestation of what Harold McGee would have written if he were also a chef. The format and questions are so fun and engaging, yet the solid science and relatable explanations help people think through the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of creating delicious dishes practically. It’s so darn dope.” — Thérèse Nelson, chef and founder of Black Culinary History
“A heart-warming story about how a shared love of food led to a lifelong friendship. Food IQ is an incredible resource for some of the most commonly asked cooking questions.” — Eric Ripert, chef-owner of Le Bernardin
“Add Food IQ to the short list of great books that combine essays, superb recipes, and relatable wisdom to help anyone cook in a smarter way with more impressive results. Daniel and Matt answer the questions that befuddle even serious pros (though we won’t admit it!) and the result is a delicious buffet of adventure learning. Interviews with famous cooks, writers, and chefs are the icing on the cake that I strongly suggest everyone take a second helping of.” — Andrew Zimmern, chef and TV host
“Food IQ is like having a chef buddy with you at all times, whispering suggestions in your ear. Rodbard and Holzman have a unique ability to drill into the psyche of home cooks and answer the questions they didn’t even know they should be asking.” — Josh Scherer, cookbook author and co-host of A Hot Dog Is a Sandwich podcast
“Food IQ answers every culinary question you never thought to ask, stuffed with wisdom one can only glean from having lived decades as a professional cook. The book bridges the gap between the encyclopedic Flavor Bible and a culinary school textbook. It’s like a homework assignment from that one teacher in fifth grade that you actually wanted to complete.” — Jason Stewart, DJ and co-host of the How Long Gone podcast
"As a casual foodie who has graduated from using kosher salt to craving yuzu kosho, Food IQ is the book I didn’t know I needed. With good cheer (and advice for good kimchi – page 292!) Daniel and Matt have scaled the kitchen walls that separate professional cooks from curious eaters and the results are inspiring – not to mention delicious." — Andy Greenwald, critic, showrunner, co-host of The Watch podcast
"I’m a professional food lover but when it comes to cooking, my food IQ is pretty low. Lucky for all of us, Matt and Daniel’s Food IQ is off the charts. Here’s everything we need to be smarter in the kitchen, and maybe life. No matter how brilliant you are, I promise you’ll learn something, and laugh with, and love, this book." — Phil Rosenthal, creator and host of Somebody Feed Phil
"Full of insights from notable chefs and food writers, this FAQ for food nerds demystifies cooking while weaving in dozens of recipes." — Publishers Weekly